HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technicians install, repair, and maintain heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in homes and businesses. There are several specializations or sub-categories of HVAC, such as heating and cooling systems, ventilation, air balancing, or refrigeration.
There is plenty of room for advancement in the HVAC field, and demand for HVAC technicians is expected to grow 5% through 2031. The best news is that getting started in this rewarding field is pretty straightforward.
6 Steps to Becoming an HVAC Technician
There are a few things employers look for when hiring an HVAC technician. Attention to detail, problem-solving skills, strength and stamina, and excellent customer service are high on the list, in addition to the required technical skills. The typical training path for becoming an HVAC technician is as follows:
- Earn a High School Diploma or GED. HVAC technicians must complete high school before they can work in the field. If you’re currently in high school and have skilled trades classes available to you, this is an excellent opportunity to get a head start on the path to working in the field.
- Have a Valid Driver’s License. A valid driver’s license is essential since you’ll be required to drive to job sites during your workday.
- Complete a Training Program. There are a few options here. You can enroll in a community college to receive an associate degree or certification in HVAC technology. If that’s not a good fit for you, then look for a trades school or skilled trades program in your area.
- Serve an Apprenticeship. While an apprenticeship isn’t always required to become an HVAC technician, it’s invaluable in terms of real-world experience and building relationships in the trade. Having apprenticeship experience on your resume can make it easier when looking for employment opportunities.
- Obtain Licenses and/or Certifications. Depending on which state you’re working in, licenses or certifications may be required. You’ll learn which ones are required in your area during your training program. However, no matter where you work, you’ll be required to obtain EPA certification (also known as the Section 608 certification), which is focused on safely handling refrigerants.
- Submit to Background Checks as Required by Prospective Employers. Many employers, including Southern Home Services, require background checks to ensure the safety of their employees and customers.
Once you accomplish these steps, it’s time to get your resume together and start your job search. There are several more advanced and specialized licenses or certifications you may want to obtain in the future, depending on your career goals.
How Long Does It Take to Become an HVAC Technician?
It depends on your location, your state’s requirements, and how many classes are required. Most HVAC technician training programs take 2 to 3 years to complete.
Related Content: Why These HVAC Companies Have Partnered with Southern Home Services
Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician: What Does an HVAC Tech Do?
Now that you know how to become an HVAC tech … what does an HVAC tech do? While every day is a bit different depending on customer’s needs, there are several tasks that you can expect to perform in the course of your workday:
- Installing new heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment
- Repairing HVAC equipment
- Performing routine maintenance on HVAC systems
- Cleaning air ducts and vents and changing air filters
- Testing equipment to be sure it’s working properly
- Installing electrical components required for HVAC systems
- Answering customer questions and responding to concerns
- Anticipating possible issues and informing the customer
- Performing emergency repairs as needed