There are five steps to starting your HVAC technician career. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, so an HVAC technician is someone who works with this technology to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality.
The first step is the easiest step. All you need to do is earn your high school diploma or GED.
When studying, focus on your math and science classes. If your high school has shop-classes take them. This will lay a solid foundation for your future. While computer training and using power tools proficiently isn’t necessary, it will make your future training easier. Be sure to hit the books and, if available, get those hands-on experiences.
After you graduate, you’re ready for the second step – training. There are two methods for on the job training. You can do this through finding a formal apprentice program or completing technical/trade training. There are benefits to either path that you follow.
Being an apprentice means following a paid training program. This program takes longer, usually between three to five years. However, this presents an excellent opportunity to not only gain real experiences but also earn some money doing so!
If you don’t have the time to spare, don’t worry. Thanks to the growing demand for technicians to have a certificate from a technical or trade school, you can complete your training with the available classes. This training can last between a few months or even continue for over a year. At the end of your training, you receive that prized certificate. With this certificate, you can outshine those without them and land a job easier.
The third step, getting a license, is only required by some states. Generally speaking, you’re going to need a license.
Depending on what state you will be working in, you will need to pass a state exam in order to receive an HVAC license. Each state that requires licensing has a different certification authority. Look up to see who the certification authority in your area is.
Not every state is the same. The states that you do not need a license to perform HVAC work are Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. It is advised that you look into local licensing.
The fourth step to kick-starting your HVAC technician career is getting your EPA certification. Like the state license, this also depends on some variables. What sort of HVAC work are you planning on doing? If you are using refrigerant in your work, then the EPA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires a certification.
To gain this certification, you must pass a written exam.
Now that you have completed the education and gained the necessary certification, you are ready for the last time. Step five is deciding where to start your career as an HVAC technician. From here, there are several career paths for you to choose from.
Working for a company comes with perks. You receive employ benefits, health insurance, bonuses, vacation days and room for promotions. You may start at a low-level position, but you will be able to move to positions like product manager, store manager, regional manager, distribution manager and operation manager.
If you’re looking for a government job with defined-benefit pensions, check out USA Jobs. USA Jobs is the official job searching website of the United States government. This website lists positions that require HVAC skills. Some job titles include maintenance mechanic, air conditional equipment mechanic and a facility operations specialist.
Maybe you don’t want to be tied down to a company that someone else owns. If that strikes your fancy, then being an independent contractor is a way to carve your own path. independent contractors work for themselves. However, with great freedom comes great responsibility. You will be legally obligated to carry health insurance or face fines.
If you want to take carving your own path a step further, then starting your own HVAC business may be the right choice. With an investment of time and resources, you will be able to start your own HVAC business. To do so, you need to foster a supportive relationship with your employees and a nurturing relationship with your customers.