The demand for HVAC technicians is ever increasing. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, career opportunities in this field are projected to grow at a faster rate than other fields in the coming years. Considering how important heating and cooling systems are to our homes, workplaces and public buildings, it is clear to see why the demand for such services is high. There are many property owners in need of HVAC installations, maintenance services, replacements amongst other services.
What Do HVAC Technicians Do?
Professional HVAC technicians offer a wide array of services relating to heating and cooling systems. This includes installation, diagnoses, maintenance and repair of heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. Most technicians also take it a step further and get training on servicing commercial refrigeration units. HVAC installation is specialized work and will often require wiring and installation of other electrical components. The technicians need to be properly trained to deal with the risks of electrical work and exposure to potentially toxic chemicals.
The HVAC technicians also clean the units and conduct tests to ensure good air quality. They are in charge of performing regular inspections of new and existing systems. In case of any defective or worn-out components, the technicians handle the replacements.
An HVAC technician may be self-employed or work for a repair service. There are also technicians who are employees of large companies and their main task is to ensure that the company’s HVAC systems are maintained in good condition and operating at optimum efficiency.
How Long Does It Take To Go To School For HVAC?
The time it takes varies depending on the type of training program. An HVAC degree, on average, takes 2 years to complete and it can be acquired either through a trade school or community college.
One can also acquire a job-ready certification from technical schools. An HVAC certification can be completed in as little as six months. Whether it is a degree or certification, students are able to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills required for the job such as electrical work and plumbing. The technicians also need to understand how the HVAC systems work and the safety measures involved when carrying out this work.
Apprenticeship And Licensing
It is a requirement in most states that HVAC technicians undergo an apprenticeship program after completing their education. Apprenticeship programs can last from 3 to 5 years depending on the state requirements. It is worth noting that, in most cases, one can choose to undergo an apprenticeship program in place of an HVAC degree.
In almost all states, HVAC technicians are required to have licenses in order to operate. The requirements for licensing usually vary from one state to another. However, they usually include passing a written exam that tests their knowledge on HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair in addition to their knowledge of electrical codes.
Entry-level technicians earn an average of $40,000 per year while technicians will more than 10 years experience typically earn over $50,000 per year.