HVAC Technician Schools
Your online resource for HVAC Technician Schools and Career Information. HVAC technician schools are not difficult to find, and can offer complete training in 1 year or less, allowing professionals to fast-track their careers. The growing number of homes and businesses in the nation are creating a higher demand for HVAC certified professionals. Additionally, the average age for technicians today is around 48, which means that retirement of existing professionals will leave plenty of room for new jobs into the next decade or so. In order to become certified in HVAC service and repair, a student must complete the required educational classes and 6-24 months of field experience in order to be considered proficient or to be licensed in states that require it. If licensure is required, a test must be taken and passed. If there is no test or required license and the student has completed the education and apprenticeship required, they can go on to pursue a full-time career as an HVAC technician. There are specialty examinations and courses that can be taken by those who want to specialize their skills, as well.
HVAC technicians, sometimes called HVACR, work on heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. They tend to specialize in either installation or maintenance and repair. Some may also choose to specialize on one type of equipment, like solar panels or water-based heating systems called hydronics.
What Are HVAC Degrees?
Many technical schools, community colleges, and the Armed Forces offer HVAC programs ranging from 6-months to 2-years. Coursework involves learning about:
- Blueprint reading
- Care of tools
- Equipment design
- Mechanical and electrical components of HVAC systems
- Safety practices
- Temperature control
It's useful to choose a program accredited by one of the three HVAC accrediting agencies: HVAC Excellence, the National Center for Construction Education and Research, or the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation.
Upon completing a program, the graduate will usually become an apprentice to an experienced technician. Or you could choose to go through a formal apprenticeship program which combines classroom work with paid on-the-job training and lasts from 3 to 5 years.
Some states do require HVAC technicians to be licensed, but the requirements vary.
55% of HVAC technicians in 2006 worked for air-conditioning, heating, and plumbing contractors. 13% were self-employed. The others worked for a variety of industries including fuel oil dealers, refrigeration and air-conditioning repair shops, stores that sold HVAC systems, or even directly for a hospital, the government, or office building. Their median earnings were $18.11 per hour.