The length of a HVAC certificate program varies by school, but many programs can be completed within one year of full-time enrollment. Some programs allow students to specialization in either residential or commercial heating and cooling. Many schools require program applicants to have a high school diploma or GED, but it is not required in all programs. Licensure requirements to work as an HVAC tech vary from state to state. Requirements may include work experience in addition to or instead of formal education. Anyone working with refrigerants must be nationally certified.
HVAC Technician Certificate
Most HVAC certificate programs offer coursework as well as hands-on work experience. Therefore, class time is often spent learning about and using the tools and machinery relevant to HVAC installation, maintenance and repair. Students can work towards additional certifications like residential or commercial heating and cooling. HVAC coursework may include the following:
- Communication Skills
- Industry code standards
- Air quality and conditioning
- Applied math
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
As of May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the mean annual salary for HVAC mechanics was $50,160. (www.bls.gov). Overall, employment of HVAC mechanics and installers is expected to increase by 13% from 2018-2028. Some contributing factors to this growth could include the need to replace current HVAC systems with more eco-friendly technology, high rates of new construction that will require HVAC installation and an increased use of refrigeration units in various industries.
Licensure and Certification Information
Licensure for HVAC technicians is required in some states, and gaining licensure typically requires completing a minimum amount of education or work experience and passing an exam. Additionally, all professionals working with refrigerants must be nationally certified through organizations approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Classifications of refrigeration certification include high- and low-pressure refrigerants, as well as small appliances.
Additional industry certification can be earned in entry-level subjects like residential and commercial heating and cooling. Tests for these certifications are typically available through trade and vocational schools. Voluntary certification can also be earned through organizations like the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.
Prospective HVAC technicians can prepare for entry-level positions through a HVAC technology certificate program. These programs help students meet the education requirements for licensure or certification, which are required to work in some states.