HVAC control refers to the control systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning units and many certificate programs do touch on this area. Individuals interested in earning HVAC certification may first earn a certificate from an accredited college, trade school or organization offering an educational program in HVAC systems. A graduate of an HVAC certificate course should know how to install, maintain and repair such control systems. Courses generally cover HVAC basics such as safety fundamentals and maintenance techniques. Most certificate programs are hands-on and may require that individuals physically complete certain tasks before earning certification. These tasks can include cutting metal with a saw, drilling metal, measuring humidity, making an electrical connection, lubricating bearings and cleaning an air humidifier. Although only some states require that HVAC professionals gain licensure, nearly all licensing organizations require that individuals complete some sort of certificate or continuing education program before taking a qualifying exam. Professional HVAC certification is also available. Most programs require candidates to have a high school diploma or GED as well as interest and some prior knowledge in HVAC units.
Certificate Programs in HVAC Control
Most courses in an HVAC certificate program are practical and hands-on. The curriculum may include the following:
- HVAC industry overview
- HVAC measurements
- Personal protective equipment and safety
- Electricity and power distribution
- Residential and industrial heating
- Infiltration and ventilation
Popular Career Options
Graduates of HVAC certificate programs can enter into a number of available positions in the HVAC and construction industry. Possibilities include:
- HVAC technician
- HVAC sales representative
- Air conditioning maintenance technician
- HVAC control technician
- Residential HVAC specialist
- Commercial/industrial HVAC specialist
HVAC licensure varies from state to state, and some states don't even require that HVAC professionals obtain a license. HVAC licensure is designed to verify that individuals are trained in heating, venting and air conditioning installation and repair. Many states require that individuals first complete an HVAC certificate program as well as an apprenticeship before applying for a license. Nearly all require the completion of an examination.
HVAC certification is also available, with certifications ranging from basic to advanced. Organizations such as HVAC Excellence and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) grant professional certification in specialized areas such as air conditioning, oil heating, air distribution, heat pumps and commercial refrigeration. Certification tests assess the candidate's knowledge of general HVAC systems, construction, tools, safety procedures, HVAC control systems and electrical systems.
There are no programs that specialize in HVAC control, but most programs have related coursework. HVAC preparation programs can help students prepare for a wide number of careers in the field and certification is available for specialized areas.