What do I need to apply for an HVAC technician position

So you know what your job will be expected from you and you are ready to give it your all. But spirit is not all you need. You are also required to meet certain set of requirements that goes beyond high school certification or possessing satisfactory grades in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. It is always advantageous that the person has a working knowledge of HVAC systems. You would also have to be proficient in mathematics, mechanical drawing and blueprint reading.
From a professional standpoint, you will need trainings and certifications that can make you technically adept at handling the job responsibilities of an HVAC technician. You will be required to take these trainings apart from your school certification.

Before you become a technician, fully immersed in their HVAC job roles, you will be required to either of two phases mentioned below:
You have the choice of enrolling yourself in a formal classroom setting where you would undergo theoretical training of the HVAC basics and repair systems. Vocational courses are a lengthy process as it takes time before you can be considered knowledgeable enough to join the field. Another option is to choose the curriculum depending upon your area of interest. You can opt for a fundamental course that can last for a few months or in-depth course to get deeper insight into repair and installation of HVAC. These courses are obviously longer and may take years to finish.

If classroom training is not your forte, you can also work alongside a licensed HVAC technician as an apprentice. Even though this is not a formal classroom course but it does allow you to learn things more quickly, as far as HVAC basics are concerned. Besides, you also get to work real time as you get paid a discounted rate. This is a great way to learn and earn at the same time!
When you are undergoing training, you can learn about various specializations. This is because each system is different and would be required to handle differently. When you want to become a licensed technician, you will be given a choice of area you would like to specialize in.

HVAC Certification

HVAC Certification, also known as EPA Section 8 Certification, is a basic requirement that is mandatorily needed by all the people who want to work as HVAC technicians. Unless you hold the certificate, you would not be allowed to offer services. This is because the Environment Protection Agency wants the mechanic to be well versed with the process of opening and working with a refrigerant container without risking the environment at any stage.
It is due to the nature of work, only the technicians that have all the requisite licenses are allowed to work with the HVAC systems. There are many levels of certifications that you are required to clear before you can officially render services. These are:

  • Type I Certification
    This type of certification is required for technicians who are capable of fixing small appliances such as domestic refrigerators, vending machines and air conditioners.
  • Type II Certification
    This certification is for the experts who are able to not only service but also accurately dispose the equipments such as industrial refrigeration, heat pumps and big air conditioners. The equipmentmustbe disposed of carefully as they contain high pressure refrigerants.
  • Type III Certification
    This certificate is for the specialists capable of handling low pressure refrigerants, also known as chillers.
  • Universal Certification
    This certificate is granted and is required by all the technicians who are able to service and repair various HVAC systems, refrigerants and units.

Employment of HVAC Technician

It is only after all the necessary certifications and licenses are in place that the HVAC technician becomes eligible in the job market. They can apply for jobs in variety of industries and businesses as an individual licensed technician for HVAC systems or someone working as part of a team. If you worked as apprentice, you may get a pre-placement offer as soon as you finish training, depending upon the quality of your work.
You do not only have to look for employment opportunities. Once licensed, you can also open your own HVAC business and start by servicing local clients in your area.
While becoming a specialist does take a few years, but by the time you are ready, you will be able to demand good salary and expect a stable job in an industry that is there to stay!

Quick Tips

Keep all the important documents handy: Always keep your licenses, certificates, high school documents handy so that you can present them to your employer at the time of interview.

Apprenticeship before you apply for jobs: Formal education is mandatory but employers always want someone who holds the practical experience of the industry they want to work in. Apprenticeship will give you that exposure to crack the interview confidently.