Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are skilled tradesmen who install heating and cooling systems. In addition, they maintain and repair the system when problems arise. This can be in a residential environment or for commercial facilities. Those who work for a retailer are often responsible for selling service contracts to customers.
Types of Certification
HVAC certification depends on the type of certification you desire and the training you have completed. Because many people work in the field under a licensed HVAC person, they may have some experience before taking courses. Those with over a year of installation experience and at least 2 years of servicing have more choices when it comes to the type of HVAC certification they choose.
In order to be certified, the relevant courses must be attended. A high school diploma or GED is required beforehand. This is required for admission to most accredited HVAC training programs. These programs offer courses in HVAC installation and repair, as well as reading blueprints, temperature control, engineering, and appliance design. The programs are available at various schools and colleges as well as online.
The programs typically last from six months to two years and depending on the length of the course, the student is awarded a certificate or associate’s degree upon successful completion. There are also opportunities for those joining the armed forces to receive specialized HVAC training.
Upon successful completion of the training program, earning a certification or degree, most states require the HVAC license exam to work in this field. The licensing exam differs somewhat from one place to another. The primary consideration is knowledge of all aspects of HVAC system installation and repair. In addition, some licensing exams require the applicant to know electrical codes.
If you choose a career with refrigerants, a separate certification is required for this area. These include high and low pressure refrigerants and small appliance maintenance. If this career is chosen at an early age, usually during high school, it is beneficial to take courses that can help prepare the student for the next class. The basic recommendations are mathematics, physics, electronics and mechanical drawing.
Additional licenses are required if the HVAC career includes contractor services. This is often a career chosen after learning the other aspects of HVAC. Qualifications for applying for a license as an HVAC professional include being at least 18 years old, speaking and reading English and having four years proven heating experience.
If the applicant meets these qualifications, they must take an ICC exam. The International Code Council (ICC) develops these tests and is responsible for their implementation in many countries. They are issued by accredited inspection bodies across the country and are required of anyone posing as an HVAC contractor in any way.
As you can see, the HVAC career is very diverse. It can encompass different aspects of this profession, each with their own requirements and licenses.
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