An HVAC certification is required in order to work with heaters, air conditioners, and the like. The CareerStint write-up below will enlist some things you need to know to get an HVAC certification.
“By adding a fiberglass duct board training course to our current curriculum, Fortis will provide enhanced skills to HVAC technicians, and expanded business opportunities for HVAC contractors.”
― Eric Kleinert, HVAC/R program director, Fortis Institute, Palm Springs
HVAC stands for ‘Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning’. HVAC technicians are those who specialize in the repair and maintenance of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, in short, all those systems that regulate temperature and air. If you intend to carve out a career in this field, there are a number of important points you need to be aware of. Prominent among these include the HVAC certification requirements, because you cannot become a technician without obtaining the legal certification and the required license. In the paragraphs below, you will learn how to get HVAC certified.
Types of Certification
Before getting a certification, be aware that there are four types of certification, as stated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Section 608.
Once you obtain this, your job would be to service minority appliances, like domestic refrigerators and window air-conditioners.
This type allows you to service slightly complicated appliances, like the refrigerators in supermarkets, heat pumps, and bigger air conditioners, like the ones found in residential areas.
This primarily involves dealing with low pressure refrigerants.
As the name suggests, it allows you to service all kinds of equipment.
- Knowing the associated dangers is essential so that you can make up your mind if you really want to enter this field or not.
- The work involves dealing with heavy systems, electric circuits, etc.
- Some ventilation and cooling systems may be really old and unreliable.
- Working with electricity is a danger in itself, you are vulnerable to shocks, burns, etc.
- Excess work can lead to a lot of mental stress as well.
- If the buildings, repair sites, or the units are very old, installation of the heating and cooling systems can be very tedious.
- This job involves dealing with a variety of small and big appliances, hence the tools used vary.
- Though you will be dealing with the tools and techniques in the duration of your course, it will be useful if you have some knowledge prior to joining the certification.
- Some of the common tools include pipe cutters, tap and die sets, torches, pressure gauges, etc.
- Some complex tools for larger equipment include combustion analyzer (for a larger heating unit), voltmeter, gas detector, soldering tools, etc.
- A proper education is a prime necessity. This certification demands that you be a high school graduate or at least have an equivalent diploma, to say the least.
- It would help if you undertake projects in the fields of physics, maths, mechanics, and electronics.
- Following this, you are eligible to begin the certification. The syllabus and coursework will vary as per the institution.
- The duration may be from 6 months to 2 years, at the end of which you will receive your certificate.
- During the course, you will learn and get acquainted with temperature control, air cooling, blueprint reading, machine design, etc.
- During this time, it is also important that you decide your specialization, i.e., whether you would like to work with pure maintenance and repair, installation, heating, cooling, etc.
- Based on your choice, you may have to undertake another certification that helps you specialize in your area of interest.
- After this, you can proceed with your training program and other requirements.
- Also known as apprenticeships, training programs help you combine theoretical knowledge with practical demonstrations. In fact, some states may demand that you complete an apprenticeship.
- Depending on where you obtain the training, it may last from three to five years.
- Corporate unions are known to conduct such programs.
- Many states require that you obtain legal permission to begin your work as a technician.
- For this purpose, you have to give the licensing exam. You can do this as soon as your course/apprenticeship is completed.
- In order to pass this exam successfully, you will need to be well-versed with all the technical know-how of this field.
- As an HVAC technician, you can work in buildings, offices, residential homes, factories, schools, hospitals, etc.
- Your work involves installing, repairing, and maintaining high and low pressure heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration systems.
- A lot of times, you might be required to work outdoors.
- Not only this, you may have to work in cramped spaces and irregular shifts as well.
- If you enjoy your work, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have certain complaints regarding your health if you have to work nights in far-off places, your work could become a hindrance.
It is essential that you make yourself aware of all the points mentioned above, in order to obtain an HVAC certification. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for such technicians are expected to grow by 21% until 2022. Despite the high record of injuries and the tough work schedule, this is a good career if you really set your heart in it. All the best!