What is an HVAC Technician?

HVAC is the abbreviated form of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC systems are used in different types of buildings to maintain temperature during all weather conditions. They are highly sophisticated and complex systems that need handling by specialized and well-trained individuals known as HVAC engineers/technicians/mechanics. If you want to know more about this profession, this piece has got all the information you need about becoming an HVAC mechanic or a technician in Chicago.

Requirements to Become an HVAC Technician in Chicago

In order to make it as an HVAC technician in Chicago, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma. You may also pass the equivalent GED (General Educational Development) certificate alternatively.
After that, you can start working as an HVAC trainee engineer or a technician straight away. You can also choose to go for some specialized HVAC education before entering the field. Another option is to start as an apprentice and learn things before taking up a position as an HVAC technician.

Steps to Become an HVAC Technician in Chicago

  1. High school diploma or GED certificate

This is the minimum educational qualification needed to enter the field.

  1. HVAC training and education

Different associate’s degrees, certificates and other programs are available in Chicago. You will need between 6 months and 2 years to complete such a program. Make sure to choose a course accredited by the Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) or HVAC Excellence.

  1. Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is not a mandatory requirement for working as an HVAC technician but it can be good for the long-term growth of your career. It will take you around 3 to 5 years to complete an HVAC apprenticeship program.

  1. Look for HVAC technician jobs in Chicago

You are now all set to start working as an HVAC technician in Chicago. Carry out proper research to find an opportunity that best suits your career aspirations.

  1. Get HVAC certification in Chicago

There are few HVAC licensing requirements in Illinois and Chicago follows the state’s lead in this regard. However, if you plan on working as an HVAC professional in East Chicago across the state line of Indiana, then you will need the HVAC contractor license. Following are its types.

  • Type A (Warm Air Heating and Sheet Metal)
  • Type B (Wet Heating and Fuel Burning Equipment)
  • Type C (Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Commercial Refrigeration)

Best Places for HVAC Studies in Chicago

S. No School Programs
1 HVAC Technical Institute Courses in HVAC/R, LCR, HVAC, Electrical, etc.
2 Elgin Community College
  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Vocational Certificate
  • Basic Certificate
3 College of Lake County
  • HVAC/R Engineering Technology A.A.S
  • HVAC/R Installation Technician Certificate
  • HVAC/R Service Technician Certificate
  • Electrical Troubleshooting Technician Certificate
  • Commercial Refrigeration Technician Certificate
  • Residential Air Conditioning Technician Certificate
  • Residential Energy Auditing Certificate
  • Residential Heating Technician Certificate
  • HVAC Fast-Track Program (16 Weeks)

How Much Do HVAC Technicians Make?

As per info available with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers in Illinois made an annual mean wage of $59,590 in May, 2018.

HVAC Career Outlook and Job Growth

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% rise in employment opportunities for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers between 2016 and 2026. This is way more than other sectors.

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