How to Become an HVAC Tech in California
To become an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) technician in California, you will need to learn the basics of heating, cooling, electrical and ventilation systems. HVAC technicians also have a variant, the HVAC – R technicians that are trained to install and repair refrigeration systems. You may know an HVAC technician as the person that does repairs around your house when electrical and temperature control systems aren’t working right. To repair these kinds of complex systems, HVAC technicians have to be trained in blueprint reading, testing components and installations.
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Requirements to Become an HVAC Technician in California
There are many requirements to meet before you become an HVAC technician in California. If you want to be an HVAC technician, you are expected to have a certain skill set. Employers in the field will be looking for personality traits like good customer service skills and time management skills etc. This is because HVAC technicians will often have to deal with upset people whose home appliances aren’t working. Technicians also have to be good at math and have the physical strength required to install complex systems.
Steps to Become an HVAC Technician in California
There are a few steps you will have to follow to become an HVAC technician in California
- Get a high school diploma
To become an HVAC technician, the minimum level of education you are required to have is a high school diploma. During your high school education, it is recommended that you take courses in math and science.
- Get a certificate or degree
While this step is not a requirement, it is suggested that you get to learn and understand HVAC systems through a certificate or degree program. These programs will take you about 6 months to 2 years to complete and will teach you about piping, ducts, workplace safety, and more.
- Get an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship will combine typical classroom style learning with actual work experience and in 3 to 5 years, you will be equipped to deal with most issues concerning HVAC systems.
- Get a license
You will be required, in some states, to get a license to become an HVAC technician. For this, you will have to pass a state exam and get work experience. Different state exams will prepare you for different tasks in the HVAC field e.g. Type 1 certification will prepare you to deal with small appliances. In addition to this, you could also learn on the job.
How Much Does an HVAC Technician Make in California?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is one of the states with the highest employment levels for HVAC technicians. Employment in the field racked up to 27,720 employees as of May 2018. The mean annual wage for HVAC technicians in California is $58,130 and the mean hourly wage is $27.95. Employment opportunities are expected to grow by 15% for HVAC technicians between 2016 and 2026 – adding a total of 48,800 new jobs in the field at a national level.