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What Does an HVAC Technician Do?
HVAC technicians carry out the following job duties:
- Install and service HVACR units.
- Diagnose issues with HVACR equipment.
- Repair worn out components.
- Document testing and installation information.
The Procedure of Becoming HVAC Certified in Illinois
The route to becoming HVAC certified in Illinois involves the following steps:
- Complete High School Education
Be prepared to earn your high school diploma or GED before you can formally start off with your HVAC training. Without a high school diploma, you won’t be able to get admission into a trade school or a community college.
- Complete Formal HVAC Training
Once you have completed your high school education, you will be ready to start your formal HVAC training. This will involve enrolling in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) or a diploma program in HVAC-R Technology.
The curriculum of these programs includes the following topics:
- Blueprint Reading.
- Residential Furnaces.
- Residential Air Conditioning.
- Residential Hydronic Systems.
- Commercial Refrigeration.
- Duct Fabrication.
- Balancing and Testing HVAC Systems.
- Become EPA Certified
As per the regulations stated under the Clean Air Act, HVAC technicians who repair, service, or maintain ozone-depleting refrigerants into the environment have to obtain the EPA-approved certification. Thus, you will have to pass a couple of exams to get EPA certified.
- Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program
Once you are equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills, you can start working as an apprentice in your city. Shadowing an experienced HVAC technician will help polish your practical skills.
- Obtain a Specialized Industry Certification
A variety of industry certifications are now being offered to HVAC students. The requirements of each certification varies – some certifications require candidates to complete a minimum number of years of professional experience while others require them to have membership of the organization for a specific time period. You can get certified through the following industry entities:
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
- National Competency Testing Institute.
- Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.
Requirements to Become HVAC Certified in Illinois
The following criteria must be met if you plan to become HVAC certified.
- You should hold a GED/high school diploma along with a diploma or an associate’s degree in HVAC-R Technology.
- Every certification awarding body has its own set of requirements that you have to meet before you can apply for a certification. Thus, it is recommended that you do your research before applying.
How Much Does an HVAC Professional Make in Illinois?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers working in Illinois earned a yearly mean salary of $59,590 in May 2018. This was much higher than the national average of $50,160.
The table below indicates the salary trend for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers from 2016 to 2018:
|Annual Mean Salary (IL)||$57,250||$62,430||$59,590|
|Annual Mean Salary (US)||$48,320||$49,530||$50,160|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The employment figures reflect that the annual mean wage of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in Illinois increased from 2016 to 2017 but fell in 2018. Despite the slight dip in the annual mean wage in 2018, it is clear that the state average is still higher than the national average.