How to Get HVAC Jobs in USA
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems are usually found in different kinds of buildings to regulate the temperature while maintaining adequate heating, cooling and ventilation. Given the complex and sophisticated nature of these systems, they usually require specialized people who are trained to take care of them.
This makes the role of an HVAC technician a very important one for many employers. This piece brings all the important information about HVAC careers and everything that you will need to do in order to start a career in the field.
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Requirements to Get a Job as an HVAC Technician
HVAC technician jobs require you to be at least 18 years old and have passed high school. You can then go for specialized education and training in the field of HVAC before landing a job.
Steps to Getting an HVAC Job
- Complete your high school diploma or equivalent GED certificate
A High School Diploma (HSD) or GED (General Educational Development) is the minimum basic qualification that you will need to become eligible for specialized HVAC training.
- Acquire specialized HVAC training and education
Various specialized HVAC training and education programs include associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, certificates, etc. It can take you anywhere between 6 months and 2 years to complete your specialized HVAC education and training program. Courses in the following areas are offered in these programs.
- Industry Code Standards
- HVAC System Design
- Use of HVAC Tools and Techniques
- Energy Management
- Refrigeration Procedures
- Ducting and Piping
- Managing Air Quality and Ventilation
Academic programs in HVAC are normally accredited by the Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).
- HVAC apprenticeship (Optional)
It is not a mandatory requirement to go for an apprenticeship. However, doing so can give your career a major boost. You will need about 3 to 5 years to complete an apprenticeship. It will include both hands-on training and technical training.
- Find a job in the HVAC field
You are now ready to apply for entry-level HVAC jobs. Do your research before taking up a position with a particular employer. Try to go for a place that offers good learning opportunities and career growth.
You will not need a license or certification for an entry-level job unless particular employers/states make it mandatory. There are, however, some basic EPA certifications that you will need if you are working on certain types of HVAC systems.
Are There Any HVAC Jobs Near Me?
HVAC technicians are always in demand, which means that every state will have a considerable number of HVAC jobs. Depending upon where you live, the chances of finding HVAC jobs nearby are quite good.
Getting an HVAC License
HVAC licensing/certification requirements vary from state to state. Some have no mandatory conditions while others do not allow HVAC technicians to work without a license. So, you will need to find out the requirements of your particular state (if any) and take action accordingly. Many states require HVAC technicians to clear the NATE (North American Technician Excellence Exam) for a license.
How Much Do HVAC Techs Make?
Average HVAC salary tends to vary from state to state. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, heating, air conditioning, and refrigertaion mechanics and installers had an annual median wage of $47,610 in May, 2018. This comes down to $22.89 in hourly wages.
HVAC Career Outlook and Job Growth
HVAC technicians will continue to be in high demand in the future. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 15 percent increase of jobs in the sector from 2016 to 2026. This is way ahead of the average overall projections in other fields.