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A ccording to the U.S, Bureau of Labor Statistic, there are approximately 377,000 employed in the HVAC Industry and HVAC technicians and engineers continue to be in demand. HVAC Systems continue to grow in complexity as new technologies are introduced and HVAC technicians need to have the skills to meet those demands.

HVAC Certification and Training in the United States


These are acronyms used in the industry; HVAC is heating, ventilation and air conditioning and the R is for refrigeration.

What Do HVAC Technicians Do?

These technicians work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the temperature and air quality in all types of buildings and typically do the following:

  • Install, maintain and repair HVAC systems
  • Install electrical components and wiring
  • Inspect and test HVAC systems and components
  • Install and maintain commercial cooling equipment

Do I need to attend College for HVAC Training?

HVACR systems are becoming increasingly complex so employers usually prefer applicants with postsecondary education or those who have completed an apprenticeship. Many HVAC technicians attend a technical, trade school or community college with programs in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. HVAC programs run from 6 months to two years, and lead to a certificate or associate’s degree, depending on the length of the program.

If you are a high school student who is interested in becoming an HVAC technician, you should take courses in math, and physics and other vocational courses as learning the basics of electronics, plumbing, electrical work is helpful.

Pay & Employment Outlook for HVACR Technicians
2019 Median Pay $48,730 / year $23.43 / hour
Entry-Level Education Non-degree at a trade or technical school
Job Outlook, 2019 - 29 4% (As fast as average)

* Source:  United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics February 18, 2021

Does a HVAC Technician Need to have a Certification Licence?

Some states may require HVAC technicians to be certified and licensed before being able to practice as a journeyman. HVAC Certification licences means that the technician is trained and qualified to perform the required tasks in their state validates their professional competency.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that all technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment must be certified. The EPA has four types of certification:

  • Type I - For Servicing Small Appliances
  • Type II - For Servicing High Pressure Systems
  • Type III - For Servicing Low Pressure Systems
  • Universal – For servicing all types of equipment

Other Certification Organizations

North American Technical Excellence (NATE)

NATE is the largest non-profit certification organization for HVAC technicians with four certifications:

  • Ready to Work Test – Entry Level exam for technicians who are just entering the HVACR field with little or no formal education or training.
  • HVAC Support Technician Certicate – For techniance who have worked in the field for 6-12 months
  • NATE Certification Core & Speciality Tests - Technicians with 2 or more years of HVACR experience can earn installation or service certification in one or more of the specialty areas offered by NATE
  • Senior Level Efficiency Analyst Certification - his is the highest certification offered by NATE. Technicians choosing to earn senior level certification must hold two NATE service certifications (one heating and one cooling) before taking the exam.

HVAC Excellence

Areas of Certification:

  • EPA Section 608 Certification
  • Section 609 EPA Certification
  • Student Outcomes Assessments (H.E.A.T)
  • Employment Ready Certifications
  • Specialty Certifications
  • Professional Level Certifications
  • Master Specialist Certifications
  • Education Credentialing Exams

Source: Escogroup



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