Introduction to the HVAC Technician Career
An HVAC technician is responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The position can include the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. A mechanically inclined individual is best suited for this career. The technician will be working with mechanical, electrical and chemical components. This position can place an individual in hot, cold and dirty environments. A safety conscious person is also a benefit for this position.
Having a position in the HVAC industry can be very beneficial. With the proper training and certification the individual can look forward to a great career in a growing industry.
Outlook for an HVAC Technician Position
The future for HVAC techs look promising. Due to the change in environmental laws, and advancement in technology, the need for HVAC technicians is increasing. The increase is expected to last for the next 10 years. The average pay rate for the approximately 1,390 HVAC technicians in Cleveland is $44,830 per year, increasing with skills and experience.
Schooling for An HVAC Technician
There are many technical schools that provide HVAC training diplomas. This includes both classroom and hands-on training. Many schools provide mentorship that allows experienced technicians to assist students during their studies. Program lengths depend on the school, and range from 6 months to 2 years. When a students graduate from these programs, they are able to seek entry level employment, and prepare the student for the certification exams.
Becoming a Certified HVAC Technician
In order to become certified as a HVAC Technician you must be well trained and able to pass state and national certification exams. Each state has its own version of a certification and you also may become nationally certified. Individual states have their own certification or licensing protocols. Nationally, there are two different organizations that certify HVAC Technicians. The EPA and the North American Technicians Excellence (NATE). The EPA is energy, and environmental conscious, and requires individuals to receive one of four CFC certifications. These certifications are classified as Type I, II , III and Universal. Each certification allows a technician to work on certain types of HVAC. The universal certification includes all of the certifications. Certification allows for individuals to earn higher rates of pay and receive top consideration for positions.
Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.
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