How to Become an HVAC Technician?

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Skilled workers are in high demand across the country. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is a skill that can open doors to working in commercial or residential environments and lead to a career you can be proud of. Becoming an HVAC Technician requires a lot of technical knowledge about electricity, plumbing, and construction, but this valuable trade can be taught in as little as ten months, making it a great choice for someone looking to start a new career.

 

HVAC Technicians are important. Their knowledge helps keep people comfortable and ensures things like refrigerators, freezers, and heating and cooling equipment are running at maximum efficiency. In addition, HVAC Technicians are master problem solvers. They may be called to make repairs, clean or do maintenance, or even replace outdated technology, which means a good HVAC technician must be open-minded, curious, and a quick thinker. As an HVAC Technician, you have the opportunity to work with your hands, discover new challenges and solve issues.

 

If you are interested in gaining a greater understanding of how technology works to cool or heat and working with your hands to help overcome obstacles, a career in HVAC may be a good fit for you. Before you take the first step to becoming an HVAC Technician, this guide will help answer any questions you may have. Read on to see if becoming an HVAC Technician is right for you and how you can become an HVAC Technician in Florida in as little as 10 Months!

 

If you're interested in becoming an HVAC Technician, consider enrolling in Florida Career College's HVAC Training Program. Our HVAC Training Program is short-term, allowing you to become an HVAC Tech in as little as 10 Months!

How To Become an HVAC Technician?

There are several ways to become an HVAC Technician, but the easiest way is with the help and guidance of a good career training program. At Florida Career College, we’ll walk with you to ensure you have the proper hands-on training needed to become a successful HVAC Technician.

 

Here are the steps to becoming a licensed HVAC Technician:

 

Step #1: Earn a High School Diploma

The first step to training in this industry is obtaining a high school diploma or GED. This step is required in order to attend most training programs or even sit for a licensing exam. If you have already graduated from high school, you’ll be in a better position to begin career training.

 

If you don’t have a high school diploma, you have options. Florida Career College offers HVAC Technician students a path to obtain their high school diploma while completing HVAC training. You can graduate high school and achieve certification simultaneously in as few as ten months.

 

Step #2: Begin an HVAC Training Program

There are many options when it comes to formal HVAC training. If you’re considering this, you should do your research before enrolling in an HVAC program. Examine the cost, time commitment, training style, and school experience. Then, find a program that focuses on your learning style and has a good record of student employment after graduation. It’s also important to find a program that is focused on student success.

 

At Florida Career College, students receive a combination of online learning with hands-on training with live equipment. You’ll get the chance to work on actual machines before being tested on your knowledge. Each student also works closely with a career specialist to identify employment opportunities upon completion of the program. Courses include:

 

  • Basic Refrigeration Theory and Applications
  • Basic Electricity, Motors, and HVAC Controls
  • Electrical and Mechanical Troubleshooting
  • Heating Systems and Boilers
  • Commercial Refrigeration Systems
  • Regulation and Building Automation
  • Duct Design, Blueprint Reading, and Load Calculation
  • Air Conditioning Troubleshooting and Heat Pump Systems
  • Specialized Commercial Equipment and Green Awareness

 

Step #3: Obtain Your HVAC Certifications

HVAC is unique because of the variety of skills necessary to do the job right. It’s what makes the job so interesting, but it also causes some confusion from state to state regarding which certifications are necessary.

 

All HVAC Technicians will need an EPA Section 608 Technician Certification. This certifies that the technician is qualified to attach or detach hoses and gauges from an appliance; measure the pressure in the appliance; add or remove refrigerant from an appliance, or perform any other activity on an appliance that requires refrigerant to run. There are four certifications offered through the Environmental Protection Agency for working with refrigerants. These certifications vary based on the size and power of the appliance being treated or maintained.

 

You may also want to attain a NATE Certification which stands for North American Technical Excellence. This exam asks students about installations, servicing, specialty parts, refrigerants, and core units. NATE certification is recognized across the country, and students who have it are in high demand.

 

Another common certification is the R-410A certification. This exam ensures that the technician understands the difference between different types of refrigerants and has extensive knowledge and training to use them correctly.

 

Some states don’t require being licensed through an exam to begin an apprenticeship and allow learning on the job, but having professional training and certification from the start will make a candidate more competitive in the job field and allow them to earn a higher compensation rate.

 

There are a variety of other certifications that may be available in your state if you want to focus on a specialty. The wide variety of skills used by HVAC Technicians makes them eligible to hold many different certifications at the same time; however, most are not necessary to begin working in the industry. If you’re interested in owning your own HVAC business, there are additional certifications you may want to consider.

 

Needless to say, exactly which certifications you need for the job you want can be confusing. So, as you work through the HVAC Technician program at Florida Career College, we’ll talk about your options and ensure you’re ready and qualified for the career you want.

 

Step #4: Apply For Open HVAC Positions

After you've completed training and received your certifications, it's time to look for and apply for open positions in the HVAC field. Our career services team is available to help student find open positions in the HVAC field.

What is a HVAC Technician?

An HVAC Technician or HVAC Service Technician is trained to handle any heating, ventilation or air conditioning, and refrigeration needs and ensure that heating and cooling equipment is functioning optimally.

 

HVAC Techs are responsible for installing, maintaining, repairing, or replacing air conditioners, climate control systems, heating equipment, ventilation units, refrigeration equipment, boilers, chillers, and even solar or commercial units. While most people think of HVAC as a very physical job, it’s a mental challenge as well. An HVAC Technician must be able to diagnose complex problems and know the correct equipment to use to fix it; maintain older technology by testing for leaks, cleaning filters, and replacing parts; and even install entirely new systems, including drilling and cutting into buildings to ensure the proper connectivity and understanding ductwork.

 

An HVAC Technician is trained in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning but may choose to specialize in one category or seek additional certifications for unique systems. A typical day for an HVAC technician is unpredictable, which makes it an excellent career for someone who likes to be on the move.

What Are HVAC Technicians Trained to Do?

  • Diagnose problems with heating and cooling systems by testing pipes, wires, and parts
  • Clean or replace filters, ducts, and other parts to increase efficiency
  • Assemble new systems, including reading blueprints and drilling or cutting into buildings
  • Understand manufacturer’s specifications to ensure machines are running at peak performance
  • Connect units to electricity, water, or fuel sources

 

Overall, HVAC Technicians are problem solvers in that they inspect, repair, and maintain heating and cooling equipment and ensure maximum efficiency so that people feel comfortable indoors and breathe healthy air.

The Responsibilities of HVAC Technicians May Include the Following:

  • Ensuring air conditioning units, refrigerators or freezers are running smoothly
  • Installing air conditioning units for residential or commercial properties
  • Maintaining records of HVAC systems to manage equipment
  • Connecting HVAC units to water, electrical, or fuel as necessary
  • Testing pipes, hoses, ducts, and tubes for leaks, replacing parts as needed
  • Performing maintenance and cleaning units to improve system performance
  • Testing and ensuring proper electrical connectivity
  • Running diagnostic tests on machines
  • Following government rules and regulations as well as directions set by the manufacturers

What Skills Do You Need to Become an HVAC Technician?

An HVAC Technician will be trained to work on complex issues in both residential, commercial, and construction environments. Whether your customer is a homeowner or a business, you’ll need to possess a variety of skills to do the job right.

Technical skills are the hard skills that are the focus of training programs. These are the skills you’ll need to obtain a good working knowledge of to perform everyday tasks:

 

  • Blueprint reading
  • Understanding refrigerants
  • Checking diagnostic information for heating and cooling systems
  • Testing pipes for leaks
  • Testing electrical wires for connectivity
  • Connecting heating and cooling systems to electrical, water, or fuel systems
  • Cleaning or replacing inefficient parts
  • Installing new parts
  • Interpreting diagrams
  • Using power tools for drilling, cutting, or bending pipes or wires

 

Soft Skills are the personality traits needed to work in a professional environment. While many HVAC technicians may work alone, these skills will ensure the best customer experience and job security.

 

  • Ability to communicate a problem and the best course of action
  • Time management to prioritize daily tasks and keep service appointments
  • Problem-solving, maintaining a focus on getting the job done
  • Attention to detail, noticing minor problems before they become big problems
  • Basic math skills to calculate the differences between different systems

 

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December 28th, 2022!

Do You Need a Diploma to Become a HVAC Technician?

To become a licensed HVAC technician, you must have a high school diploma or GED and a diploma from a certified trade school before you can sit for a licensing exam. If you don’t have a high school diploma, you have options. Florida Career College can help you achieve your high school diploma while you complete HVAC courses.

 

Holding a Section 608 Technician Certification is mandatory for working in the industry. This certification qualifies you to handle refrigerants and appliances that depend on this chemical. Applicants for the exam will need to show proof of hands-on experience.

 

Some employers will hire technicians and teach HVAC skills, but the best way to ensure you are prepared for certification is to complete a training program that includes hands-on learning experiences. Having this training on your resume will make you a more desirable candidate for hire. Florida Career College’s HVAC Technician program includes courses on refrigeration, electricity, troubleshooting, heating, commercial refrigeration, duct design, air conditioning, and specialized equipment.

 

Completing a program and receiving certification will ensure you have all the skills necessary to go after any open HVAC position with confidence and may open doors to new opportunities you didn’t realize were possible. HVAC Technician training is special because of the many skills taught that make a student capable of working on anything from a refrigerator to a commercial air conditioner.

No High School Diploma?

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How Long Does it Take to Train to Become an HVAC Tech?

Training programs to become an HVAC Technician vary greatly from a number of months to three years. The length of time depends on the courses and hands-on opportunities offered.

 

At FCC, training to become an HVAC Technician can be completed in as few as 10 Months, which makes it a great option for someone looking to get to work quickly.

 

Courses include:

  • Basic Refrigeration Theory and Applications
  • Basic Electricity, Motors, and HVAC Controls
  • Commercial and Residential Troubleshooting
  • Heating Systems and Boilers
  • Commercial Refrigeration and Chiller Application
  • Regulation and Building Automation
  • Duct Design, Blueprint Reading, and Load
  • Air Conditioning Troubleshooting and Green
  • Specialized Commercial Equipment

 

Becoming an HVAC Technician can also provide opportunities to work in several different environments. Specialized certifications may be available for working on solar systems, heavy machinery, and metalworking. Some HVAC Technicians choose to get their contractor’s license to start their own HVAC business. It’s a fast-paced career that can grow with you.

Why Should you Become an HVAC Technician?

Becoming an HVAC Technician opens doors to a wide variety of jobs and will equip you with the skills necessary to work in several different settings. In addition, it’s a career that you can be proud of. Knowledge of heating and cooling is not only needed in notably hot or cold climates. These skills are transferable and necessary anywhere you may want to live.

 

As an HVAC technician, you’ll develop heating, ventilation, refrigeration, electrical, and air conditioning skills. As you progress in your career, you may find opportunities to specialize your skills to become an expert in one area or even start your own business.

 

Thorough training for a career in HVAC is possible in as few as ten months, making it a great choice for anyone who is not interested in getting a traditional four-year degree. Hardworking HVAC technicians may see opportunities for quick growth and advancement as technology continues to develop and change. With a career in HVAC, you’ll continually be challenged to grow your skills and solve new problems.

What are the Benefits of Becoming an HVAC Technician?

 

There are several benefits to becoming an HVAC Technician. Here are just a few:

 

HVAC technicians are in high demand. Technology is changing and adapting rapidly, and that includes the technology that helps cool and heats your home. Systems are being improved each day to be more efficient and cost-effective—something many businesses and homeowners want. As more people seek to invest in new cooling and heating technology, those with the skills to install and maintain these systems will be in high demand. The skills used as an HVAC technician will also make you a valuable employee for contractors, direct-selling establishments, hardware wholesalers, commercial equipment repair and maintenance, grocery stores, household HVAC repair and replacement companies, and even aerospace manufacturing companies.

 

A career as an HVAC Technician is never boring. HVAC Technicians learn a little bit of computers, electrical, and plumbing. When you encounter a problem, you’ll need to investigate to see which of these skills comes into play for that particular issue. The hunt for the solution and the satisfaction of getting it right make this career a new challenge every day. As you mature in your career, you may decide to focus on one component of HVAC work. Becoming an expert on one specialty can connect you to even greater career freedom.

 

Training is quick and affordable. Training to become an HVAC Technician can be completed at Florida Career College in as few as ten months. This means getting into a new career faster than with a traditional four-year college degree. This is a great option for someone looking to make a quick career change.

Why Choose FCC to Become an HVAC Technician?

Florida Career College is unique because of its support. Each student is assigned a designated admissions representative to help guide them through the program. They are available to answer all questions before you enroll. Once enrolled, you’ll work with experienced instructors who teach through a hybrid model of online lectures and hands-on lab work with live equipment.

 

Upon completion of the program, the Career Services Team at Florida Career College will assist with finding a full-time, entry-level career in the field. In addition, you may receive help writing a resume, filling out applications, and even setting up interviews. Our goal is to help students succeed!

 

What students are saying:

 

“I encourage people who want an education like this to just do it,” Charles, a student at FCC Margate said. “It’s something that, once you throw yourself into it, it may look like it’s an uphill battle, but it gets easier once you’re in it. If it’s something you can feel like you can get into, there’s no harm in trying.”

 

“The teachers there are the best I’ve ever had by far,” Antonio, a Pembroke Pines student, said. “Their attention to detail, the amount of attention they put into us – they were very thorough and easy to understand and follow. And, the hands-on experience … they were side-by-side with us every step of the way.”

 

“Our instructors are very driven to help you succeed. They try to expose my classmates and me to as much knowledge and experiences as possible in every lab and class,” Michael, a student in Tampa, said. “With all this exposure, I’ve seen a change in my confidence when working on any unit.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Some companies will hire and allow their employees to be trained on the job. However, many companies require certification before employment. If you’re looking to be more competitive in the market and receive training in a no-pressure environment, becoming HVAC certified through Florida Career College is a good idea. When you complete an HVAC program, you’ll learn all the skills necessary to become an entry-level HVAC Technician, and not just the general skills a specific employer wants you to know. You may even learn some skills other employees at the company don’t know yet, making you a more valuable employee all around. The qualifications to become an HVAC Technician vary by state, so the best way to begin this career at the highest level is through a trusted training program that offers hands-on lab work with real equipment and tools.