The role of an HVAC technician is primarily installation, repair, and maintenance of heating and cooling systems. As an HVAC technician, your job may involve commuting to different client residences every day. A certified professional is expected to address faults promptly. To become a licensed HVAC system professional, you will require the following certifications and skills.
HVAC System Technician Job Overview
HVAC equipment is a sophisticated system with many intricate components. You will be visiting various sites to examine broken or defective HVAC systems. Every day comes with a unique challenge, and you must have experience and training to complete the task on time.
Before you start training, you will need at least a high school diploma. Becoming an HVAC technician involves solving problems and fixing technical faults.
You must also be conversant with algebraic equations and basic calculations to estimate heating and cooling demands. You will regularly perform assessments of the equipment and the building’s heating load. The precision of the calculations can make the difference between an efficient and an overworking system.
You’ll also need to be conversant with physics and chemistry concepts. HVAC technicians are frequently required to troubleshoot refrigeration systems. Knowledge of electrical circuits is also crucial for a career in the HVAC Industry.
HVAC systems regulations can vary across jurisdictions. Technicians must install and repair systems in compliance with the state rules. Understanding these requirements is another crucial part of the HVAC training and certification process.
Acquire Training and Certification
HVAC training is the first step towards becoming a licensed technician. The faster route is to get a certificate, which you can complete in six months. The certificate program primarily focuses on diagnostic training and repair of HVAC systems.
Certificate training may involve handling various tools for HVAC systems. You will become familiar with carbon monoxide detectors, meters, and monitoring instruments. Technicians are often busy in the workshop customizing components for installations.
Trainees can expect to learn about technical drawings or how to read blueprints. You’ll learn to work with pipe cutters and hand seamers useful for both plumbing and HVAC system repair.
You may also complete a two-year degree program or a four-year Bachelor’s degree. The advanced training includes additional technical aspects of the job and elective studies. However, a certificate program is sufficient to get certified in California.
However, advanced training opens up more opportunities to work in many industries that require HVAC system technicians. You can send your job application to us at We Care Plumbing, Heating & Air in Temecula.
Undergo an Apprenticeship Program
After completing training, you’ll have to undergo an apprenticeship program under a qualified HVAC technician. In California, you need to complete 144 hours of formal instructions and 2000 hours of fieldwork. You can expect the program to last up to five years.
Apprenticeship is organized by local Trade Unions and Industry Associations. The program allows you to gain valuable on-the-job experience while working under a professional. You can expect to earn about half of a full-time HVAC system technician’s salary. You can apply for an apprenticeship program if you have a high school diploma. You’ll first have to pass aptitude tests and an oral exam.
Trainees have to attend about two or three classes a week after work. Your choice of certification path will depend on your time commitments every week. You should understand the formal training requirements before undergoing an apprenticeship program.
Requirements for Refrigerant Certification
HVAC technicians must be proficient in handling various refrigeration systems for residential and commercial establishments. Refrigerants can be toxic to both the trainee and the environment. Safe disposal and control are crucial during maintenance, repair, and installation.
All technicians must pass the EPA 608 certification. The certification is issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to qualified HVAC system trainees. The EPA has four different categories of certification depending on the type of system. They include:
- Type I: certification for small appliances,
- Type II: for high or very high-pressure appliances
- Type III: for low-pressure systems
- Type IV: universal systems
The exam will evaluate your knowledge of different aspects of handling and disposing of refrigerant systems. The topics include cylinder identification, elimination of moisture, environmental impact, and general safety. An EPA-approved certification agency is responsible for overseeing the tests. But the EPA requires proctored exams to get the universal certification.
You can handle refrigerant systems under an apprenticeship, even before getting the EPA 608 certification. But regulations require the trainee to be always under the supervision of a qualified professional. You can benefit by joining We Care Plumbing, Heating & Air in Temecula for technical training and incentive programs.
Other Certifications to Consider
Additional certifications are not mandatory to become a licensed professional. However, they demonstrate your skills and boost your status in the job market.
NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification is one of the most recognizable certifications in the HVAC industry. The non-profit offers four categories of certification depending on your skills and experience.
Ready-to-Work Certification is for entry-level technicians with at least six months of experience. The test evaluates understanding of tools, components, units, and general safety. Technicians with six months to one year on the job can take the HVAC Support Technician certification test.
To be NATE certified, technicians must pass the exams with at least a 70% score or higher. The certification expires after two years. Applicants can reapply through the official website by completing a series of tests and paying the necessary fees.
You can become NCI certified by working for a certified company in Temecula, such as We Care Plumbing, Heating & Air. NCI is an organization that provides training to companies offering HVAC system services.
The purpose of NCI certification is to evaluate the staff’s capacity to deliver value, quality, and performance. Prerequisites for entry-level trainees include basic HVAC system certification and energy-field experience.
People Skills and Customer Service
While formal training on HVAC equipment and the refrigerant system is essential, soft skills are also beneficial for technicians. Fixing heating and cooling involves more than just repairs and installation. You must be comfortable communicating with clients honestly and respectfully.
A well-spoken, punctual, and charming professional makes customers happy. As such, soft skills ensure the technician projects the best image for the company.
Successful HVAC technicians will require creative thinking, teamwork, and conflict resolution skills. Your ability to socialize with clients and work colleagues can improve your career prospects.
An HVAC system professional ought to remain calm even with all the demands from the clients. Empathy and patience allow technicians to see the problem from the client’s perspective. That way, it is easier to address issues faster and solve them conclusively.
The job experience offers trainees the opportunity to learn soft skills in a real-work environment. During the apprenticeship, you will interact with customers, supervisors, and co-workers. Be open to feedback and listen to other experienced professionals. Always apply what you learn and adjust your habits to boost your career prospects.
We Care Plumbing, Heating & Air HVAC has an A+ rating with the BBB and proudly serves Temecula and the surrounding areas. As Mitsubishi’s preferred diamond contractor, we offer furnace and AC repair, maintenance, and installation services. Our plumbing services include drain cleaning, water treatment, faucet installations, and septic tank solutions. Contact our NATE and NCI-certified team for more information about our company.