The HVAC industry is estimated to be around $367.5 billion in 2030.  The demand in the HVAC industry is rising as it’s growing at a CAGR of 6.3%.

The HVAC technicians are performing the real-ground work to handle the rising demand in the industry and helping the customers get their desired HVAC services.

Many individuals are looking to work as independent contractors but are unaware of the nitty-gritty aspects of how to become an HVAC technician.

If you have the same queries and doubts. Don’t worry.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is an HVAC Technician?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning professionals handle the on-ground work in the industry. The HVAC technician handles the HVAC installation, provides regular maintenance services, and manages overall HVAC systems.

HVAC technicians are well-versed in managing the air conditioner and heating systems’ procurement, installation, and repair.

Here’s what an HVAC technician can do.

  • Testing

Professional HVAC technicians are experts in testing different heating and air conditioning units, components, and circuits to ensure smooth installation and repair work in the residential or commercial job site.

The testing involves using different HVAC testing tools that can minimize the effort and time of the HVAC technicians and deliver precise and accurate results.

  • Installation

HVAC technician has the knowledge and skills to install heating and air conditioning, climate control, and refrigeration systems. Based on the client’s requirements, the technicians and the testing can plan the installation process. 

HVAC system installation includes inspecting the existing system and taking measurements for installing the modern one with finesse. Residential HVAC services require less time, effort, and complexity than commercial projects. 

An HVAC technician’s work involves checking the de-installation of the existing HVAC system, capacity inspection, and proper system size. 

  • Maintenance and Servicing

The HVAC technician provides maintenance services and inspections that focus on checking pipes for testing thermostats, and leakage, refilling refrigerant, inspecting motors and fans, testing electric circuits, and cleaning air ducts for increased efficiency.

The routine maintenance work of HVAC technicians includes changing HVAC air filters for different HVAC systems and handling all doubts and queries to ensure a quality customer experience.

  • Troubleshooting and Repair Work 

The HVAC technicians can troubleshoot different components to spot the areas for improvement and faults in the existing HVAC system. It can help deliver a quality customer experience and ensure no stones are left unturned.

  • Sales

A professional HVAC technician has experience in upselling different products and services during the site inspection and can increase the overall project requirements and revenue.

Good communication and sales skills can help boost the profits from the service job and make the customers aware of problems they didn’t know about. 

It can showcase the HVAC technicians’ credibility and help deliver a quality customer experience. 

But for becoming a professional on-ground HVAC technician, there are a few requirements.

Have a look.

Basic Requirements to Become an HVAC Technician

The basic requirements for becoming a quality HVAC technician may vary, but we have filtered the most important factors.

1. High school degree or equivalent

Being a high school student, you can get a head start on your HVAC education by choosing physics, math, and vocational education coursework. You can complete the high school shop course in basic electronics, plumbing, or electrical work that can clear the basics about HVAC-related work and sharpen your on-ground technical abilities.

Getting a high school diploma is ideal for strengthening the foundation of your HVAC career. In most states, the alternative to a high school degree is getting a GED for up to $150.

2. HVAC training program

A quality HVAC training program is great for honing technical skills and getting solid industry credibility by availing a certificate or college degree. You need to choose the subjects covered during the training, program costs, and time commitment to ensure that you get the best training based on your preference. 

The duration of the training is around six months and costs as little as $1,200. After the completion of the training periods, you are either rewarded with a certificate or an associate degree. However, degrees can take up to two years to complete and cost up to $7,500 on average.

You can also opt for bachelor’s degree programs for HVAC training, which are more expensive and less common among HVAC technicians in the industry.

The basic coursework for your HVAC training should include 

  • Understanding of tools like calibration instruments
  • Learnings about HVAC controls, like the voltage, air quality, and resistance
  •  Studies around commercial and residential HVAC systems

The training can clear the basic doubts and ensure you have the knowledge and creative thinking to solve different on-ground HVAC issues.

3. HVAC apprenticeship and experience

Completing the postsecondary education and an internship or HVAC apprenticeship can help gain the experience and the knowledge to deliver quality HVAC technician work results. 

The program can last for three to four years. The program involves on-the-job training that improves the technician’s credibility during the job interview.

Some apprenticeship programs also provide stipends that allow the new HVAC technician to earn a decent amount. HVAC technicians choose to avail such apprenticeships to add a tint of different skill sets that help them become industry savvy while blueprint reading, learning safety practices, and understanding tool applications.

4. Industry certifications and state licenses

Different states require HVAC professionals to hold certifications and licenses to work on HVAC jobs and deliver the required service to clients.

You must check the state regulations that can help to avoid legal issues in the future and streamline the onboarding of a commercial project. 

Sometimes getting a large-scale commercial air conditioning project requires a certification and license check, so you must apply for the required certifications.

Vocational schools, community colleges, and technical institutes offer programs ending in certification, but you must make a precautionary check before applying.

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is one of the industry-standard certifying agencies where you can apply for the required certification.

5. Complete additional degree or training programs

To increase your earnings and become a specialist in the HVAC field, you must improve your skills, continue your education, or complete additional degree programs.

You can try out different certification programs like

  • Unit ventilators
  • Commercial furnaces
  • Residential boilers
  • Heat pump pool heaters

The higher your education and knowledge bandwidth, the more jobs you can attract, and it can help you increase the flow of income.

Using these learnings, an HVAC technician can earn a decent salary for different HVAC technician jobs.

Here is the average certified HVAC technician salary breakdown.

HVAC Technician Salary

According to The BLS or Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC professionals earn competitive salaries for different positions. The job position that requires two years of post-secondary training or HVAC programs gets the highest salary packages.

There are 356,960 HVAC professional mechanics and installers in the country with an average salary of $54,690 annually.

The HVAC technician salaries depend on different factors like

  • Experience

With the increase in experience in managing different on-ground HVAC jobs, experienced HVAC techs can earn a higher payout amount. Solving more complex issues can minimize the efforts required to handle similar projects again which can help you deliver a quality customer experience.

An experienced technician possessing HVAC expertise is more in demand by HVAC business owners and clients to ensure there’s no lack of service delivered.

  • Geographic location

The location of the HVAC technicians also decides how much the individual can earn. Cities have a higher demand for HVAC work compared to rural areas, so HVAC technicians are offered more by air conditioning contractors to handle the installation and repair of HVAC systems.

The quality of HVAC technician training is better in urban areas, offering higher chances of getting a better salary package.

  • Technical and other skills

The overall skills enhanced by HVAC certified technician programs or other HVAC certificate programs play a significant role in deciding the pay scale of a professional.

The required mechanical skills, associate’s degree, and other soft skills to complete the HVAC technician work can help you take the right HVAC technician step in your career.

Showcasing your experience in the industry from different internships or apprenticeship programs provides you an extra edge compared to most HVAC technicians.

However, becoming a professional or developing your own HVAC business followed by turning into a skilled HVAC tech can be a long process.

How Much Time Is Required to Become an HVAC Technician?

Choosing a simple certificate program for repairing refrigeration systems takes six months of training.

Once the training is done from a community college or school, you require on-ground experience to apply the theoretical knowledge of using different HVAC technology, repairing air conditioning systems, or other specialized training.

It can take over three to four years to completely jump into the professional HVAC service delivery line and work from a top HVAC business in the country.

Also, if you decide to pursue a two years degree program, that can increase the time it takes to become a professional HVAC efficiency analyst or an on-field technician.

With the advancements in technology areas, you also need to keep learning about the new HVAC software in the industry that can increase your skill set and help you rise in the rankings as a professional technician.

Now that you understand the nitty-gritty aspects of becoming an HVAC technician, you must implement your learnings and ensure you build a successful career in the industry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is HVAC a great career option?

Yes. HVAC offers a great career option to an HVAC technician considering the number of career growth opportunities.

What are the soft and technical skills required for a professional HVAC technician?

You require different professional HVAC technician skills like handling commercial refrigeration, low-pressure systems, air distribution channels in the heating and cooling systems, and other technical knowledge to repair and install HVAC systems. You must also work on your communication, planning, problem-solving, and sales skills to improve the quality and overall customer experience.

How to become an HVAC service technician?

You need to join a vocational school, an apprenticeship program, or an HVAC certificate program that can help you gain the technical and practical knowledge of a successful HVAC technician job. You can also avail a professional degree of two years that can improve the quality of education and learning. You should use the learnings to work as an intern or in an HVAC company to learn the on-ground real-world complex scenarios. The real-world execution is different from the technical learning done in a class. Once done, you can climb the heights and become a professional HVAC service technician.

Is the HVAC technician’s job hard?

It depends. To be a successful HVAC technician requires multiple skills to help them deliver an end-to-end quality customer experience. From inspection to execution, from planning to sales, a professional HVAC technician should have an all-around skill set to stand out and rise in the industry. And if a technician doesn’t love the process, they’ll feel the job is hard. The HVAC technician job is easy and comfortable for those who love the everyday process and want to scale their career to new heights.

What’s the future of the HVAC industry?

The future of this industry is great because of the rising residential and commercial buildings. The demand for quality HVAC service providers and technicians is rising in the country and is expected to scale in the coming few years. Using professional and modern HVAC tools and expertise in the industry, you can deliver quality customer experience to the clients and grab the opportunity.

Become a Professional HVAC Technician

Implement the learnings to become a professional HVAC technician and get a job leading an HVAC service business or start your independent contractor business.

Using technical and software skills, you can stand out and bring your creativity to installing or repairing HVAC systems.

You should focus on gaining the experience and knowledge that increase income flow and help you become a leading HVAC-certified professional in the country.