Becoming HVAC Certified

How do you become HVAC certified? It is a process. It takes time, money, and hard work. But being certified will make you stand out to employers and clients. Follow this blueprint and become HVAC certified.

Heating, Ventilation, air-conditioning technicians are in high demand. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects job prospects in this field to be excellent. Employers are seeking those with advanced training and certification.

Many technical schools and community colleges offer training and certification courses.

Enroll in a training program that is recognized by the North American Technician Excellence board. NATE exams and programs have become the industry standard for delivering qualified technicians. These programs will prepare you to pass the certification exams and enhance your HVAC career.

Completing training and certification usually takes 6 months to 2 years. You will be trained in both mechanical and electrical systems. You will learn how to read mechanical drawings, repair electronics, care for tools, and maintain safety procedures. These courses may be taken online or in the traditional classroom setting. To get the best education it’s important to apply what you learn. Assisting experienced technicians or applying for apprenticeships will help develop your skills.

Apprenticeships are usually required before certification. They provide paid on the job training and sometimes classroom instruction.

Apprenticeships are usually required before certification. They provide paid on the job training and sometimes classroom instruction. These programs can last up to 4 years. Unions such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America or the Mechanical Contractors Association of America sponsor apprenticeship programs. You will face real challenges and work with real clients. You will learn the skills necessary to work as a technician. To be licensed, some states also require apprenticeship experience. Having completed an apprenticeship, you will be considered a skilled trade worker. This experience will give you the real life knowledge you need to pass your certification exams.

There are many certification exams. Check to see which exams are accepted or required to work in your state. Exams vary depending on expertise and experience level. Make sure and enroll in the course that correlates directly with your desired certification exam. The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute offer an Industry Competency Exam. The Secondary Employment Ready Exam and the Secondary Heat and Heat Plus exams are available through HVAC Excellence. Secondary exams are also available through the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute. North American Technician Excellence board exams are the most reputable.

For NATE exams, you should pass the Core exam before taking the Specialty exam to become certified. The Core exam consists of fifty questions. It covers electrical, heat transfer, and safety fundamentals. The specialty exam is one hundred questions that cover installation, service, system components, and codes. Choose a specialty exam that matches the equipment and systems you work on. Exams cost about $250 each. You can take multiple specialty tests and become certified in more than one system. Testing sessions usually last about 4 hours.

Technicians generally must be recertified every 5 years. Technicians need to be up to date with new and advancing technology. After five years you must either complete sixty education hours or retake your specialty exam.

Becoming HVAC certified is possible. Simply enroll in an accredited program, gain experience, and pass the certification exam. As a certified HVAC technician you will have the potential to earn more money and advance your career.

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