Apprenticeship? Home Study? Classroom?
If you are thinking about becoming an HVAC technician you will be wondering about how long this will take you. There are three routes that you can take to become a technician before you are able to apply for an HVAC license. The route that you take will determine the length of time that you need to spend on your qualification.
On The Job Training
If you have a high school diploma you can start your HVAC training by helping a trained and experienced technician. Start with a simple web search for HVAC companies in your area. With that information, refine the search, for example: World Class AC Repair and Installation. This will get you a list of companies that perform the services you want to learn. It’s an informal route to take and you will generally have to start at the very bottom with carrying materials and insulating lines.
In time you will move up to more important tasks such as soldering sheet metal and checking electrical circuits. If you choose this route you will need to look at HVAC self-study courses at the same time and the length of your training will vary depending on the technician you shadow and your self-study.
Get A Degree Or Certification
Another route you can take is to earn an HVAC certification or enroll in a degree program at a college. These programs will usually take between 6 months to 2 years to complete. Most certifications are a combination of class time and practical experience in labs to understand the techniques you will be using. Some of these programs will also offer access to internships for on the job experience.
Participate In An Apprenticeship
There are a lot of HVAC apprenticeship programs available from local HVAC associations. The apprenticeship will generally last 3 to 5 years and is a combination of on the job training and classroom time. These courses will cover everything you need to be an HVAC technician including how to read blueprints, the use and care of tools and the design of air conditioning systems.
Obtaining A License
To become a qualified HVAC technician you will need to get a license. The requirements for the license will vary depending on the state you are looking to work in. However, most licenses will require either the completing of a training program or an accumulated work experience of 2 to 5 years. In order to get the license, you will need to meet the requirements and pass an examination.
The content of the examination will vary, but generally, covers general HVAC knowledge and knowledge of the relevant electrical codes. If you are going to be handling refrigerants you will need to pass a special refrigerants certification exam for the type of appliances you will be working with. There are 3 classes of certification with Type 1 for small appliances, Type 2 for high-pressure systems and Type 3 for low-pressure systems.
The average length of time that it takes to become a qualified HVAC technician is between 2 to 5 years. The amount of time will depend on the route you are taking as a training program could take less time than an apprenticeship. Of course, you will need to verify what the requirements are for the license exam to be sure.