How to Become an HVAC Technician

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. As the abbreviation suggests an HVAC technician deals with the installation, maintenance and repairing of refrigerators, heaters and cooling systems in both industrial as well as residential buildings. This is a highly paid profession in the United States, with hundreds of young technicians entering the field each year. If you are living in a state which has extreme weather, this can be one of the most demanding fields. In order to become a certified HVAC technician in North America, you will have to complete the Air-Conditioning Excellence or North American Technical Excellence program.


  • 1

    High school diploma

    The first step towards becoming an HVAC technician is to get a high school diploma; otherwise, you will have to appear in an equivalency examination. By opting to train at a trade school or a community college, you will become a very strong contender to become an HVAC technician.

  • 2

    Seek a beginner’s position

    Once you get the initial training, you should look to find a job as an entry-level helper position in a company which possesses a HVAC installation certificate. Keep in mind that you will have to work on an extremely low wage initially; however, once you learn the trade, you can always move up.

  • 3

    Learn as you work

    About a decade back, most of the HVAC technicians did not get any formal education. No matter how much hard work you have put in while studying, there is no substitute to learning while working. You need to closely observe the work of your seniors and how they approach their tasks. If you want to excel in your field, you must enjoy working and do not take it as a burden.

  • 4

    Specialized training

    From a vocational school or a community college, you need to get in-class training in the field of refrigeration, heating and air conditioning. These general programs will become the foundation for more specialized education, which will allow you to have a deeper look at the whole HVAC process. The length of such cases can vary from two semesters to a couple of academic years.

  • 5


    You should try to find a job in an organization that offers formal apprenticeships to its employees. Such apprenticeships usually include classroom instructions with on the job training. By completing the apprenticeship, you will become a certified HVAC technician. Otherwise, you will have to meet the requirements for professional designation by the North American Technician Excellence program.

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