If you’ve made up your mind to become an HVAC technician, it’s a wise choice. The HVAC industry is growing, and that should continue as HVAC systems become more complex and sophisticated. Skilled technicians will be needed to meet the demands, and those who have certifications will command the highest wages and can even choose better working conditions.
While certification might not be required in every state, there are good reasons to obtain it nonetheless. Here are some of the things you should know about certifications as you start in this exciting field:
What Does an HVAC Certification License Say About You?
A certification license indicates that you are a trained and qualified HVAC technician. You have passed the exams and can perform installations and repair tasks within your state. Here are just some of the benefits you’ll get by becoming certified:
- You will have a substantial advantage in the job market
- Your earning potential will increase
- You’ll have the opportunity to work on larger projects as you enhance your skills
- It will give you credibility with your clients if you decide to become a contractor
As the HVAC industry grows and attracts more people, you will always be a step ahead of the competition if you are certified.
There are Several Types of HVAC Certificates
The Section 608 Technician Certification—more commonly referred to as EPA HVAC Certification—is required by the Environmental Protection Agency to handle refrigerants. Incorrect use of refrigerants can damage or destroy HVAC equipment, lead to injuries, and cause severe environmental damage.
There are four types of EPA certifications for refrigerants:
- Type I: servicing small appliances
- Type II: servicing or disposing of high-pressure appliances, except small appliances and MVACs (motor vehicle air conditioning)
- Type III: servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances
- Universal: covers and tests on all three types
There is also a certification from North American Technician Excellence (NATE), a non-profit organization that offers nationally recognized certification programs for HVAC technicians. Because of the practical qualities of the NATE certification process, it is the ideal way for technicians to confirm their knowledge.
How Do You Become Certified?
Here are the HVAC certification requirements:
- You’ll need to earn a high school diploma or GED equivalent, depending on your state
- You can receive an HVAC certificate from an accredited trade school or program. Once again, it depends on your state.
- You can get your HVAC license from the state in which you plan to work
- You can pass certification exams for different types of HVAC careers
If you are qualified and have the experience, you should have no trouble getting your certification. Whether you started by attending college or you went through an apprenticeship program, you can become certified.
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