CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become an HVAC technician.

Step 1

Is becoming an HVAC technician right for me?

Step One Photo

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

Overview
What do HVAC technicians do?
Career Satisfaction
Are HVAC technicians happy with their careers?
Personality
What are HVAC technicians like?

Still unsure if becoming an HVAC technician is the right career path? to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an HVAC technician or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to become a Hvac Technician

Because HVAC systems are increasingly complex, employers generally prefer applicants with technical training or those who have completed a formal apprenticeship. Some jurisdictions require technicians to be licensed.

A growing number of HVAC technicians receive training from technical and trade schools or community colleges that offer programs in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. These programs generally last six months to two years and can lead to a certificate or an associate’s degree. High school students interested in becoming HVAC technicians should take courses in shop, math, and physics. Some knowledge of plumbing or electrical work and a basic understanding of electronics can be helpful.

Other HVAC technicians learn their trade on the job, although this is becoming much less common. Informally trained technicians usually begin by assisting experienced technicians with basic tasks, such as insulating refrigerant lines or cleaning furnaces. In time, they move on to more difficult tasks, including cutting and soldering pipes or checking electrical circuits.

Many technicians receive their training through a formal apprenticeship. Applicants for apprenticeships must have a high school diploma or general equivalency degree (GED). Math and reading skills are essential. Apprenticeship programs normally last three to five years, and combine paid on-the-job training with technical instruction. Over the course of the apprenticeship, technicians become familiar with subjects such as safety practices, blueprint reading, and how to use tools.

How to become an Hvac Technician

Because HVAC systems are increasingly complex, employers generally prefer applicants with technical training or those who have completed a formal apprenticeship. Some jurisdictions require technicians to be licensed.

A growing number of HVAC technicians receive training from technical and trade schools or community colleges that offer programs in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. These programs generally last six months to two years and can lead to a certificate or an associate’s degree. High school students interested in becoming HVAC technicians should take courses in shop, math, and physics. Some knowledge of plumbing or electrical work and a basic understanding of electronics can be helpful.

Other HVAC technicians learn their trade on the job, although this is becoming much less common. Informally trained technicians usually begin by assisting experienced technicians with basic tasks, such as insulating refrigerant lines or cleaning furnaces. In time, they move on to more difficult tasks, including cutting and soldering pipes or checking electrical circuits.

Many technicians receive their training through a formal apprenticeship. Applicants for apprenticeships must have a high school diploma or general equivalency degree (GED). Math and reading skills are essential. Apprenticeship programs normally last three to five years, and combine paid on-the-job training with technical instruction. Over the course of the apprenticeship, technicians become familiar with subjects such as safety practices, blueprint reading, and how to use tools.