HVAC Training Offers Good Career Prospects
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HVAC training involves understanding the basic features, installation, operation, and maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. HVAC systems can be found in residences, offices, commercial buildings, multi-storied apartments, etc.
A candidate who has undergone training in HVAC systems will have the knowledge to set up and maintain the generators, motors, compressors, and other related mechanical, electronic controls, and other systems that go hand in hand to keep the buildings and homes at a comfortable temperature, maintain proper humidity levels and keep the air quality healthy. The training is imparted through regular classroom sessions, as online programs, and through correspondence courses.
To become a HVAC technician, one can enroll for an accredited course offered by a technical or trade school or a community college. One should have completed high school to enroll for a course of this nature.
Duration of Training
The more extensive courses take 2 years to complete. There are certificate programs that get completed in half a year. HVAC mechanics currently employed also have the option of completing advanced courses or bachelor’s degrees through unions and associations. These courses can be completed on a part-time basis and take almost 4 years to finish. Apprenticeship courses last three to five years. These courses are completed under the supervision of an experienced and qualified HVAC technician. To become proficient in the trade, a qualified technician typically spends two years in the field.
The HVAC training comprises of subjects that include basic operation of generators, motor, compressors, heat exchangers, etc., plumbing basics, electrical design, basic engineering drawing and drafting, piping systems, their design and layout, study of refrigeration systems, thermostat and other electrical control systems, and soldering techniques. This list is not exhaustive.
The two- and four-year courses offer sufficient hands-on experience in the operation, installation, troubleshooting and maintenance of the components that make up an HVAC system. However, online courses require that the candidate works under the supervision of a certified technician as an intern or as an employee. A two-year HVAC course can cost up to $6,000 in the US. However, the course charges vary according to the course contents and duration.
A degree or a certificate holder in the HVAC trade has a better career graph than an apprentice. Some HVAC Schools include a final qualifying exam, quizzes, and a practical session for demonstration of the acquired subject knowledge. There are a series of examinations that a technician has to qualify for to become certified in the trade. Certification by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is acknowledged by contractors, service providers, and consumers in general for its standards of excellence. All technicians in the United States also have to undergo a certification procedure by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for which they have to pass a closed book examination.
The annual earnings of a technician are over $40,000 per year in the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the HVAC jobs opening for technicians in this field are expected to increase by 28% between 2008 and 2018.
Candidates who have undergone training in HVAC can also choose to specialize in a single area of interest to further their career.