We know there are lots of you considering a career in HVAC-R based on the hundreds of thousands of views on videos talking about the subject. So we’ve made a guide to help you decide which path to take to achieve your career goals.
We’ll begin this mini-series by first talking about the four common paths you can take to become an HVAC technician!
Trade School and College
One of the ways to get into HVAC-R is to attend a trade school or college program. There are two lanes within these programs: earn a certificate or an associate’s degree in technology. Relative to other college programs, these programs tend to be very affordable, can be completed quickly, and put you in a position to land a job almost immediately after graduation.
Paid Company Training
Another option is to go through a private company’s paid training program. These are somewhat rare, but if you look hard enough and are willing to travel a little bit, you could find a program. Companies that offer these programs will have you sign a contract and pay you to come to their facility and attend lectures and do exercises in a training lab.
These programs can be Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 4 PM, and last 30 – 90 days. Towards the end of the program, you’ll take a federal government test called the EPA 608 and receive an EPA 608 certificate if you pass. And if you prove competent on the machines, you’ll be guaranteed a position at the company.
You can also join your local union for paid classroom and on-the-job training. What we’ve noticed is that unions tend to exist in or around major cities, so if you’re in a small town, this option may not be available to you.
In other trades, like electrical and plumbing, there’s an official progression workers go through: apprentice, journeyman, and master. However, this progression doesn’t exist in HVAC-R yet. So you can move up the ranks as quickly as you’d like; in year one, you could be making 35k, and in year three or four, you could be making 100K.
Lastly, you can go and work at a private company and learn on the job under an experienced technician. This can be tough, especially if there isn’t a set curriculum, but for those who are naturally talented and are willing to study on their own, this can be a great option.
At Absolute Heat & Air, we’re always open to talking with talented HVAC technicians who want to join our team. So if you’re in Northwest Arkansas or Northern Texas, contact us here!