How to Become an HVAC Technician

Learn how to become an HVAC technician. Find information on courses, training, certification, job growth and salary. View popular HVAC schools that prepare students for careers as residential and commercial HVAC technicians.

Students interested in becoming a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician may opt to enroll in either a diploma or certificate program. Either program may take several months to complete and may provide students with a solid foundation in HVAC basics. Students may also learn how to recognize and utilize the tools, equipment, and materials needed to perform maintenance on HVAC systems. Popular HVAC courses may include the following:

  • Refrigeration Systems
  • Fundamentals of HVAC
  • HVAC System Design and Installation
  • Ductwork and Piping Systems
  • Facilities Management


Individuals who wish to become HVAC mechanics and installers may gain on-the-job training through apprenticeships or by working alongside experienced technicians. They may assist with basic tasks, including cleaning furnaces and installing refrigerant lines. Apprenticeships are common and individuals may obtain on-the-job training with technical instruction. During the time of the apprenticeship, students may learn about safety practices, blueprint reading, and tool usage. The National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors or Air-Conditioning Contractors of America may recognize these programs.

License & Certification

HVAC technicians may complete several tests to measure their skills different levels of experience. Technicians may qualify for three separate certifications, depending upon the types of HVAC systems they work on, as well as a universal certification, where they may operate various HVAC systems, refrigerants, and units. Most HVAC technicians also have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 8 Certification, which allows them to work with a refrigerant without negatively affecting the environment. In addition, some states require that HVAC technicians have licensure, although the specific licensure requirements vary by state.

Job Outlook & Salary

Upon graduation, students may find HVAC careers working in residential homes, office buildings, hospitals, stores, and factories where they install or repair systems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for HVAC mechanics and installers are expected to increase by 34% from 2010-2020. In addition, the BLS reported that the median annual salary was $42,530 as of May 2010.

Recommended Schools

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Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Locations:  NorfolkRichmond

Get a hands-on education at Lincoln Tech. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.


  • Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Locations:  Columbia


If you enjoy working with your hands and are looking for a rewarding career, contact Advanced Technology Institute, located in Virginia Beach, VA!

ATI offers NATEF/ASE Master Certified Automotive Technology programs, is approved for Veterans, and is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Financial Assistance is available for those who qualify and graduate employment services are also offered.


  • HVAC and Refrigeration w/ Service Management - Associate's
  • HVAC and Refrigeration - Diploma
Locations:  Virginia Beach