What is a HVAC Certification and How Do I Get One?
From installing air conditioners to fixing heat pumps or working at residential sites to construction sites, the HVAC industry is full of opportunity and variety. But it requires education, specific skills, and above all, the proper certification to perform the job correctly and safely. HVAC certification is part of this process.
What is a HVAC certification? It is more than just completing a level of education. Rather, it is a level of education that is in addition to obtaining your HVAC license, which is needed to work as an HVAC contractor in Texas. Your HVAC certification indicates that you have obtained a certain level of knowledge and expertise in a defined area of HVAC, or have taken extra training or coursework to gain more knowledge in a specific subject.
Before you can obtain your HVAC certification, you should obtain a certificate in HVAC training. Accredited vocational colleges, such as the Southern Careers Institute, offer programs that you can complete in less than a year that provide both the coursework and apprenticeship to help you get started. You will learn about topics such as air conditioning technology, refrigeration systems, EPA regulations, troubleshooting HVAC systems, green technology, and more.
After you have obtained your certificate as an HVAC technician, you then need to obtain your license to work in Texas. To qualify for them licensing exam, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Provide proof that you have had at least 36 months of relevant hands-on experience
You will need to pay a fee to apply to take your licensing exam. If your application is approved, you will be notified and a date for your exam will be arranged. Note that Texas has two classes of license: Class A lets you to work on units of any size, while Class B permits you to work with cooling systems that are 25 tons or less, and heating systems up to a maximum of 1.5 million BTUs an hour. You can take your licensing exam as often as needed within one year of your application, but you will need to pay your fee each time. Once you pass this exam, you will be licensed to offer HVAC services.
What is a HVAC certification and how do you get it? Requirements depend on the type of certification you want and the group who is offering the certification. For example, some certifications require you to take a single course while another may need you to pass a test that can cover a variety of topics. Others dictate that additional hands-on training and an exam are needed. In other instances, you may need a certain period of relevant and verifiable work experience along with a skills demonstration. Topics can include carbon monoxide safety, system diagnostics, use of certain refrigerants, oil heat, green technology awareness, and EPA regulations. Always check with the group that is offering the certification to ensure that you are aware of all the requirements needed to obtain the certification you are seeking.
A Final Note
Being an HVAC technician is a necessary and rewarding career – and one with many possibilities. What is a HVAC certification? It is a fantastic way for you to engage your professional interest while ensuring that your business thrives.
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