Aspiring heating, ventilating and air conditioning technicians must earn a high school diploma or General Education Development certification, complete an apprenticeship or training program, obtain an HVAC license and obtain Environmental Protection Agency certification. HVAC service technicians install and service HVAC units in residential and commercial buildings.
All HVAC service technicians must have a high school diploma or GED. Useful courses to study in school include chemistry, computer science, physics and math. Some schools offer vocational training or shop classes applicable to HVAC service.
After completing basic education, there are different routes to becoming an HVAC technician. Assisting an experienced technician is one way to learn the basics of the trade, and assistants can move up to more skilled practices in time. Many local HVAC contractor associations offer apprenticeship programs that combine classroom and on-the-job training. Official certification courses are offered through community colleges and trade schools. These programs focus on classroom instruction and last between six months and two years.
In many states, HVAC technicians must obtain official licensure to work legally. This typically requires taking a written examination, completing a training program or gaining a certain level of work experience. HVAC technicians who work with refrigerants must also pass an EPA certification exam. There are three types of EPA certification depending on the type of HVAC systems a technician plans to service.