The requirements to become a certified HVAC technician include a high school diploma and receiving a certification from an accredited technical or vocational school. Requirements vary from state to state.
There are many vocational and trade schools that offer HVAC training and certification. There is no national uniform standard for HVAC technicians. While some states do require HVAC technicians to attend vocational school before becoming licensed, others do not. There are many different HVAC certification programs available to technicians who either require a certification or do not require a certification and simply wish become more educated on HVAC procedures.
Many certification organizations offer HVAC licensing. HVAC Excellence offers two certifications to aspiring technicians. One certification covers the core components of HVAC service and repair, while the other certification is a specialized master certification that requires hands-on training. The National Occupational Competency Testing Institute offers four different HVAC certifications administered through the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractor's National Association Educational Foundation.
Those that wish to obtain an EPA HVAC certification, which is required to handle refrigerant, must attend program that offers EPA HVAC certification training. These programs generally offer more advanced training than general HVAC certification programs, covering topics such as ozone depletion, the Clean Air Act, shipping and transporting chemicals safely, as well as requirements for repairing leaks.