How to Become an HVAC Tech


No one thinks about their heating or air conditioning units until they quit working. When a residence or office building becomes too cold or too hot, there is an immediate call placed to an HVAC tech.

HVAC (Heating,Ventilation and Air Conditioning) techs will always be in demand any time of year and in every part of the country. It’s a steady, year around job with competitive pay and plenty of room for advancement. If this sounds like an interesting career path to you, read on to discover how to become an HVAC tech.

Job Description

Being an HVAC tech will entail knowing all aspects installation, repairing and replacing HVAC systems.

HVAC tech is an umbrella term for repairing and servicing heating and cooling systems. There are several specialty branches of services that come under the umbrella term which can include being part of a contractors team and installing systems in new builds only, or servicing either air conditioning units or heating units only.

Dependability, physical strength and the ability to interact with people from all walks of life are also needed for success in this industry.


A high school diploma (or equivalent) will be needed. That basic education will need to be followed up by either more formal education, like an accredited HVAC programs, or an apprenticeship where you can receive on-the-job training.

Even after formal education, there will be on-the-job training to go through prior to becoming a certified HVAC tech. The needed education/training will take 1-3 years to complete, after that there are several career options to choose from.

You can advance through the HVAC industry with continuing education and certification to reach whatever level you want during your career.


Organizations that offer HVAC apprenticeships are: The Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Inc.; The Associated Builders and Contractors; and The US Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship USA program. These apprenticeships are paid positions, however, salary will vary.


The most popular types of HVAC certifications are offered by National Technical Institute HVAC Training Las Vegas, the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA), the North American Technician Excellence (NATE), and HVAC Excellence.

The certifications from these organizations range from general to specialized to accredited. Which certification to pursue is up to you and the goals your have in the HVAC industry.

More information about the various certifications available can be found on the HVAC credentials page.