What types of certifications are needed to work in HVAC?

The HVAC-R industry has put forth standards and regulations that technicians should comply with to perform quality work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. If you own your own business or plan to in the future, you will want to be aware of and abide by these guidelines to ensure your success.

After completing your online HVAC-R training program, you may choose to further your education by earning certification in specific areas of expertise. Through this type of testing, you can display your expert competencies while working in the HVAC industry.

The North American Technician Excellence organization, or NATE, offers certificates of excellence for those who are properly trained in specific areas. If you are new to HVAC and have less than six months of actual work experience, NATE offers a “Ready-to-Work” certificate designed for those just entering the industry. For those with six to twelve months of experience, you may opt to take the “HVAC Support Technician” exam.

After two years of field work experience, you may choose to test in specific professional level certifications, such as in air conditioning, air distribution, gas or oil heating, commercial refrigeration, HVAC efficiency and performance, just to name a few.

Another organization, called HVAC Excellence, also offers examinations that range from the basic level to master level certifications. Depending on your experience, you can take tests in areas that you are interested in pursuing.

Continued education is a must to grow within today’s world of technology and the field of HVAC is no exception. As you earn your certifications, they will need to be renewed periodically, along with, additional educational training.

As a HVAC Technician, you will need EPA Section 608 Certification, no doubt. To be in compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires this certification for all those handling refrigerants.  To obtain your EPA certification, you must pass a written exam testing your knowledge in handling the refrigerant appropriately, as well as, the best ways to protect the environment from refrigerant pollution.

The type of equipment that you work on may dictate which category of certification test you will want to take. Type I will allow you to work on small appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, in addition to, window air conditioners. Type II will allow the HVAC Tech to repair or service high-pressure air conditioning and heating units. Type III certification is necessary for working on low-pressure equipment like chiller units. If you will be working with all types of equipment, and eventually you probably will, you can obtain Universal certification that covers all types of refrigerants.

And finally, some areas of the country require HVAC Technicians to be licensed to do heating and air work. Please check with your state’s requirements to see if a license is needed.

Additional HVAC-R certifications are impressive. Employers will appreciate the extra effort you put forth in honing your skills. In fact, most employers do require certifications and your credentials will aid you in pursuing other lucrative opportunities, as well. Your customers will appreciate it, too. If you are interested in this career choice, please see our choices for the best Online Schools for HVAC-R Tech programs.