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The fact is, no one is too cool (or too hot) to become an HVAC technician. Oftentimes, it’s a career choice that falls off the radar, because it’s not all that glamorous at first glance. There’s nothing alluring about spending time in dusty basements, creepy crawl spaces or cobwebby attics unless you’re into that sort of thing. However, a career as an HVAC technician will give you financial stability, career growth and the ability to take your career anywhere in the U.S.

A Guide on How to Become an HVAC Technician and What the Job is Really Like

What Does an HVAC Technician Do?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC technicians work on installing, repairing and maintaining heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Due to training and licensing requirements related to air conditioning, HVAC technicians have the skills to work on refrigeration equipment as well. HVAC technicians work in both commercial and residential environments. As with most construction work, if you’re the one making repairs, the work can be physically demanding at times. Many HVAC technicians need to work in tight spaces and excessively hot or cold temperatures.

Why Would Anyone Want to Be an HVAC Technician?

The job may sound a little rough around the edges, but many people choose to become an HVAC technician because the job keeps you active and provides a stable, honest income. As an HVAC technician, you’ll always be on the move. HVAC equipment is noisy and unsightly, so it’s often hidden away in a closet, basement, attic or outdoors. This aspect of the job requires you to do a lot of climbing, squatting and heavy lifting. Every day as an HVAC technician is a full-body workout.
Also, a career as an HVAC technician requires you to be a fast, thorough problem solver. HVAC equipment is technical and can have complicated installations. You’ll also need to be someone who enjoys staying busy—there’s really no downtime when you’re an HVAC technician unless you live somewhere where the temperature is perfect all year round.
With the weather in the Midwest, you’ll be busy around the clock if you decide to stay in Kansas. If you’re considering a career as an HVAC technician, you’ll obviously need to be technically inclined and enjoy working with your hands. After you complete your training, expect to earn somewhere between $16 and $36 an hour, depending on your experience and skill. Best of all, you can earn that salary without the burden of college debt.

HVAC Technician Education and Training

One of the most common career paths to becoming an HVAC technician is through on-the-job training known as an apprenticeship. However, in order to qualify for most apprenticeships, you must have a high school diploma or GED.
An HVAC apprenticeship typically lasts around 3-5 years. These programs combine paid on-the-job training with some classroom learning. Not only do you get to learn a skill that you’ll be able to use for life, but you’ll get paid while you learn. Compare that to the cost of a typical 4-year college degree, and you’ll discover how quickly a career as an HVAC technician starts paying off. For more information about apprenticeship programs, click here.

Becoming Licensed

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you will need to pass your licensing test before you can begin working on your own. While there’s no statewide requirement for licensing in Kansas, you will need to pass a certification every two years if you plan to work in the Wichita area. According to Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department (MABCD), “When you renew your certificate, you will have to provide information on the class(es) you attended to show 12 hours of continuing education related to your specific trade, six hours of which will have to be on code related to your specific trade.” In many cases, you will also need an additional refrigeration certification to perform work on air conditioning and cooling systems.

Start Building Your Career as an HVAC Technician Today

When it comes to starting your career as an HVAC technician, getting started is the easy part—let Build-Pride help. We have the tools, knowledge, and industry connections to help you get your foot in the door. Contact us today to learn more.