What training is required to be an HVAC technician?
Air conditioning repair service in Phoenix requires licensing for technicians in their specific practice. These categories are divided into residential, commercial, and dual-practice residential/commercial specialties. In order to receive a state license for each of these, a two-part exam must be passed. These include a wide range of knowledge specific questions. The exam taker must also have 4 years of documented HVAC experience and pay a significant licensure fee. How do they get this experience though? There are many paths.
Technician training depends on their specialty.
In the state of Arizona, there are 8 different designations for an HVAC technician.
- Commercial Engineering Contracting
- General Commercial Contracting
- Specialty Commercial Contracing
- General Residential Contracting
- General Dual License Contracting
- Specialty Dual License Contracting
- Specialty Commercial Contracting
- Specialty Residential Contracting
What do they learn in order to specialize?
Just like at a four-year university, HVAC technicians choose which classes they take. These prepare them for their area of focus, either residential, commercial, or both. Many technicians choose to focus on a single specialty and may undergo additional training later on in their career. Just some of the things they’ll learn are:
- Electrical circuits and control schematics.
- Mathematics behind air flow and pressure.
- Boiler operating procedures and standards.
- AC system regulations and standards.
- Air distribution system maintenance.
- HVAC troubleshooting and repairs.
- System component operation and inspection.
- Use of system diagnostic tools and equipment.
- Leak detection and refrigerant regulations.
- Schematic reading and wiring diagram creation.
Where do HVAC technicians learn these skills?
Many HVAC technicians go to trade school.
There is an abundance of HVAC trade schools. These fall into two distinct categories:
- Online trade school may be based anywhere in the country. They offer flexibility but lack hands on training and experience. Because the HVAC industry is a hands-on profession, it can be difficult for online students to find an apprenticeship afterward.
- In-state trade schools throughout Arizona. These schools provide in-depth, hands-on, and state specific training. That’s important. The lifespan of HVAC systems varies by state. This is because of unique weather conditions, seasonal changes, and other factors.
Some HVAC technicians learn on the job.
Skills can be entirely learned on the job. This is typical of family-owned businesses. A senior HVAC technician will teach a younger one the skills they need to know on-site. This is just as informative a path, if not more so. Imagine working with a teacher 24/7. These technicians learn trade tips and advice that is closed off to unapprenticed technicians. If they want to pass their certification exams, they still have to gain the correct knowledge as well.
Now that you know some of the training specifics for an HVAC tech, you may be wondering how long an air conditioner system should run.