How To Break Into The HVAC Profession

The HVAC profession is one that is growing by leaps and bounds but it is not as easy as just deciding you want to be a contractor. It is important that you have the proper training prior to starting a career in the industry, but the best way to break into the profession is by knowing what the industry is about and then following the subsequent steps.

Career at a Glance

When you become an HVAC technician, you will be working with a home or business’s heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. You need to be able to read blueprints and use specialized tools. Some of the tools include metal cutters, meters, flow sensors, welding tools, and basic hand tools. The growth market is showing a steady trend and the business can be lucrative due to the specialized requirements.

Get the Education

It is important to remain in school if you want to have your own HVAC business. Training can start in high school, through shop and science classes. However, attending secondary training, which you can find at, will give you the ability to find clients easier because you have a degree to back up your certifications.

In addition to going to school, it is best to find a company that you can work for and get the hands-on training you will need. The HVAC industry is specialized and working with an experienced technician will help you learn shortcuts and insider information. With only your high school degree, you can start by cleaning furnaces or helping carry the supplies around. As you work with the technician, you will begin to learn how to cut pipes, check circuits, and do basic trouble shooting.

Become Certified

In order to have an HVAC business, you will need a certificate showing that you have the proper training and experience to be in business. Training programs vary in length, and many will offer the ability to participate in internships if you do not already have experience. The certification also shows that you know how to use the latest technology.

Consider an Apprenticeship

While working with an apprenticeship is not necessary, it will give you contacts that you would not have otherwise. An apprenticeship lasts between three to five years and gives you both in-class lessons and hands-on training. It is often a cheaper method to receive the training necessary to have your own business.

Obtain a License

Most states will require you to have a license to operate an HVAC business. To obtain a license, you will be required to take an exam following a training program, as well as have a few years of hands-on experience. There are also special licenses allowing you to work with refrigerants.

Once you have all of the training and documentation, networking is the key to building your business. Start small by working with other companies and get your name out there, and then consider doing work for friends and family so they will serve as references when you branch out on your own.