Looking to get a better job and increase your earning potential in the HVAC industry? Getting your HVAC certification can open up many new job opportunities for you to explore. Getting your certification will require some time in the classroom, apprenticeship experience, as well as taking the written certification exam. In as little as 6 months, you can be on your way to your new career as an HVAC technician! This article will outline the types of certifications you can get, as well as how to get them.
EPA 608 Certification
The first certification you need to know about is the EPA 608 certification. In order to comply with the Clean Air Act, this qualification is required by law for all HVAC technicians. There are 3 different types of certification that you receive, and each one demonstrates your ability to maintain and service a different kind of refrigerant appliance. Type I allows you to service “small appliance” refrigerant devices. With a Type II, you can work on “high-pressure” devices. Type III allows you to work on “low-pressure” devices. There is also a Universal type which certifies you in all 3 types of appliances. You can take the 608 certification test for all Types mentioned above at any of the approved testing locations listed on the EPA website.
NATE National Certification
A second test that you should consider is through the NATE (North American Technician Excellence) organization. NATE offers several different HVAC certifications, each testing the same body of core Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning knowledge, as well as different speciality skills. Specialty exams are available in areas such as Air Conditioning, Heat Pumps, Oil Heating, Light Commercial Refrigeration, and HVAC Efficiency Analyst. As the name indicates, NATE certifications are recognized nationally, and they are a great addition to your resume. As with the EPA 608, NATE has a list of approved testing location listed on their website where you can take the certification tests.
Grabbing that certification is the final goal, but there’s some work to do before you get there! These certifications often require or at least recommend a few additional things before you take the written test. The first requirement is that you must have at least a high school diploma. After that, community colleges and technical schools offer HVAC educational programs ranging from 6 months to a year in length, which will give you a good foundation of knowledge in order to take the test. It is also recommended that you either have some work experience in the HVAC field, or that you pursue an apprenticeship to get acquainted with the job first-hand. Once you’ve completed these tasks, you’ll be ready to take the HVAC certification tests and finally take control of your career!