HVAC careers are a consistently necessary field of workers. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. As new commercial buildings are built, or old ones remodeled, they need HVAC technicians to install or fix their HVAC systems. Residential homes also need HVAC technicians to install or fix their HVAC issues. Many vocational schools offer HVAC certification after as little as 9 months of classes. This means getting into an entry level position in the HVAC field in less than one year after committing to the process.
California Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors, National Association (CAL SMACNA) is a non-profit statewide trade association that represents over 25,000 HVAC workers. They provide legislative and regulatory advocacy (along with other services) for HVAC and other similar building trades. Their goal is to unite the voices of the industry to benefit companies, employees, community and the industry. There are chapters across the state of California, with one chapter in Ventura, California. The Air Conditioning Trade Association is a trade association especially for air conditioning workers. Their self-defined goal is “To promote free enterprise Sheet Metal and HVAC Contractors”.
Poteltial HVAC Salary
HVAC service technicians in Riverside, California make an average of $21.70 per hour. They have a range running from the high teens ($17 per hour) to the high twenties ($29 per hour). Around half of HVAC service technicians receive dental, and many also have medical coverage included in their salary. It is not uncommon for HVAC technicians in California to receive a year-end bonus of around $1000. Pay generally starts at the lower end once you are have completed a program, and increases as your experience increases.
Senior HVAC Technicians make around $24 per hour.
Common names for a job in HVAC:
• HVAC Installation Technician
• Maintenance Technician, HVAC Certified
• HVAC Service Technician
• HVAC Controls Technician
• HVAC Engineer Technician
• Commercial HVAC Serviceman
Common job requirements in HVAC industry:
• Needed HVAC Experience
Higher end jobs or jobs with better salaries often require two years of experience in residential or commercial HVAC work. The necessity to prove that you have worked hands on, instead of just taken courses, is what they are looking for. Proof of ethical practices within the workplace, especially with HVAC work, is another bit of experience most companies look for. Being able to get the job done correctly and with ethical standards is necessary. Many HVAC companies in California are family owned, or small businesses. With that in mind, they can’t afford to have employees who tarnish their name as a business.
• Required HVAC Skills
Being EPA certified is necessary for HVAC jobs in California. Having the ability to clearly communicate is a skill every HVAC job is looking for. Whether it is through verbal, written, phone calls, or emails, they need people who can communicated effectively. Having a positive attitude may not seem like a skill, but it certainly is when looked at by businesses who are hiring new technicians. Since these are often customer facing businesses, and there value is not only on quality work but also on pleasant experiences for the customers, HVAC companies want employees who act professional and pleasantly even in difficult situations. Being punctual is important in any job, HVAC work included. Many HVAC companies will have company cars for you to use, meaning you don’t need to spend your own money to get from place to place. But you do still need to get there on time. And if you are going to be driving around in a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you, it is even more important to show respect to the people hiring you. Show you are punctual.
In California you don’t need a license to practice HVAC work. But you do need a license to own an HVAC business, or a business that works in HVAC. You also must have a license to do any HVAC contracts, so there must be at least one person on your team who can obtain a license for every contract you get. There are several requirements in order to receive a license to run an HVAC business in California. You must have at least three years of experience in HVAC, though five years is preferable and will help your case when applying. You must be at least eighteen years old to apply for a license. There is a required fee in the application. There is an examination process that you must go through in order to receive a license from the Contractors State License Board. You don’t need any specific schooling to take the examination required by the CSLB, but it is recommended. The education process will help you pass the exam, and helps with many on the job skills necessary for HVAC work. You can also take the test if you feel that you have enough knowledge from being an apprentice and then working a journeyman. While the state doesn’t require licensing to do HVAC work, many jobs require you to be EPA and ICE certified. Many technical schools who offer HVAC courses also offer chances to study for, and take the examinations required to obtain EPA and ICE certification.
HVAC Colleges & Schools in Riverside
UEI College at Riverside
UEI is a vocational school with a campus in Riverside, California. Located just west of I-215, they offer an HVAC program that lasts eleven months. The time is broken up into several modules. They focus on learning a skill in the classroom, then immediately applying it in a hands on situation. Their program includes education on installing units, repairs, and giving great customer service.
Intercoast College offers a program in HVAC education, helping students ready themselves for the certification examinations for both the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and ICE (Industry Competency Examination) certifications. They also focus on readying their students for immediately moving into the HVAC work world. The InterCoast College program works to prepare students to apply technical knowledge on installing, servicing, maintaining, and operating heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units. They teach both diagnostic techniques, and repair techniques for existing units, along with installation techniques for new units.