As indicated by their job title, HVAC technicians are experts in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. HVAC technicians have essential and highly sought after skills that make them competitive in the workplace. HVAC technicians are needed in many different places and contexts, and can find work in schools, hospitals, office buildings, factories, homes, and stores. While most HVAC technicians work for contracting companies, being self-employed is a very real possibility once you become experienced in this dynamic and growing field.
HVAC technicians have many different responsibilities. These tradespeople professionally repair and install HVAC systems, using design specifications or blueprints. They connect systems to air ducts, water and fuel supply lines, and other components, and carry out installations of electrical controls and writing, ensuring they conduct tests to ensure that they are working properly. HVAC technicians conduct inspections and carry out maintenance of their customers’ HVAC systems. These tradespeople determine which repairs are necessary through testing individual components, and are responsible for the repair and replacement of defective and worn parts. HVAC technicians also test to find out the energy use of HVAC systems, and provide recommendations with regard to their efficiency maximization.
All HVAC technicians are qualified to carry out the installation, maintenance, and repair of air conditioning and heating systems. Some of these tradespeople decide, however, to specialize in one of the three areas alone (installation, maintenance, or repair). Other possible areas of specialization include testing and balancing, solar panels, and radiant heating systems. If you eventually decide to choose to work in a single area of specialization, you will likely want to choose an area that will help you thrive in the place (for example city or town) in which you have chosen to work.
As an HVAC technician, you will always be required to adhere to government regulations with respect to recycling, conservation, and recovery of refrigerants. These regulations cover the questions of disposal of fluids and pressurized gasses, as well as their proper handling. You will be required to utilize a number of different tools. Examples include pipe cutters, screwdrivers, wrenches, and a number of other basic hand tools when you carry out system installation. When testing and installing system components, HVAC technicians use tools such as acetylene torches, carbon monoxide testers, combustion analyzers, and voltmeters. Being an HVAC technician is an increasingly complex, demanding, skilled, and exciting career.
Most HVAC technicians work on a full-time basis, with many working weekend or evening shifts on occasion. As an HVAC technician, you will probably work irregular hours or overtime during the busiest cooling and heating seasons. Your willingness to take on overtime hours will help you maximize your earning potential. The majority of tradespeople in this field have jobs with construction contractors, while a small number (about 1 in 10) are self-employed. Self-employed HVAC technicians are able to decide on their own schedules. However, if you are self-employed you will need to keep the earning potential of each specific day and context in mind when making scheduling decisions, in order to maintain a viable and thriving business.
Most HVAC technicians work in factories, homes, office buildings, schools, hospitals, and stores. Depending on your specific position, you might be required to take assignments to specific jobsites when each workday begins, or you might need to travel to various different locations over the course of the workday, carrying out service calls. You will need to keep up a strong level of alertness and organization throughout the day, every day.
As an HVAC technician, you will very likely work indoors all or the majority of the time, although you might have to carry out work on outdoor heat exchanges. You might find yourself working in small, awkward, and uncomfortable places, and will have to be willing to be flexible and willing to deal with (often unforeseen) difficulties of various kinds.
In order to become an HVAC technician in Connecticut, you must complete an education and training program in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning at a trade or vocational school, and carry out a four-year (8,000 hour) apprenticeship. If correctly followed, this process will lead to your being eligible for all licensing required for you to independently practice in the field. HVAC technicians in the state of Connecticut are required to have a D-2 HVAC Journeyperson license, an S-4 Limited HVAC & Piping Journeyperson license, or an S-2 Unlimited HVAC & Piping Journeyperson license. The S-2 Unlimited HVAC & Piping Journeyperson license is the most comprehensive license in the field.
During your apprenticeship program, you will always be accompanied by a fully licensed HVAC tradesperson. You will slowly and gradually learn all the skills you will need to succeed in this field. As an apprentice, you will be paid for your time. Apprentices are usually paid at about half the wage level of experienced, fully qualified HVAC technicians. This is a great opportunity to earn an income and learn a new career at once! As an apprentice, you will have an Apprenticeship level license.
As an apprentice, you will be required to keep detailed track of all hours worked in your Apprenticeship Handbook. You must also keep a detailed record of all classroom hours. It is important to remember that you will be required to complete all the requirements of your apprenticeship (including both the required on-the-job hours and classroom hours) within the prescribed time limit. If you do not, your apprenticeship will be subject to termination.
Once you have registered as an apprentice, your sponsor (the tradesperson who will be training you and with whom you will be working) will give you your apprentice identification card. You will be required to always carry your card while you are working. Note that if for any reason you wish to cease working with your current sponsor and decide to work for another, you will need to carry out a new registration and obtain a new card.
In order to handle refrigerants, you will be required by federal law to take exams to gain the ability to do so. The exams you have to take will be geared to the type of equipment or appliance with which you will be working. These exams are administered by contractor associations, unions, and trade schools approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
For more detailed information about how to become an apprentice in the state of Connecticut, contact the Connecticut Department of Labor. You may find a large amount of detailed information on the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website.
Depending on a specific employer’s requirements, you may need to pass a background check before being hired. This will likely be the case if you will be working in people’s homes or in schools.
There are several different vitally important skills and qualities you will need to have a successful career as an HVAC technician. These include:
1. Mechanical skills: HVAC technicians must have the mechanical skills necessary to install complex systems, and work on them in different ways after installation. You will need to have a strong understanding of mechanical systems.
2. Physical strength: As an HVAC technician, you will likely be required to lift heavy components and equipment. It might not always be possible for you to be assisted in any way in these tasks.
3. Detail oriented: HVAC technicians need to meticulously record all work carried out, as well as the time it takes to complete each job. The HVAC technician’s ability to pay close and consistent attention to detail is also absolutely essential in carrying out correctly done, high quality installations and repairs, as well as general monitoring and maintenance.
4. Troubleshooting skills: HVAC technicians must be able to quickly and effectively identify problems with equipment and the repairs that need to be done. HVAC technicians need to be able to think quickly and make deductions.
5. Time management skills: HVAC technicians must have excellent time management skills in order to deal with potentially large numbers of daily maintenance calls. Time management skills become especially important when you are a self-employed HVAC technician with your own business.
6. Physical stamina: Being an HVAC technician most often requires spending a large amount of the day standing, walking, and moving that can be very tiring to someone who does not have the necessary physical stamina.
7. Customer service skills: HVAC technicians must have strong customer service skills in order to successfully work in business offices and customers’ homes. You will need to ensure that you are always punctual for appointments and friendly to customers.
8. Math skills: Math skills are essential to safely and competently working as an HVAC technician.
In the United States, the median pay for tradespeople in this field is $45,110 per year (or $21.69 per hour). However, the earning potential in this field can vary greatly from place to place within the country, and greater experience and skill will lead to better earnings. The HVAC field is growing much more quickly than the average of other occupations, meaning that this is an area of great opportunity.
The median pay for entry-level fully-licensed HVAC tradespeople in Connecticut varies from city to city and town to town. Below is a list of the median pay for entry-level fully-licensed tradespeople in this field in a few different Connecticut locations (note that these amounts do not include possible benefits and bonuses):
Hartford: $43,813 (range of between $37,621 and $51,450)
Bridgeport: $46,445 (range of between $39,882 and $54,541)
Stratford: $46,445 (range of between $39,882 and $54,541)
Waterbury: $43,813 (range of between $37,621 and $51,450)
While you are not required to have North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification in order to work as a HVAC technician, having this certification is likely to make you more attractive to employers. In order to obtain the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification, you will be required to successfully write a knowledge-based examination. You will have the option of earning this certification in a specific area of specialty (or more than one area). Possible areas of specialty include air distribution, gas furnaces, and air conditioning.
NATE is an independent, non-profit organization for certification of refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation, and heating technicians, which is owned, governed, and operated by the HVAC industry. NATE allows technicians to earn specific installation and/or service certification in each of the available areas of specialty. The NATE technical committee (which is made up of experts in the industry) develops all NATE certification tests.
HVAC certification is another certification that, while not required to work as an HVAC technician, is very useful in proving your competence to potential employers. This certification can be earned at the professional level as well as the master specialist level. Professional-level certification requires you to have two years of experience in the field and to successfully complete an examination in areas of specialty. Examples of such areas include heat pump service and air conditioning. When you pass your exams for this certification, you will receive a wall certificate, HVAC Excellence patch, and chevron. In order to obtain master specialist certification, you must have at least three years of experience in the field, and you must pass the HVAC Excellence professional-level technician examination.
The HVAC offers what the organization terms “stackable credentials.” This describes levels of certification that act as cumulative stepping stones. The levels of certification offered include student outcome assessments, employment ready certifications, professional technician certifications, master specialist certifications, certified subject matter educator certifications, and certified master HVACR educator certifications.
Industrial Management and Training Institute
The school is located at 233 Mill Street Waterbury, CT 06706. All of their HVAC instructors are trade licensed in Connecticut . One of the great things about the school is they offer both day and evening classes. The day classes are longer and will take you only 9 months to complete the program where the evening classes are shorter and take 18 months. Finally there are no excuses if you have a full-time job to not train and become an HVAC technician. The school was founded in 1985 and has over 3000 foot of classroom for solar training. Open houses are scheduled all the time so check back on our site and we will try to update when you on the next one.
Entech Advanced Energy Training
The training school is located at 10 Alcap Ridge in Cromwell, CT 06416. With an annual average income in Connecticut of $54,310 becoming an HVACR technician is just a few months away when you train with Entech. With overtime and working during off peak season your salary will only increase. Entech will work with graduates to assist them with job searches. Although not a guarantee the school has a great placement rate.
Porter & Chester Institute
With 5 campus locations in Connecticut you’re bound to find one close to you in order to receive your HVAC training. Campus locations include: Branford, Enfield, Rocky Hill, Stratford and Waterbury. In as little as a year you can be on your way in becoming an HVAC/R technician. Porter & Chester Institute is accredited by ACCSC and is an Accredited BBB Business Member and have been providing training in New England since 1946.
One amazing stat about Lincoln Tech is the county has 58 Certified Master HVAC Educators and 19 of them work for their school. This means you’ll be getting trained by some of the top HVAC technicians in the country. Another way Lincoln Tech separates themselves from other HVAC schools is they introduce their students to Green Technology including Geothermal and Solar Thermal technologies. They have campus locations in East Windsor, CT and New Britain, CT that offer their HVAC program.
If you already have your HVAC certification and are looking to take your career to the next level then Goodwin College offers a manufacturing degree. Because you already understand HVAC you’ll step up your training and learn more about the manufacturing and management side of things. A big benefit of this career is the annual salary is $77,506 which is higher than the average HVAC technician can earn. The college is located at One Riverside Drive in East Hartford, CT 06118.
Even before you complete your HVAC training you’ll want to start looking for career opportunities in the area of Connecticut you intend to work in. Some companies offer full-time positions where you actually owned your own HVAC business and run it with other technicians under you. Many companies will provide you with new trucks, medical and dental insurance and even 401K plans. Many of the companies we researched required you have not only your HVAC certification from an approved school in Connecticut but also your CT D-2 or S-2 license as well as EPA training certification. If you are OSHA 10 certified then your options to find employment only grows. As the HVAC companies grow and as new graduates come out of college they can be pickier in whom they want to hire. Having these special certifications and other things that will differentiate you from the competition will only help your chances.
HVAC Mechanic 1 Salaries
Welcome to Connecticut’s Apprenticeship System