The HVAC training schools in Maryland aspire to make learning an in-demand trade as much down to earth and convenient as possible. In fact, their no-nonsense approach to imparting the right skills and knowledge of an HVAC
technician in you parallels the real world nature of the work itself. When supplemented with solid training, you can rest assured when it comes to pursuing a satisfying and reliable job in the field.
A career as a HVAC technician in Maryland is a viable choice as people all over the State wish to garner an indoor comfort of temperatures that are between the extremes of cold and hot. This ensures that there are always businesses and homes that require the expert attention of HVAC technicians. When you add that to the need for proper refrigeration and ventilation, it is not hard to comprehend why grades of HVAC/R programs enjoy careers with long-term stability most of the time. Temperature control and air quality are indispensable to our modern lifestyles and health, and people are forever in dire need of skilled HVAC technicians.
HVAC training programs allow you to enter a trade that is replete with variety, and promises advancement of learning. One day, you might be installing a ductwork and furnace for heating up a new home. One day you might be expected to service AC equipment. Hardly two days pass without you doing the same thing.
HVAC Training Overview
HVAC stands for air conditioning, ventilation, and heating. The HVAC systems in our shopping malls, offices, homes, and other buildings allow us to delve in comfort without fretting over the outdoor temperatures. However, this field goes way beyond regulating the indoor temperatures. When these systems are maintained and installed properly, they contribute to healthier indoor air quality and better airflow, which is indispensable for people with asthma, allergies, and medical issues.
Modernization in technology are making the cooling and heating of retrofitted and new buildings ever more efficient by the day. Innovative refrigerants are being used and developed, with a focus on environmental friendliness. Other technologies such as solar-powered heating and cooling, geothermal, and hydronics (water-based heating) are transforming the profession as a hub of an escalating number of “green” jobs. HVAC systems are serviced and installed by technicians (who are also known as HVAC installers or mechanics).
HVAC Job Duties
The work of an HVAC technician is quite versatile. From repairs to routine maintenance to installation, the myriad duties of a professional in this industry add up to laborious working days replete with diverse activities. However, the nature of your job is largely dictated by whether you have specialized in working with a particular type of equipment, such as commercial/industrial, light commercial, or residential, in either the service or installation side of the business. Based on the arsenal of skills, level of knowledge, and your specialty, you may be entailed to carry out tasks that include:
• Installing the ductwork that is responsible for transporting treated air throughout a building
• Installing air conditioning units, heat pumps, and furnaces
• Connecting controls and electrical wiring
• Following specifications and blueprints used in the installation of systems, including fuel and water supply lines, pumps, vents, air ducts, and other components.
• Repairing and diagnosing issues that are found within any part of a system
• Performing routine maintenance on an assortment of equipment, such as inspecting electrical circuits, controls, checking for leaks, thermostats, and nozzles, and adjusting burners and blowers
• Testing the performance of a air conditioning unit, heat pump, furnace or other piece of equipment to guarantee that it runs at peak efficiency
• Recommending appropriate settings of a system and adjusting the controls
• Selling replacement equipment or service contracts to customers
• Using carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide testers to ensure that a customer's equipment is safe to operate
HVAC/R technicians, also called refrigeration mechanics, service and install industrial or residential refrigeration systems. In addition to the tasks listed above, some HVAC/R technicians have more advanced duties that include:
• Venting refrigerant into the apt cylinders
• Recycling, recovering, conserving refrigerants for reuse, in order to ensure that they are disposed of properly since their uncontrolled release can be prove harmful to the environment
• Charging refrigeration systems with the right refrigerant
HVACR Workplace Environment
Regardless of whether you specialize in servicing or installing industrial, commercial, or residential equipment, you will be required to perform your work on-site in a wide array of settings. As a rule, any building that leverages climate-control equipment will call for HVAC technicians multiple times over the course of its lifetime. Some examples of buildings include:
Most HVAC technicians are employed by independent contractors, but they can also find jobs with.
• Merchant wholesalers of heating supplies and equipment
• Repair shops for industrial or commercial machinery and equipment
• Direct-selling retail establishments
HVAC Salary in Maryland
The typical salary of an HVAC technician depends on a plethora of factors, such as whether or not a union is involved, your level of experience, employer location, and the type of job you have. Your salary as an HVAC technician is usually implemented in the form of hourly wages. Your hourly wages will escalate with experience, knowledge, and your skill level. Based on the national estimates, HVAC Technicians in Maryland earn an average annual salary of $54,120. Typically, the starting salaries of HVAC technicians are $32,770 and go up to$76,870.
Most technicians augment their income by working extra hours during the peak seasons of winter and summer. In certain cases, additional wages can come from earning commissions on the sale of service contracts or new equipments.
Job Outlook for HVAC Technicians
The expected job growth for skilled HVAC technicians is appearing promising in the near future. The employment of HVAC technicians in Maryland is projected to increase by 14 % over the next decade, which is faster than average for any profession, according to the bureau of labor statistics. A large number of factors dictate the soaring demand of HVAC technicians in Maryland. The rapid growth in population has attributed to the increase in the number of industrial, commercial, and residential buildings that need to be equipped with climate control systems.
In addition, the increasing complexity of new HVAC systems translate in to an ever greater possibility of their need for servicing and malfunction, which is where skilled technicians are needed. Furthermore, the growing focus on enhancing the quality of air indoors, and diminishing the consumption of energy means that there is always a need for HVAC technicians to gauge the efficiency of existing systems and repair and replace polluting, dilapidated ones with efficient and new models.
The HVAC industry in Maryland is astonishingly diverse. In fact, more technicians kick off their careers in the light commercial and residential sectors of the field, gradually working their way up the corporate ladder. Advancement usually comes in the form of supervisory positions or higher wages. However, with the right mindset, plenty of experience and skills, and advanced knowledge, you can pursue burgeoning opportunities that arise for venturing into other areas of the industry, and one that preferably offers new challenges. For instance, commercial refrigeration is an area of soaring demand that is in need of workers possessing specialized skills and patience. With the right education and training, HVAC/R technicians can also specialize in advanced areas such as efficiency evaluations, system testing and balancing, retrofitting, geothermal or solar powered cooling or heating, and building operations with advanced computer controls. Additionally, some technicians prefer to go into HVAC marketing and sales, teaching, or managing their own contracting business.
You can also consider earning a bachelor's degree in HVAC engineering technology. Such an advanced level of education allows you to become an HVAC technologist or HVAC engineer and design new controls and systems for the industrial, institutional, commercial, or manufacturing sector.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Maryland
Earn a High School Diploma
If you wish to garner a heads start on HVAC training in high school, you can begin by choosing courses that are designed to help aspiring technicians get a firm grasp on concepts. Among general curriculum courses, those in physics, chemistry, and computer science might be pertinent. Many schools in Maryland also incorporate shop classes or vocational training with courses in electronics, blueprint reading, technical math, and mechanical drawing. These hands-on courses tout direct application to HVAC technology and will help you in your professional life.
Learn Through On-the-Job Training
If you have already acquired your high school diploma, you can easily obtain HVAC technician skills and knowledge by assisting a professional experienced technician. Start by insulating refrigerant lines, cleaning furnaces, and carrying materials for them. In time, you will move up to checking electrical circuits, and soldering and cutting pipes and sheet metals. Often a company will make available self-study courses, classroom courses, and internet to help you in your training, especially if you are completely a novice in this field. Most training programs aim to combine hands-on learning with classroom study. What students can learn in an HVAC program bears much similarity to what students learn in credible electrician schools. Depending on the program, your curriculum would include subjects such as:
• Oil, gas, electric heat
• Heat pumps
• Light commercial and residential air conditioning
• Basic electronics
• Duct and ventilation systems
• Brazing and soldering
• Components of HVAC systems
• Interpreting mechanical diagrams and drawings
• Safety practices and precautions
• General HVAC theory
• Heating fuels
• Indoor air quality and airflow
• Service and installation
• Refrigerant types and refrigerant oils
• Building requirements and codes
• Problem solving and troubleshooting
Earn a HVAC Certificate or Degree
You can enroll in an HVAC associate's degree program or certificate program at an accredited technical academy, a credible trade school, or community college. Each program can take between 6 months to 2 years to reach completion. These programs combine labs and classroom instructions to cover the fundamentals of work site safety, control systems, hydraulics, piping and ducts, furnaces, oil boilers, solid fuel, and properties of gas. Some programs even pave way for internship and apprenticeships opportunities.
Participate in an Apprenticeship
Local chapters of HVAC industry contractor associations offer a wide array of apprenticeship programs to aspiring technicians and new graduates. These include the United Association of Apprentices and journeymen of the Pipe fitting and plumbing Industry of Canada and the United States, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. These apprenticeship programs combine paid on-the-job training with classroom instructions and last three to five years. Courses cover the care and use of tools, blueprint reading, safety practices, and air-conditioning and ventilation design.
Obtain a Your HVAC License
The Maryland State law dictates that you need a license to work as a professional HVAC technician. The licensing requirements vary depending on the type of license you want to obtain. Typically, you are required to pass the exam and either accumulate 2-5 years of work experience or complete a training program. The content and structure of these exams differ as well. Some emphasize knowledge of electrical codes, while some elucidate on your general HVAC knowledge. Individuals who handle refrigerants must take a certification exam for the type of equipment or appliance you service. The three classifications of refrigerant include Type III certification for low-pressure systems, Type II certification for high-pressure systems, and Type I certification for small appliances. Unions, contractor associations, and trade schools approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversee the exams. Here are the three different types of licenses available for HVAC technicians:
An applicant for a master license:
• Worked a minimum of 1,875 hours in the year in the year preceding the submission to application for a master license
• Must have been licensed as a journeyman and principally and regularly employed to provide all areas of HVACR services for a minimum of 3 years of active experience under the control and direction of a HVACR master
• Currently hold a journeyman or higher level license
• Pass the Master examination with a minimum score of 70%.
An applicant for a master restricted license:
• Must have worked a minimum of 1,875 hours in the year preceding the submission of application for a master restricted license
• Should possess a journeyman or higher level license currently
• Excel the Master Restricted examination with a minimum score of 70%.
• Must have been licensed as a journeyman and principally and regularly employed to provide HVACR services for a minimum of 3 years of active experience under the control and direction of a HVACR master
An applicant for a limited license:
• Must pass the Limited Contractor examination with minimum score of 70%.
• Must have successfully worked for 1,000 hours in the year preceding the submission to application
• Must possess a journeyman or higher level license currently
• Must have been licensed as a journeyman and principally and regularly employed in providing HVACR services under the control and direction of licensed HVACR Master for a minimum of 2 years.
Top HVAC Schools in Maryland
Anne Arundel Community College
With the potential of a 14% increase in HVAC technicians needed in Maryland over the next 8 years you can bet this is a very popular career for those just graduating high school looking for a trade program. Trade careers are extremely important for the Maryland economy as the state doesn’t have a many manufacturing or high tech jobs like other states. The program is available in Laurel, MD and Baltimore, MD. The Baltimore, MD location is taught at All-State Career School. Anne Arundel Community College is also a Military Friendly school.
Baltimore Career Training
The school is perfect for those in the Baltimore area looking to start a new career training program. They are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Their campus location is: All-State Career 2200 Broening Highway Suite 160 Baltimore, MD 21224.
North American Trade School
You’ll get to work with all different types of refrigeration equipment including no-cyclic, cyclic and thermoelectric. Once you have completed your training you’ll qualify for jobs that can include installation assistant, government HVAC contractor, installer and of course HVAC service technician. Their campus is located at 6901 Security Blvd. Suite 16 Baltimore, MD 21244. Those who need financial aid may qualify for assistance including subsidized and unsubsidized loans or Pell Grants. NATS is a military friendly school.
If you enroll at Brightwood College in their HVAC/R program you can get prepared to enter the workforce in as little as 48 weeks. Let them teach you about the fundamentals of electricity, installation and operation, motors and controls as well as maintenance and repair. If finances have prevented you from starting your HVAC career then talk to Brightwood College as financial aid may be available to those who qualify. They have a Maryland campus at: 1520 South Caton Avenue Baltimore, MD 21227.
Make your Resume Stand Out in a Crowd
One thing that we recommend when you are still in school is to start your resume. A resume these days don’t have to be boring. In order to stand out try something different. An HVAC/R company looking for employees might get 50 to 100 resumes when they have an opening. Perhaps make your resume fully digital, change up the format and show your new employers what your skills are. Since many of you will still be in school and this will be your first job you need to showcase what you completed in school. Get references from your HVAC instructor. I’ve even seen video’s taken that will show a potential employer how to work on equipment.
One thing we are seeing in Maryland is employers are giving signing bonuses for HVAC service technicians. Many of the requirements include having a safe driving record, clean drug testing and extra certifications. I would make it a point to add these to your resume which will help sell yourself. If you are willing to work even part-time I would add that do your resume as many employers want 2-3 years of experience and if you just graduated you don’t have the required number of years so telling your employer you are willing to work part-time might help you land the job. Another key area is attendance. Even in school you were required to have good attendance in order to graduate and employers want to see the same thing. They would rather hire someone who had perfect attendance than someone with years of experience yet called in size several times a month. Attitude and customer service is key to becoming a successful HVAC technician so make sure you showcase this in your resume.