If you're looking for a skilled profession with a healthy job outlook, you might want to consider becoming a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician. HVAC technicians made a median salary of $45,910 per year in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for HVAC technicians is expected to rise much faster than normal in the coming decade, leading to higher rates of employment for HVAC technicians than other lines of work. HVAC technicians install and maintain heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. Often, they are in charge of reading schematics and assembling the entire system, including electrical wiring and hooking these systems into existing fuel and water supply lines. There are various levels of technicians and some specialize in a certain system or in installation or repair. Some technicians do it all.
In this article, we'll be going over the requirements to become an HVAC technician in Clinton Township, Michigan. We'll be discussing the various associations, average salaries, and educational requirements for the area.
How Does Clinton Township, MI Compare?
In Clinton Township, Michigan, HVAC technicians make a little bit less than the national average, making approximately $44,422 per year according to Salary.com. There's a pretty wide range in this average, though, with the lowest paid technicians earning roughly $38,151 a year and the highest paid earning about $52,172 per year. This gap could be attributed to the level of skill the technician possesses, the license they possess, and whether they work for a large corporation or are self-employed among many other factors.
Becoming an HVAC technician in Michigan requires a license which can be obtained through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Traditionally, an apprenticeship is also completed, which lasts anywhere from three to five years and provides ample on-the-job experience to potential HVAC technicians. This apprenticeship has its advantages as it is a paid apprenticeship and some people benefit more from hands-on learning than from a didactic method like classroom teaching. To obtain your license in Michigan, you must pay for and pass a state administered exam in Lansing, Michigan. This exam is only administered four times a year and must be taken on site, which is different from many other states. You must get a score of 70% or better in order to obtain your license and there are several levels of licensure.
HVAC technician licenses are given and renewed on a 3-year cycle, and the license will cost $100 per year. So, if you apply for a license on the first year of the 3-year cycle, it will cost you $300. If you apply during the second year, it will cost you $200. Applying the last year will cost you $100, but you will have to renew the following year. The test will cost you $125 as well. There are a few organizations in Michigan, like the Michigan Air Conditioning Contractors Association and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Detroit that can help you navigate the licensing process and find gainful employment.
Educational and Job Requirements
Becoming an HVAC technician requires a lot of different skills and knowledge. Since you will be required to read schematics and construct heating and cooling systems from those plans, you will need a strong background in mathematics, chemistry, physics, mechanical drawing, and computer applications among many others. Luckily, there are many accredited programs in the Clinton Township area that will teach you all of these skills, and more! Enrolling in an accredited educational institution is a straightforward way to become a professional HVAC technician and will provide you with useful knowledge as well as the hands on experience you will need to start making money. It's also important to note that even though you may be able to land a job through hands-on training and passing the exam, most employers will want you to possess an associate's degree in HVAC. We will go over three different programs below.
Altierus Career Education
21107 Lahser Road
Southfield, MI 48033
A fantastic non-profit institution that treats you like family, Altierus is a fantastic option for hopeful HVAC technicians in the Clinton Township area. You will get training in basic refrigeration theory, fuel heating systems, air distribution systems, electrical theory, as well as many other topics that pertain to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning field! Graduates from this program go on to become HVAC technician assistants, HVAC installation technician assistants, heat pump technician assistants, and preventative maintenance technicians across a wide variety of industries. This is just a sample of the job titles of their recent graduates. Altierus can get you ready for your first HVAC job in under one year. Altierus provides a hands-on modern workshop setting for all their students, where professional HVAC instructors can show you the ropes. They also offer an industrial level HVAC curriculum that will help diversify your skills for a competitive job market. All in all, the program will cost you about $13,000 to attend.
Macomb Community College
14500 E. 12 Mile Road
Warren, MI 48088
Macomb Community College has a 22 to 1 student to faculty ratio and offer an Associate of Applied Sciences degree through their “Climate Control Technology Program.” You will learn the fundamentals of controls, all about refrigeration, steam and hot water systems, mechanical codes and much, much more! Credits you earn in this program can also be applied to bachelor degree programs at four-year accredited institutions in the state of Michigan. In-state tuition for this program can be as little as $4,600 and only $8,800 for out-of-state students, but plan on spending a little over $2,300 for books and supplies.
Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Rd.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
With an Associate of Applied Science degree program and several certificate programs aimed at heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning, Oakland Community College might be the right choice for you. You will learn valuable information about heating technology, commercial refrigeration, sheet metal layout and fabrication, heating regulations, and much more. You can earn your associate's degree for as little as $9,000 at Oakland Community College, including room and board! This depends on a number of factors, such as whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student, your course load, and many other factors.
In addition to educational requirements, you will also need to have a certain skill set to be successful as an HVAC technician. There are a lot of employers hiring for HVAC Technicians, though some call them HVAC Installers, HVAC Mechanics, HVAC Helpers, HVAC Controls Technicians, or even HVAC Service Technicians. Here is a small example of requirements for HVAC jobs in the Clinton Township, MI market:
• Service, and repair Packaged Rooftop Air Conditioning, chilled water and fan coil systems, refrigeration, heating units and other related small appliances in accordance with requirements and standards.
• Cuts, threads and solders pipe, associated fittings and pipe connected components.
• Cuts, bends, and shapes sheet metal.
• EPA Certification is required.
• Minimum 3 years of field experience on residential equipment.
• Ability to comfortably lift and move 50+ lbs regularly.
• Demonstrated working knowledge of cooling towers, pumps, chilled water coils, centrifugal chillers, absorption chillers, heating systems and their distributions.