Because HVAC systems are increasingly complex, employers generally prefer applicants with technical training or those who have completed a formal apprenticeship. Some jurisdictions require technicians to be licensed.

A growing number of HVAC technicians receive training from technical and trade schools or community colleges that offer programs in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. These programs generally last six months to two years and can lead to a certificate or an associate’s degree. High school students interested in becoming HVAC technicians should take courses in shop, math, and physics. Some knowledge of plumbing or electrical work and a basic understanding of electronics can be helpful.

Other HVAC technicians learn their trade on the job, although this is becoming much less common. Informally trained technicians usually begin by assisting experienced technicians with basic tasks, such as insulating refrigerant lines or cleaning furnaces. In time, they move on to more difficult tasks, including cutting and soldering pipes or checking electrical circuits.

Many technicians receive their training through a formal apprenticeship. Applicants for apprenticeships must have a high school diploma or general equivalency degree (GED). Math and reading skills are essential. Apprenticeship programs normally last three to five years, and combine paid on-the-job training with technical instruction. Over the course of the apprenticeship, technicians become familiar with subjects such as safety practices, blueprint reading, and how to use tools.

What are Hvac Technicians like?


Based on our pool of users, hvac technicians tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

HVAC Technicians by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 485 Sokanu users

Are Hvac Technicians happy?


Hvac technicians rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 30th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

HVAC Technician Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of HVAC Technicians

The most common degree held by hvac technicians is Mechanical Engineering. 2% of hvac technicians had a degree in mechanical engineering before becoming hvac technicians. That is over 1 times the average across all careers. Business Management And Administration graduates are the second most common among hvac technicians, representing 2% of hvac technicians in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.3 times the average.

HVAC Technician Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a HVAC Technician, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of hvac technicians % of population Multiple
Mechanical Engineering 2.1% 1.6% 1.3×
Business Management And Administration 1.9% 6.5% 0.3×

HVAC Technician Education Levels

77% of hvac technicians have an associate's degree. 13% of hvac technicians have a high school diploma.

No education 4%
High school diploma 13%
Associate's degree 77%
Bachelor's degree 7%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a HVAC Technician

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