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Explore a Career in HVAC

The average pay for an HVAC Tech is over $56,000. Is this the right job for you?


Average Pay
Entry Level (0-2 years experience)
Intermediate Level (2-4 years experience)
Senior Level (4-7 years experience)
Supervisor Level (7+ years experience)

Featured Story:

A 23-year-old on track to make six figures this year says he’s living proof that college isn’t necessary.

HVAC Tech, Blue RecruitTyler Zitzka took a different approach. He became an apprentice at the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 265 in Northern Illinois, serving as an HVAC technician. He installs UV lights and filters to eliminate bacteria in the air—a service that has been far from slow in the past two years. Zitzka knew this was the right career path ever since a vocational teacher at his high school—now one of Zitzka’s fellow union members—introduced his class to the trade. He calls the decision a no-brainer.

Watch to Learn More:

What’s Next?

Get Started
Step 1
HS Diploma or GED
Step 2: Option 1
Accredited HVAC Program (6+ mths)
  • Provides a direct path and preparation to certification and licensure.
  • Flexible scheduling with day or night programs available.
  • Ideal for those who prefer to learn in classrooms.
Step 2: Option 2
HVAC Apprenticeship Program (3+ yrs)
  • Apprentices earn wages, though not high at first.
  • Offers dental, health, and other benefits.
  • Involves on-the-job training, ideal for tactile learners.

Recommended Certifications

The exam is designed for technicians just beginning their careers in the HVAC industry. There are no prerequisites, but using a study guide to prepare is highly recommended before sitting to take the exam.

This exam and certificate is for early career technicians in the HVAC industry. The exam was designed for technicians that have 6 months to 1 year of experience in the HVAC industry.

Earning this certificate demonstrates increased knowledge and skills, and strengthens the foundation needed to pursue NATE’s professional certifications.

Some of the topics covered: safety, basic construction terms, basic science and math skills, achieving desired room conditions, taking temperature and humidity measurements, basic electricity, installation and service.

HVAC techs who routinely handle HVAC system refrigerants must hold the Environmental Protection Agency’s 608 Certification. Only those with this certification can legally buy, use, and handle refrigerants such as R-22 or R-410A. This is a requirement for anyone gaining experience as an HVAC Tech.

NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is a testing and certification organization specifically geared to the needs of HVAC technicians. NATE’s certifications are recognized and accepted throughout the HVAC industry.

To gain NATE certification, HVAC techs must demonstrate thorough subject-specific knowledge and technical skills.

To receive this certification, technicians are require to pass a test of general HVAC knowledge and at least one specialized exam in installation or service.

NATE certifications are granted in air conditioning, gas or oil heating, air distribution, air-to-air heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, and HVAC system efficiency.

NATE certification is completely voluntary, but employers may require NATE certification. Being NATE certified lets your customers and employers know that you have the knowledge required to diagnose and repair HVAC equipment at a professional level.

Ready to get started? Sign up on BlueRecruit and get connected to HVAC employers today!

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