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Want to be an HVAC Contractor? Here’s How

| March 22, 2021, 06:11 PM

In an ever-growing and fast shifting job market, the demand for skilled laborers increases more and more each year. With shockingly few young people going into these trades, job seekers looking to get their hands dirty could find great success and quickly secure a position. One of the most in-demand fields in this industry is HVAC, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in layman’s terms. As buildings boom and businesses expand, the need for climate control and refrigeration experts is at an all-time high. So you want to be an HVAC contractor? Taking advantage of all of these available jobs and being your own boss sounds great, but where do you start? Here are the first steps you should be taking if you’re looking to enter the thriving HVAC job market.

Do Your Research

The first step in doing anything well, you should start your foray into HVAC with lots and lots of research. Though it may seem like a streamlined process, the fact is, it’s anything but. Depending on where you’re located throughout the country, many of the guidelines will be different. Licensing, certification, education, and training requirements are set by the state, so no one state is like another. Sometimes states will take a hands-off approach and leave licensing to regional bodies like cities and counties, however, it will differ according to where you live and where you would like to work. Your best bet is to read up and be prepared with the information that will best help your pursuit.

Find the Right Program

So now you know whether your state requires licensing, and which governmental or local controlling body is in charge of regulation. The next step is finding the best HVAC Programs for your training. Usually, aspiring contractors will first do their technician training, either in a college course or as part of an apprenticeship program. Both will require a certain amount of on-the-job training as well as the completion of written tests. It’s important to note that some states will require logging a certain amount of classroom hours to conform to proper licensing standards. Programs can range in length and type of study, but it’s standard to be paid for any apprenticeship or journeyman position and will help jump-start your professional career.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

Get Other Certifications

A great idea for anyone looking to expand their potential opportunities in the world of HVAC is to obtain additional certifications. Some of the more common ones are to get national HVAC certification, as well as securing a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. A prominent example of a body overseeing things on the national level is NATE (North American Technician Excellence). Getting recognized by this body will give potential clients confidence that you have the training and experience needed to provide high-quality work. Going through the EPA will earn a contractor in training their section 608 Technician Certification. This is mandated for all HVAC specialists looking to handle refrigerants, as they have a potentially damaging environmental effect. Other additional training and safety courses are offered to technicians looking to add to their skillset and ensure they are operating in the safest and most efficient way possible.

Run the Business

Going from a technician to a contractor is a step that is not as easy as it looks. Often one of the more challenging elements for technicians looking to obtain their own work without having to go through an intermediary is the business acumen required. Not only will there be more rigorous standards for HVAC licensing at the contractor level, in most places, there are also tests in place for people looking to own their own HVAC business. Making a business plan is an excellent start for deciding whether or not to franchise or start from scratch. If it’s your ambition to run your own company, making sure you have the necessary capital and marketing to get off the ground is a must. Though there are many added challenges to being a contractor- bookkeeping, paying your staff, promotion- there are also many perks and usually an opportunity to make more money.

With such an oversaturated job market, it’s a savvy position-seeker who recognizes a need in the market and looks to fill it. In the case of HVAC contract work, the benefits far outweigh the downsides. There are many opportunities available, and the majority of training required is hands-on and paid. Though there are many different certifications required, and they vary depending on your location, HVAC is a lucrative industry to get into. Once you go through the adequate steps of training and certification, turn your eye to the business side of things and prepare yourself for a lifetime of fulfilling work as an HVAC contractor.

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Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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