How to Get Into HVAC With No Experience
HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems are essential to home comfort. They provide us with cool or warm conditions according to our desires. We rely heavily on good HVAC services. The question is, how can one enter the field without experience? Are there positions available in HVAC construction or maintenance? What are some careers available in an HVAC company?
The HVAC industry provides services such as maintaining comfort levels at home or in offices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for HVAC technicians was 4% from 2012 to 2022. Additionally, the number of jobs is expected to increase by 22% between 2014 and 2024.
As the demand for heating and cooling services grows, companies across industries require skilled professionals who can support their operations. If you want to enter this field, study HVAC-related courses because they are critical skills needed to perform well in this profession.
There are several steps to take when wondering how to get into HVAC with no experience. Some are much easier than others.
Make a Choice
To get into HVAC, you first need to find out if you want to be a general HVAC contractor or specialize in systems. General HVAC contractors specialize in heating, ventilation, air conditioning repair, and plumber services, while a systems specialist only works on those systems. You can’t become a general contractor by doing just that. Specialize in either system design or installation. If you don’t choose a specialization early on, you are unlikely to excel at what you do.
Find a Mentor
To get ahead, you need someone to hold your hand and show you how to get into HVAC with no experience. That means you’ll need to learn many things to become a successful HVAC technician, including computer skills, troubleshooting, knowledge of construction materials and techniques, and even the art of negotiation. You’d benefit from having someone who knows the field you want to enter help guide you through the path.
Choose a Career Path
The first career path to consider is that of a service technician. This job involves repairing equipment, ensuring customer satisfaction, and helping customers use their products effectively. Service technicians often provide installation help, troubleshooting, preventive maintenance, and repairs to systems. They maintain equipment, perform routine tests, and ensure everything runs correctly. Many companies hire individuals who do not have any previous experience. However, if you know how to operate specific machines, you can probably learn the rest.
Become a Mechanic
Another way to get into HVAC with no experience is to become a mechanic. Mechanics typically repair vehicles but specialize in engines, transmissions, brakes, suspensions, and other components. Your knowledge of mechanics could transfer over to HV AC repair, though you should still have some training. You can begin working as a journeyman mechanic after completing a certification program. This process may take a longer time depending on your location.
Become a Contractor
Being a contractor is an excellent way how to get into HVAC with no experience. If you want to focus on installing HVAC equipment, become a contractor. Contractors install systems, maintain them, and sell them to end-users. Because contractors deal only with businesses, they usually charge higher prices. They also have greater independence over scheduling, hours worked, and project deadlines.
Start as an Assistant
You can start as an assistant and eventually climb the ladder. Assistants help professionals complete projects. Since assistants are essential helpers, they are usually low-paid employees. As you gain experience, you can eventually become a supervisor or manager. These positions require leadership skills and management ability. That’s another excellent way to act when thinking about how to get into HVAC with no experience.
Join HVAC Industry Certification Programs
Air Quality Technician (AQT) Certificate
This program covers building design, energy modeling, ventilation calculations, indoor air quality, safety, and maintenance practices. Students can choose between three levels of certification: Certified Associate (CA), Licensed Professional Engineer (LPE), or Registered Professional Engineer (RPE). Upon completion of the coursework, candidates earn either the CA or LPE designation.
IAQ Specialist (IAQS) Certificate
This program focuses on educating students about the basics of indoor environmental quality and provides them with hands-on training related to proper HVAC system operation and installation. There are various educational options, including a single year, two years, or even a full bachelor’s degree. Candidates can choose between certifications: Certified Environmental Educator (CEE) or Certified Indoor Environments Specialist (CIES).
Building Service Professional (BSP) Certificate
This program prepares individuals to understand the complexities of the construction environment, including heating, ventilating, and ac repair. Through practical application, students learn the skills needed to pass exams given by the NCCER. To get the BSP license, students must have earned at least a high school diploma or GED and complete the coursework.
Energy Services Professional (ESP)
This program includes coursework covering the basic principles of energy efficiency, including the use of energy-efficient products and techniques. Also, this program requires candidates to complete an exam administered by NAHB.
Create a Strong Resume
Once you finish your programs, you need to draft a professional resume. A good resume is just like a good cover letter. It tells employers what they need to know about you to decide whether to contact you. Make sure your resume includes everything required, such as any internships or volunteer experiences where you were involved in a specific area of study. Remember that you don’t have to list your GPA here. If your GPA is unnecessary to you, then leave it blank. Strong resumes are a perfect way of how to get into HVAC with no experience.
Start building your network. Get to know other people who work in this field. Attend any events that have speakers from this side of the industry. Join groups like Facebook, where people are organizing their networking events. Become active in these communities and ensure you’re at least socially involved in them.
Many students prefer to volunteer as a way of how to get into HVAC with no experience. Volunteering helps students get employment opportunities and resilience in the HVAC industry. These experiences build confidence, leading to further opportunities.
Experience Through Internship
Besides gaining knowledge about the HVAC industry, you’ll need hands-on experience working on residential air conditioning and commercial systems. Working on one or two small systems or in hardware stores while attending school will give you an excellent opportunity to learn firsthand, but it’s not always possible to find real-world experience if you’re starting fresh. Luckily, many schools offer industrial internships where students can earn valuable on-the-job training.
Join a Trade Association
Local trade associations are often significant when thinking about how to get into HVAC with no experience. If you don’t know of any associations in your area, try searching online. There are hundreds out there, including ones specifically dedicated to those interested in HVAC. Once you find one, join it. Not only will it give you access to valuable information about the field, but it also gives you a chance to network with other professionals in the field.
The HVAC industry is a good option for those discharged from the military to boost their career. Several programs are available to assist you in shifting into the construction trades. You can use your post-9/11 GI Bill to further your studies or join an apprenticeship program such as the Helmets to Hardhats that will help you transition to the construction industry. That offers a great opportunity how to get into HVAC with no experience.
The Benefits of Working In the HVAC Industry
The average pay range of technicians varies depending on where they work. HVAC techs may earn between $19 to $22 per hour. This can often increase to over double what a single technician makes at their local independent business. It’s especially true if you have a degree or certification that helps you get hired at higher levels.
HVAC jobs typically allow technicians to work flexible hours. You do not always need to work from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. If you want to work only those eight hours, you can take advantage of the other shifts. There may even be times when you can choose a different shift than average. It allows technicians to balance their busy schedules with personal life outside of work.
A Diverse Job Market
In today’s economy, companies want workers with various skills. With an HVAC career, you’ll learn about different aspects of the industry, from maintenance to installation to energy management. It makes your resume look impressive, especially if you’re switching careers. If you decide to change careers later, you can always return to the HVAC field.
Many people consider HVAC careers blue-collar jobs because they have certain benefits. For example, many employers offer health insurance coverage on top of a solid base salary. In addition, HVAC companies are good places to learn about the industry from a practical standpoint (such as how to perform maintenance) and a moral standpoint (how to treat others).
The HVAC career is service based, and not easily outsourced. That means it provides job security. Individuals who opt to work in this industry can earn good wages, flexible hours, excellent benefits, and job stability. This makes the sector attractive to many people who look for job security.
No Threat of Automation
Qualified professionals do heating system replacement when needed in a residential building or an organization. There is no fear about AI taking over this profession since it takes two hands to perform the task. A degree or certificate in HVAC does not allow you to outsource because of the specialized abilities required to succeed in this field.
Great for Problem-Solving
The HVAC job may be right for you if you enjoy solving daily issues. Every day, you’ll be solving problems for your clients. That implies that you’ll face new challenges regularly, and you’ll be able to think through the issue and execute a solution. Since constantly new difficulties keep you on your toes, boredom is uncommon in this sector.
Sense of Accompaniment
Many people who work in the HVAC industry enjoy great satisfaction from their employment. Some employees like seeing a new system made from the ground up with their input. Individuals who profit from the enhanced indoor interior atmosphere will thank you for your efforts. But you will need to put in a lot of effort and time to reach your goal. There may also be some safety concerns about this industry. But this career path may provide you with a good income and a roof over your head for many years.
Start Your Career When Young
You can start working in this career very early. Apprenticeship and training programs are also open to those with a GED. Even if you’re a trainee for three or more years, you’ll still be able to support yourself and pursue a profession that pays well without a formal education.
Many states don’t need you to have an HVAC license to get started on this professional path. In other states, only a journeyman or trainee electrician license is required. You may also need a permit if you operate in the gas pipe and refrigeration industry. Although this paperwork may need renewal every 12 to 24 months, you’ll encounter fewer limitations after working in the HVAC business for at least 2,000 hours.
Starting in the HVAC field can be challenging, especially if you don’t have professional training. This means you’ll need to undergo extensive technical training before taking clients on. While some contractors break out of their comfort zone and become independent, finding jobs at larger companies or franchises is much easier. If you have any issues with your HVAC system, contact your local certified experts today.by