The HVAC industry can offer one of the most interesting and satisfying careers. Not only will you get to work with machinery, but also every day will offer a new experience. Plus, the pay isn’t bad and there is plenty of room for growth. Who knows, one day you may want to start your own business. If you are just starting out, though, it can be important and helpful to have a roadmap. Knowing exactly where to start can help you thrive. Not only that, but you want to make sure that you have all the education and certification you need to get your foot in the door. Here are five tips for starting your career in the HVAC industry.
- Know that the HVAC industry is the right industry for you. Some people jump into the HVAC industry without much forethought – perhaps they think it is a good way to make a quick buck – but the truth is that you really have to love the industry to actually make your mark. The HVAC industry is much more than just heating and air conditioning systems, it is also about intricate machinery and working closely with people.
- Find a great trade or technical school. In most cases, you will need your certification from a trade school to make it in the HVAC industry. If you want to even apply for a job, you need to show proof that you completed a two-year program. In this program, you may learn much more than how to install, maintain and repair HVAC systems, you may also take PLC training courses, which can make you more acquainted with computerized systems. Having a broader range of skills and knowledge can increase your chances of succeeding in the HVAC industry.
- In many states, you will have to continue your education after receiving certification to keep your license valid. This ensures that you are consistently learning new techniques, while refreshing your knowledge on things that you have already learned. It is possible to continue your education online, which allows you to learn at your own pace and take exams when you are ready for them. Continuing your education can help your career significantly by not only ensuring that your license renewal is approved, but by keeping your up to date on HVAC fundamentals, laws, and safety procedures throughout your career.
- Start on the bottom and work your way up. The HVAC industry is a ladder industry – you must work your way up if you want to stay in the game and make it the top. So, in the beginning you may be toughing it out as an apprentice or assistant. Soon enough, you will become a junior technician and then senior technician and so on. Eventually, you may become an HVAC contractor or you may own a contracting business.
- Keep your ear to the ground. When you are going through a training program, you not only want to become acquainted with the technical aspect of the industry, but you also want to keep track of the actual industry. This includes following forums for new technology and even keeping an eye out for companies that may be hiring. This will undoubtedly make you more capable.
- Become NATE certified. Becoming NATE certified can help you out tremendously, because it can set you apart from other technicians in the industry. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence and you must study and take an exam to become certified. In the end, the more experienced you are, the better your chances of succeeding in the HVAC industry.