HVAC (Heating & Cooling) FAQs

A high school diploma or GED equivalent is the entry-level education required to be a technician. Click here to find the licensing requirements in your state.

Training for HVAC jobs is available from trade schools, community colleges, and on the job as an apprentice.

Apprenticeship programs are provided by trade schools, industry organizations, state programs and contractors. Apprenticeships typically span two to five years and provide paid on-the-job training. Programs vary by state. Click here to find information about apprenticeship programs.
In most states, technicians must have two to five years of work experience before they can take an examination and obtain a license to receive a journeyman or mechanical license. State-specific licensing requirements are widely varied and can be found here.

Again, depending on your state, technicians may be required to achieve additional certification for their role. One common certification that is recognized across the industry is NATE (North American Technician Excellence). NATE tests working knowledge of HVAC systems and maintains professional standards among technicians in the industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary was $51,390 in 2022.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects about 6% growth for HVAC technicians between 2022-2032. HVAC technicians are essential in any economy to keep communities safe and healthy.

With a solid background and knowledge in math, chemistry, problem-solving skills and a high mechanical aptitude, technicians who work in residential service have great customer service skills and enjoy working with homeowners each day. Another helpful hint – know your technology! Much of the diagnostic work with air conditioners and furnaces is done with the technician’s tablet or phone. HVAC technicians enjoy practical work and have good eye-hand coordination. They must also be able to work independently, should cope with physical demands of the job, and have good interpersonal skills. Residential technicians serve their communities and take pride in their skill set, knowing that they’ve helped homeowners.