HVAC Systems Technician FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What an HVAC Systems Technician Does
What type of work does an HVAC Systems Technician do?
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Systems Technicians perform a variety of duties including (but not limited to) repair or replace broken equipment, components, or wiring, repair or service HVAC systems such as change filters, clean ducts, or refill refrigerants, install, connect, or adjust equipment such as thermostats and timers, inspect and test systems, measure, cut, or thread pipe or tubing, recommend, develop, and/or perform plans for general and preventative maintenance on equipment, comply with standards (such as safety standards), policies and procedures, and adjust system controls.
Where do HVAC Systems Technicians work?
HVAC Systems Technicians are traditionally employed in the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors industry. They will often work for contractors and/or businesses that service Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration systems. HVAC Systems Technicians often perform work in schools, businesses, hospitals, office buildings, or factories.
Will I be able to find a job?
It’s important to note that no school can guarantee employment. Here at Dorsey Schools, we offer career services assistance to all eligible graduates of the HVAC Systems Technician program. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page. It is worth noting though that according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers (positions that can be filled by HVAC Systems Technician graduates) is projected to grow 14% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.a In addition, according to the State of Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers (positions that can be filled by HVAC Systems Technician graduates) is projected to grow 15.6% from 2014 to 2024.b
How much can I expect to make as an HVAC Systems Technician?
Here are some helpful websites that will allow you to view information on Wages & Employment trends:
- Michigan Occupational Wage Information (The SOC for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (positions that can be filled by HVAC Systems Technicians) is 49-9021)
- O*NET Online (Scroll down to Wages & Employment Trends to view helpful info on National/State trends)
Are there other jobs I may be able to obtain as an HVAC Systems Technician?
HVAC Systems Technicians may work under other occupational titles such as HVAC Service Tech, HVAC Mechanic, HVAC Specialist, HVAC Technician, Service Technician, Systems Mechanic, AC Tech, and HVAC Installer. When looking at any position, it’s important to evaluate the duties of the position along with the required skills and knowledge to determine if a candidate may meet the requirements set forth by the employer.
Are there other career opportunities for HVAC Systems Technicians?
Some may choose to use a career as an HVAC Systems Technician as an entryway into the Skilled Trades field. It would not be uncommon for an HVAC Systems Technician to work in the field to gain experience and/or later go back to school to further their education and/or strengthen their credentials.
Becoming an HVAC Systems Technician
How might I determine if this is a good career choice for me?
In choosing any career, it’s important that someone look at a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Can I see myself doing the work that this position/occupation performs and am I going to be happy performing those tasks in that type of work setting?
- Do I have the skills/traits/characteristics that one may need to be successful in a position like this?
- How is the employment outlook/trends for this position?
I have no background/experience in the HVAC field – can I really do this?
You can! Many HVAC Systems Technicians have little to no formal Skilled Trades experience prior to beginning their training. That’s why it’s very important for someone interested in becoming an HVAC Systems Technician to evaluate their school and training options closely.
What type of training is needed?
HVAC Systems Technicians typically attend a post-secondary school or institution to obtain training. Many of these programs lead to a certificate or a diploma and typically take one year or less to complete. Most HVAC Systems Technicians are required to have successfully passed the EPA Section 608 Type 2 Certification exam in order to work in the field. Some states and localities may also have additional requirements for HVAC Systems Technicians in order to obtain gainful employment. It’s also important to note that since HVAC Systems Technicians work very closely with this equipment in the actual occupational setting, it can be advantageous to a student to choose a program that has a strong hands-on component so they can “learn by doing.” Some HVAC Systems Technicians may also learn on the job by way of an apprenticeship.
How long do I have to go to school?
Many HVAC Systems Technician programs can be completed in a year or less. In choosing a program, it’s important for someone to evaluate the training that is included so they can ensure they are receiving the training they need (and want) prior to entering the Skilled Trades field as an HVAC Systems Technician.
What are important characteristics for HVAC Systems Technicians to have?
While this isn’t a full list of important characteristics, HVAC Systems Technicians should have good mechanical skills, customer service skills, physical strength, time management skills, and be detail-oriented. If you’re lacking in one or more of these areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t be a good HVAC Systems Technician, and it may be an area you wish to focus on as part of your training.
Is Certification/Licensure required to obtain employment as an HVAC Systems Technician?
It’s always important to check if the state and/or locality in which you want to work has specific requirements for HVAC Systems Technicians to obtain employment. In most cases, HVAC Systems Technicians will need to be certified in at least one component of the EPA Section 608 Certification Exam. The HVAC Systems Technician program at Dorsey Schools provides students with the opportunity to challenge the EPA Section 608 Type 2 Certification Exam as part of the program curriculum.
The Dorsey Schools HVAC Systems Technician Program
What will be covered in the program?
The Dorsey Schools HVAC Systems Technician program offers instruction in both a traditional classroom setting as well as a hands-on environment by way of the labs at Dorsey Schools as well as an externship that will take place during the final module of training. Students enrolled in the HVAC Systems Technician program will be exposed to a variety of topics including (but not limited to):
- Fundamentals of HVAC
- Residential Systems
- Commercial Systems
- Blueprinting, Weatherization, and Sustainability
- System Design, Sizing, and Layout
- EPA Standards
- Systems Troubleshooting and Schematics
- Industry Safety Standards
- And more…!
Is your program hands-on?
Yes! Students will have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in both the labs on campus at Dorsey Schools as well as during their externship.
What’s the externship and why is that important?
The externship will take place during the last module of training and will provide students with an opportunity to apply skills they have learned throughout their training in an actual occupational setting.
How long is the program?
The Dorsey Schools HVAC Systems Technician program is designed to be completed in less than one year.
Who are the instructors?
Our instructors are caring individuals that possess experience and expertise in their respective field. Our instructors meet the criteria set forth by the State of Michigan as well as the criteria set forth by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (Dorsey Schools’ institutional accrediting body).
Why should I choose Dorsey over another school?
Students choose Dorsey Schools over other Career Training Schools for a variety of reasons. You can learn more by visiting The Dorsey Difference page.
Which Dorsey campuses offer the HVAC Systems Technician program?
The HVAC Systems Technician program is offered at the following Dorsey Schools campus location: Wayne-Westland, MI.
How do I enroll?
If you’re interested in enrolling in the HVAC Systems Technician program at Dorsey Schools, the first step you should take is meeting with one of our Admissions Representatives. You can read more about our Admissions process on our Admissions information page.
Does your program include certification?
During the HVAC Systems Technician program at Dorsey Schools, students will have the opportunity to challenge the EPA Section 608 Type 2 Certification Examination, which is usually required for technicians to work in the field.
Will your program prepare me for certification?
The Dorsey Schools HVAC Systems Technician program is designed to prepare students to challenge the EPA Section 608 Type 2 certification exam, during their training program.
Is your school/program accredited?
Yes! Dorsey Schools is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
What is the tuition for the program?
The current tuition for the Dorsey Schools HVAC Systems Technician program can be accessed by clicking here.
What is included in my tuition?
In addition to program instruction, tuition includes books, a basic toolkit and Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for students in this program to challenge a certification exam as selected by Dorsey Schools (and noted above), contingent upon the student meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
Is Financial Aid available?
Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. For additional information on Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance, we would encourage you to visit our Financial Aid Information page.
Can you help me find a job after graduation?
Dorsey Schools offers Career Services assistance to all eligible graduates, however, job placement is not guaranteed. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
For your reference, we’ve included the links below of several very helpful websites where you can learn more about HVAC Systems Technicians, info pertaining to Jobs as an HVAC Systems Technician, the work HVAC Systems Technicians do, etc.:
aBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm (visited July 11, 2016).
bMichigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Long-Term Occupational Employment Projections (2014-2024) Michigan Statewide, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (SOC Code: 49-9021), http://milmi.mt.gov/Portals/137/publications/projectionsdata/LongTerm_OccupationalProj_2024_MI.xlsx (visited July 11, 2016).
Michigan Occupational Wage Information: http://milmi.org/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=124
O*Net Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/49-9021.01
Dorsey Schools Gainful Employment Disclosures for the HVAC Systems Technician program: For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here.