What Do I Need to Know About Heating and Air Conditioning?


An HVAC technician installs, repairs and maintains heating and air conditioning systems, including refrigeration systems. A technician might specialize commercially or residentially in several areas including:

  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Air conditioning Repair
  • Heating
  • Air Conditioning
  • Refrigeration

The HVAC system not only involves temperature control, but also is responsible for oxygen replenishment, and the eradication of odors, dust, carbon dioxide and even airborne bacteria. Heating and ventilation is essential for providing a safe, comfortable work or home environment, by maintaining air circulation and removal of moisture to prevent mold and mildew.

What Can I Expect From HVAC Service Training?

An HVAC Certification is well within reach, whether you just graduated high school or are embarking on a career change later in life. A technician is expected to have a HVAC certification or associate’s degree from a technical school accredited by HVAC Excellence, the National Center for Construction Education and Research, or the Partnerships for Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation. Programs will run from between six months, to two years.

Valley College’s program is nine months. It is possible to complete a formal apprenticeship, however, doing so is not as common today. In this case, an apprenticeship will take three to five years, integrating hands on experience and classroom instruction, but does not end with a degree.

An HVAC license to work is required and written certification exams are offered by several associations.

Valley College has a program that features hands-on experience on site that translates the classroom instruction into practical experience. The technical nature of the job makes the informational component essential. We take care to make sure our students can use information learned in the classroom while understanding the implications for safety.

Perhaps most importantly, we also offer career development and guidance in finding you the right job and putting you on a path to success.

What Are the Hard Facts of the Air Conditioning Repair Industry?

AC Repair and Heating repair are dangerous. You’ll be in a line of work that requires skill and know-how. You will be spending time in small spaces that are hot and uncomfortable. On the other hand, you could find yourself in an unheated building during the dead of winter. It’s not an easy job and requires mental and physical stamina.

Proper precautions must be taken to prevent shocks, burns, or muscle fatigue or strains.

Trained heating and ventilation technicians understand mechanical engineering. In order to be successful, you need proper skills and training to think critically and problem solve. You are expected to troubleshoot and even foresee potential issues. Outside of this, you need basic people skills.  A client has his choice of companies to hire as his HVAC experts. You want the client to know that you have strong listening skills and are prepared to offer good customer service. With this skill set in mind, some technicians move into sales and marketing, or project management.

Valley College will prepare you for a typical work day, which involves:

  • Installation
  • Troubleshooting and repair
  • Application of local HVAC codes
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Providing technical support to others in the field
  • Collaboration with sales and engineering to develop solutions
  • Design and install wiring
  • Overtime and after hours calls

How Much Money Can I Expect to Make in Heating and Ventilation?

HVAC technicians make a decent living by today’s standards. The more experience you have, the better you will do. When you’re just starting out, salary is around $37,000 a year. Once you are in the middle of your career, with over ten years of experience, the median income jumps close to $52,000 a year. You have the option to remain an HVAC technician for the life of your career, or move on to project management or construction management. Senior project managers can make over $100,000 per year and construction management, around $69,000 per year. These are median incomes and will vary based on location and company. You will earn bonuses and overtime with most companies, including after-hours calls.

Some technicians work for HVAC companies like Trane Inc, or for contractors. Another option is to be self-employed and start your own business given the right circumstances.

Job security is as important as income. The outlook for HVAC technicians is good. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this job will grow faster than most through the year 2022, at least. Your prospect of finding a job is almost guaranteed.

This is the right path for you if you are looking for job security, whether you’ve just graduated high school or are looking for a career change. Valley College offers an HVAC school packed with hands on instruction by experienced technicians. Learn more by calling us today.