How to Become an HVAC Technician in Connecticut

Professionals who install and service heating and cooling equipment are known as HVAC technicians or HVAC techs, and they are thoroughly trained in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration technology. Another name for this field is HVAC/R or HVAC technology. [Leer en español]

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Professionals in this field inspect and maintain heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems and run diagnostics on these units when they aren’t working correctly. Those who choose this career in Connecticut usually find that they are in high demand for their expertise.

Requirements for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Connecticut

Becoming a technician in Connecticut requires HVAC training that lasts between six months and two years. Postsecondary education such as a High School Diploma or equivalent is required by most employers, since the knowledge required to work in this field has become more and more complex. Training includes learning how to install, repair and troubleshoot HVAC systems.

Other HVAC topics may include:

  • Basic electricity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Temperature control
  • Steam systems
  • Heating systems

HVAC techs need to have a thorough understanding of the science behind these systems in order to properly work on them as well as various skills such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Troubleshooting skills

Working in this field in the state of Connecticut requires being licensed by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. EPA Section 608 Certification is required in Connecticut for anyone who works with refrigerants, and this is provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This means anyone who repairs, services, maintains or disposes of equipment that could release ozone-depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere. Technicians are required to pass an exam that is EPA-approved.

Connecticut HVAC Schools and Apprenticeship Programs

In order to develop the skills needed to become an HVAC technician in Connecticut, you will be required to complete an apprenticeship or postsecondary training program at an accredited HVAC school. The Office of Apprenticeship Training, a division of the Connecticut Department of Labor, offers information about the specific courses required for skilled trades, including heating and cooling.

There are many HVAC schools in Connecticut. Consider one of the following training programs if you wish to pursue this career path:

  • Lincoln Technical Institute. With campuses in New Britain and East Winsor, Connecticut, the Lincoln Technical Institute HVAC program focuses on climate and environmental changes and how HVAC technicians can use energy audits to work with these changes. The diploma program at East Winsor campus is offered during the day and takes approximately 67 weeks to complete, offering both classroom theory and hands-on instruction. The program offered on the New Britain campus includes both day and evening classes and takes approximately 80 weeks to complete.
  • Industrial Management Training Institute. Located in Waterbury, Connecticut, Industrial Management Training Institute (IMTI) offers day, evening and online programs that cover theory and hands-on training, preparing students for the diagnosis and repair of different HVAC units. License exam and review classes are also offered by IMTI.
  • Porter and Chester Institute. At Porter and Chester Institute, students have the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to become a HVAC/R technician in less than a year. The program includes learning to install, repair and maintain HVAC/R units in both residential and commercial settings. Locations include Branford, Rocky Hill, Stratford and Waterbury, CT.

Students who meet the requirements might be eligible for financial aid. For further information, contact the institute’s financial office.

HVAC Certification and Licensing for Becoming a Technician in Connecticut

Anyone who will be working with refrigerants in Connecticut and elsewhere is required hold active EPA Section 608 certification. There are several different types of heating and cooling licensing types in Connecticut.

Becoming a journeyperson requires completion of a registered apprenticeship program or equivalent on-the-job training and experience. Apprenticeships last between one and four years, depending on which license you are trying to pursue. Becoming a contractor requires two years as a properly licensed journeyperson or equivalent experience. Journeypersons are required to be employed by a licensed contractor.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC techs in Connecticut have an hourly mean wage of $29.45 and an annual mean salary of $61,250. In a nonmetropolitan area in Connecticut, the annual mean salary is $59,430. Earnings potential is even higher during peak service times.

Career Onestop reports that the hourly rate of pay for heating and air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers range from a low of $18.63 per hour to a high of $37.60 per hour.

Working as an HVAC Technician in Connecticut

HVAC professionals in Connecticut may find employment by working for a licensed contractor or as a self-employed licensed contractor. Servicing and installation of heating and air conditioning systems is required in many different areas, including residential neighborhoods, professional office buildings, hospitals, hotels, schools and more.

Growth of this occupation is expected to be much faster than average, and new job opportunities in the future are very likely.

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How do I become an HVAC technician in Connecticut?

  • 1. Complete an HVAC apprenticeship or post-secondary program.
  • 2. To become a journeyperson licensed with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protections, find work with an HVAC contractor.
  • 3. Earn EPA Section 608 Certification to handle refrigeration.
  • 4. Become a licensed HVAC contractor after two years as a journeyperson.

Is HVAC worth learning?

Absolutely! HVAC is a very important and in-demand skilled trade. Considering the growing popularity of sustainable green construction, the need for certified HVAC technicians is expected to continue increasing in the coming years. Pursuing training in HVAC can open up a lot of career opportunities and lead to a very fulfilling career helping keep homes and buildings comfortable year-round.

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