How to Become an HVAC Technician in Kansas
HVAC technicians are skilled professionals who work with heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in a variety of types of buildings.HVAC tech responsibilities include installing, maintaining, repairing and inspecting HVAC systems and making sure they run safely and efficiently. In Kansas, you can find work in rural or urban areas, but you will need to know what licensing requirements apply in each local area, as there are no statewide licenses. [Leer en español]
Requirements for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Kansas
There are two typical pathways for becoming an HVAC technician in Kansas: start with an academic, post-secondary program in HVAC technology or seek an apprenticeship through Kansas Works. Because there are no state requirements or licensing, the choice is up to you. In general, though, employers will want to hire entry-level HVAC workers who have learned in the classroom and on the job. It is also important to determine any licensing requirements in individual cities or counties in which you may seek employment.
HVAC Programs in Kansas
There are several post-secondary HVAC programs in Kansas. HVAC programs are accredited by the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) and HVAC Excellence. An accredited school is a good option, but not the only one. There are other great programs, and there are apprenticeships throughout the state.
- Johnson County Community College, Overland Park. This is the only accredited program in the state and is approved by PAHRA. The location is good for any students in the Kansas City area. You can choose between a certificate and a degree and expect to learn in the classroom and through an internship for hands-on training.
- Wichita Technical Institute, Wichita and Topeka. Wichita’s HVAC program also includes refrigerant training, a useful skill that expands employment opportunities. The program also prepares students to pass the exam for national refrigerant certification.
- Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City. The HVAC and refrigeration program here offers students the chance to earn an associate’s degree in HVAC or a certificate in HVAC, HVAC advanced or energy efficiency. Students learn in a hands-on environment and are prepared to get refrigerant certification.
- Apprenticeships. An apprenticeship can also provide all the training and education you need to become an HVAC technician. Kansas Works is a registered apprenticeship program to which people can apply to be matched to an appropriate professional for paid training.
Certification and Licensing for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Kansas
There are no statewide licenses for HVAC workers in Kansas, but many municipalities and counties license techs and contractors. Some only license contractors, while others license trade workers like journeyman HVAC technicians.
Sedgwick County and Wichita requires licensing for both. Journeyman and master technicians must show training and work experience to get licensed. Contractors must demonstrate either being or hiring a master HVAC worker on the payroll. Other areas of the state, including Johnson County and Overland Park, only license contractors.
Workers in HVAC who will handle refrigerants need to get Environmental Protection Agency Section 608 certification under federal law. No matter where you work, you need this certification if refrigerants will be part of the job. Certification requires passing an exam, and most training programs will make sure you are prepared for the test.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The outlook for careers in HVAC around the country and in most areas of Kansas is positive. Jobs are growing faster than average, at a strong rate of 15 percent. New HVAC workers can expect to find work easily and to enjoy good job stability, as new construction and technology upgrades keep them well in demand.
Salaries are also strong for HVAC workers. In Kansas, HVAC techs earn an average of $49,280 per year or $23.69 per hour. This is higher than the national average of $47,080 per year and $22.64 per hour.
Working as an HVAC Technician in Kansas
Most HVAC technicians find employment with contracting companies. They are needed to work in new construction, installing new systems, and to make upgrades and repairs and to do maintenance work on existing systems. HVAC workers may do their jobs in residential settings only or in commercial or industrial buildings.
In Kansas, you can expect to have a bright future in HVAC. The most job opportunities will be in and around Wichita, Overland Park and Kansas City, Olathe and Topeka. However, there are also jobs available in smaller cities and rural areas. With a few years of learning and training, you’ll be ready to land a great HVAC job anywhere in the state.