How to Become an HVAC Technician in New Hampshire

HVAC technicians are skilled professionals who are responsible for the installation, repair and upkeep of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems in commercial, industrial and residential areas. Other responsibilities of HVAC technicians include recording heat loads and losses, repairing the components of HVAC systems (wiring, pumps, valves, fans), sketching and reading blueprints and educating clients on energy efficiency. Because temperatures often drop below freezing in the winter, New Hampshire is a prime location for HVAC technicians to seek work. [Leer en español]

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Requirements for Becoming an HVAC Technician in New Hampshire

HVAC technicians are not required to hold statewide certification or licensure to work in the state of New Hampshire. There is a voluntary certification for oil heating technicians available through the New Hampshire Department of Safety. Also, federal EPA Section 608 certification is mandatory for anyone who works with refrigerants, whether they hold any other certification or not.

Most employers will require their employees to have a high school diploma or GED, but there are no other educational requirements to work as an HVAC technician in the state. However, the best way to prepare for career in the HVAC field is through a combination of education and training. This can be achieved by either completing an apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor, or by completing a post-secondary educational program.

HVAC Schools in New Hampshire

Working as an apprentice under an HVAC journeyman or licensed contractor is a way to gain educational training as well as work experience, all while getting paid. The New Hampshire Department of Education supports adult education and offers electrical, plumbing and machining apprenticeship programs. You can also find apprenticeships by checking local job listings and contacting contractors and contracting companies in your area.

HVAC program topics may include:

  • Heating systems
  • Heat pumps
  • Electrical wiring
  • Steam systems
  • Control systems

There are two agencies responsible for the accreditation of HVAC schools: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). New Hampshire currently does not have any colleges or universities that offer accredited HVAC programs, but there are several schools in the state that offer HVAC training programs.

Consider the following HVAC courses:

  • Manchester Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in HVAC. This program can be completed in two to three years, depending on how many credit hours you take per semester. Manchester also offers the following certificate programs: Advanced HVAC, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration and Heating Services. The certificate programs can be completed within two years, and all classes count toward the degree program.
  • New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades in Manchester offers the following certificate programs: Air Conditioning Technician, Refrigeration Technician and Oil Heat Technician. You can also take a combination of the courses. The EPA exam is included in the AC Tech certificate program for an additional fee. All programs are 120 hours long. Taking a combination of the courses does take longer.
  • The Granite State Trade School, located in Raymond, offers an online HVAC course as well as a certificate program that can be taken two nights a week over four semesters. This program consists of 300 educational hours. It is also one of the lowest priced two-year programs in the country.

HVAC Certification and Licensing for Becoming a Technician in New Hampshire

All HVAC technicians who will be handling and working with refrigerants must take the exam to obtain EPA Certification. This certification is mandatory, regardless of the city or state you live in or what level of education or experience you have.

See EPA section 608 certification for more information.

There are four different categories in which you can test for this certification: small appliances, high-pressure appliances, low-pressure appliances and universal (which applies to all appliances).

Additionally, you can get the voluntary certification offered by the NH Department of Safety. To get this certification, you must fill out an application, pay a fee, have at least 4,000 hours (two years) of work experience and have certification through either the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) or North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Once you hold this certification, you must renew every two years and complete six hours of code update.

There are three levels of NORA certification: Bronze, Silver and Gold. A minimum of 80 hours of classroom instruction and a certification exam are required for Bronze certification. To upgrade to silver, you must complete 20 hours of continued education and have three years work experience as well as pass the exam. To achieve gold certification, you must have five years work experience and silver certification. You must also complete four advanced training modules.

Technicians must have at least two years work experience and pass the NATE exam and a specialty exam to obtain NATE certification. There may also be other local or regional specific certifications, permits or registration within the state. HVAC technicians should check on these prior to beginning work or working in a new area of the state.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The salary data for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (49-9021.00) in New Hampshire, as compared to the national average, highlights the state’s competitive wages for this occupation. In New Hampshire, these professionals earn an average annual salary of $62,040, significantly above the national average of $51,390. The salary range in New Hampshire extends from $41,840 at the 10th percentile to $80,030 at the 90th percentile, indicating a broad range of earning potential based on experience, specialization, and other factors.

National vs. New Hampshire Salaries for HVAC Technicians

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median Annual High (90%)
United States $36,170 $51,390 $82,630
New Hampshire $41,840 $62,040 $80,030

Salaries by Region in New Hampshire for HVAC Technicians

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual Median Annual High (90%)
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $46,380 $72,910 $97,550
Central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area $39,370 $61,710 $72,450
Dover-Durham, NH-ME $46,020 $61,550 $75,240
Manchester, NH $38,030 $61,750 $81,420
Northern New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area $47,270 $62,360 $71,290
Portsmouth, NH-ME $42,430 $61,420 $77,040
West Central-Southwest New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area $42,760 $62,040 $71,550

HVAC Trends in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, the employment outlook for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (49-9021.00) is positive, with a projected growth of 6% from 2020 to 2030. The number of employees in this occupation is expected to increase from 2,300 in 2020 to 2,430 by 2030. Annually, there are projected to be 240 job openings in New Hampshire for this occupation during this period, which includes openings due to both industry growth and replacements. This growth rate aligns with the national average growth rate of 6% for the same period, indicating a steady demand for HVAC technicians within the state.

Employement Trends

Aspect New Hampshire United States
Employment (2020 for NH, 2022 for US) 2,300 employees 415,800 employees
Projected Employment (2030 for NH, 2032 for US) 2,430 employees 438,800 employees
Projected Growth 6% 6%
Projected Annual Job Openings (2020-2030 for NH, 2022-2032 for US) 240 37,700

Sources of data:

  • For employment trends and projections: Projections Central’s 2020-2030 long-term projections.
  • For national employment and wage data: The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2022-2032 employment projections.

Working as an HVAC Technician in New Hampshire

HVAC systems generally require replacement every 10 to 15 years. Additionally, they need system checks annually, sometimes seasonally. And then troubleshooting and repairs will be needed on occasion. Therefore, there will always be a need for workers in this field.

HVAC technicians usually work for HVAC contractors, whether it be an independent contractor or a larger contracting company. Many HVAC technicians go on to be contractors themselves and run their own businesses.

In New Hampshire, you can expect to find the most job opportunities in the cities of Manchester and Portsmouth. Portsmouth is also one of the highest paying regions for HVAC technicians in the state, along with the southwest nonmetropolitan area of New Hampshire.

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How do you become an HVAC technician in New Hampshire?

  • 1. Earn a high school diploma or GED.
  • 2. Complete an apprenticeship under a licensed HVAC contractor, or complete an accredited educational program.
  • 3. Earn voluntary certification for oil heating technicians.
  • 4. If you want to work with refrigerants, federal EPA Section 608 certification is mandatory.

How much do heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers earn in the state of New Hampshire?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers in the state of New Hampshire made an average of $54,270 per year in 2019. Entry-level heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers earned around $34,940 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $75,740.

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