How to Become an HVAC Technician in Oklahoma
A career in HVAC in Oklahoma could be just a few classes and a couple years of paid on-the-job training away. Technicians who can install, maintain, repair and inspect heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems in homes and businesses are in high demand. In this career you’ll enjoy good job stability and your choice of positions, as well as a good salary. [Leer en español]
Requirements for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Oklahoma
Oklahoma licenses HVAC apprentices, journeymen and contractors. Apprentice licensing requires that you have a position secured with a licensed contractor. To become a journeyman, you must work for at least three years as an apprentice or in a similar work experience position. Classroom instruction can count for one or two of those years. Contractors in the state must meet the same educational and training requirements as journeymen, plus one additional year of work experience.
HVAC Programs in Oklahoma
To begin a career in HVAC in Oklahoma you have two options: complete an academic degree or diploma program or enroll in and complete an apprenticeship program. Academic programs are accredited by HVAC Excellence or the Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). In addition to completing one of these programs, you will need to also have some work experience to qualify for licensing as a journeyman.
- Red River Technology Center, Duncan. Like many of the academic programs in Oklahoma, Red River trains both high school and adult students. This adult program in HVAC and refrigeration is accredited by HVAC Excellence and costs just $811.
- Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa. Tulsa Tech has a PAHRA-accredited program that takes nine months to complete for adult students. Graduates can apply credits to college programs and are prepared for several types of HVAC certification.
- Indian Capital Technology Center, Talequah. Indian Capital trains students to work in residential and commercial settings and with refrigerants. Graduates are eligible to apply and test for several types of certification.
Rather than completing an academic program, you may choose to enroll in an apprenticeship program that provides both coursework and hands-on training. You can check out Oklahoma Works to find available registered apprenticeships or apply directly to local unions and professional construction organizations that offer training programs.
Certification and Licensing for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s Construction Industries Board is responsible for licensing HVAC workers in the state. HVAC apprentices, journeymen and contractors are licensed under the general mechanical heading. Apprentices must register and have an application signed by a supervising contractor. Journeymen must have three years of work experience, or one or two years of experience plus classroom hours, as well as a passing score on an exam. Contractors need one additional year of experience and must pass another test.
If you will be working with refrigerants, and many HVAC workers do, you will also need Environmental Protection Agency Section 608 technician certification. Most apprenticeships and academic programs will prepare you to pass the examination for this certification that is mandated by the federal Clean Air Act.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
In Oklahoma, HVAC technicians earn an average of $45,360 per year and $21.81 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You will have the opportunity to earn more as you gain additional experience and certifications and if you become a contractor.
You can expect to have good job stability in this career, as growth in the industry is 15 percent across the country.
Working as an HVAC Technician in Oklahoma
Most HVAC technicians are hired by HVAC or other mechanical contractors. Some of these companies are small, while others are large; some focus on residential buildings, and others do commercial work. Look for the most opportunities in Oklahoma’s biggest cities and surrounding suburbs, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Broken Arrow.