Becoming an HVAC Technician in Vermont
HVAC technicians or HVAC techs are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing heating, air conditioning and air filtration systems. These professionals are responsible for keeping homes and businesses at comfortable temperatures with proper ventilation. [Leer en español]
A successful HVAC technician has a good understanding of math and science and a desire to work with their hands. A typical day in the life of an HVAC technician may involve handling refrigerants, working with electricity and installing ductwork.
With many job markets in decline, more and more people in Vermont are considering learning a trade, and a career in HVAC is worth considering. The HVAC industry is ripe with job growth, and wages for people who work with HVAC systems are on the rise.
Requirements for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Vermont
While there are no specific requirements for HVAC technicians in Vermont, the state’s Division of Fire Safety manages licensing and certification for many systems related to heating and cooling.
Because of the potentially dangerous materials involved, the EPA requires that anyone who manages refrigerants must pass a safety exam.
HVAC course topics may include:
- Refrigeration mechanics
- Heating systems and heat pumps
- System design and installation
- Ventilation and air conditioning
- Energy conservation
HVAC Schools in Vermont
Most HVAC training programs require either a high school diploma or a GED. These programs can last as little as six months, but the majority of training courses last up to two years. These programs typically combine hands-on learning with classroom instruction. Many schools participate in apprenticeship programs that allow service technicians to get hands-on experience with businesses in their community. Online programs are another option, especially for those who require a flexible schedule.
- Vermont’s Department of Labor offers an apprenticeship program where jobseekers attend classes while working with local companies to obtain hands-on experience.
- Vermont Tech offers several online professional development courses in HVAC/R, including HVAC/R Certified Technician and an advanced HVAC/R Controls/Building Automation Systems program that covers commercial HVAC systems.
- Penn Foster provides a self-paced online program. Students can complete an HVAC/R certificate in as few as five months. Tuition costs less than $800 and also includes a voucher to take the EPA safety exam.
HVAC Certification for Becoming a Technician in Vermont
The state of Vermont has no required certifications or licenses in this industry. While the cities of Montpelier and Burlington do not impose their own requirements on HVAC technicians, other cities, towns and townships may have more specific guidelines.
On the federal level, anyone who buys, handles or uses refrigerants must pass an EPA certification exam. The Section 608 Technician Certification covers the safe handling and disposal of these hazardous materials.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The average HVAC technician can make over $38,000 their first year in Vermont, according to figures by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest-paid HVAC can bring home upwards of $72,000 per year.
More than 380,000 HVAC technicians work in the United States today, but demand is high for trained, experienced professionals. Ten years from now, that number is expected to grow by 5 percent.
Working as an HVAC Technician in Vermont
A typical HVAC technician works full time. Technicians who focus their training on one type of client or one type of system can command higher salaries. Especially in a northern state like Vermont, proper heating is an important part of maintaining any facility. Across the country, many HVAC professionals form partnerships with general contractors, while others service their own clients by starting their own heating and cooling companies.
HVAC technicians have a wide variety of jobs available. Local and state government agencies, school districts, corporations and apartment complexes provide a number of HVAC jobs. The many ski resorts in places like Stowe, Vermont, are always in need of experts to maintain, winterize and service their equipment as well.
The HVAC industry is growing by leaps and bounds, especially in Vermont. Anyone considering a career in HVAC should take advantage of the opportunity.