You can become an HVAC installer by completing high school before becoming an apprentice to a skilled installer and entering a formal training program. In some instances, you may be able to learn to become an HVAC installer through on-the-job training. If you live in a jurisdiction where installers must be licensed or officially certified, you will need to work as an apprentice for a predetermined amount of time, undergo formal training and pass a highly detailed certification exam before you can become an HVAC installer. Depending on where you live, apprenticeship and training can take as many as five years to complete.
Most heating, ventilation and air conditioning experts, also known as HVAC installers, learn the trade by enrolling in programs that teach HVAC drywall and installation maintenance and repair. While training to become an HVAC installer, most will also work as an apprentice under a more experienced HVAC installer for several years to gain hands-on training and supervision. Some also learn HVAC installation while enlisted in the military. While a relatively small number of installers do gain access to this career via on-the-job training, most employers prefer to hire new installers who have actually completed specialized training through a formal program, which includes an apprenticeship, or those who have been trained in a military setting.
As an HVAC installer, you must be able to read complicated blueprints, maps, instructions and manuals, as well as perform mathematical formulas and be computer literate. Installers must also be able to work in extreme weather and temperature conditions, particularly when an HVAC system breaks or malfunctions during very warm or very cold weather months. Installers are also sometimes required to work in extremely narrow spaces or at unusual heights. To become an HVAC installer, you must, therefore, be able to adapt relatively quickly to uncomfortable conditions while still maintaining the highest levels of competency and professionalism.
Investigate the requirements to become an HVAC installer in your area. If licensing or certification is necessary before you can begin working as an installer, be sure to select a school or program that will prepare you for such. You may also check with local trade schools to find specific HVAC installer training programs, as well as access training through a community college. Enrolling in one of these programs may also help you acquire an apprenticeship or you may discover new apprentice opportunities through local HVAC installer trade organizations.