Certifications provides proof that a technician can display knowledge and competency in a field that requires a lot of analytical thought and problem solving.
But what certifications do HVAC technicians need to show employers that they are capable of performing various jobs in the field, and what HVAC certifications can be earned online?
HVAC Technician Certification Online
There are a few all-inclusive online HVAC programs available that will allow prospective HVAC students to earn a professional certification in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. One of those programs is a 265-hour course offered by career training center, ed2go.
According to the institution's website, students will receive "paid exam vouchers" after completing the program. These vouchers can be used to take the required EPA 608 exam and, if successfully passed, receive certification.
The EPA 608 exam is an exam required by the Environmental Protection Agency. It certifies an HVAC technician to work with any system or container that stores refrigerant, including industry-standard air conditioning coolants R-22 or R-410A. HVAC technicians can't work with or purchase these coolants unless they pass the exam.
According to the course outline for ed2go's all-inclusive HVAC program, students will learn the fundamentals of the industry, starting with learning how pressure, gas, and air relate to the mechanics of various HVAC equipment. After finishing the basics, students will move on to the more advanced topics.
The advanced topics include (but are not limited to):
- MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheets) labeling
- HVAC hand tools
- Atomic theory
- Alternating current
- Capacitors and transformers
- Common electrical components, including power wiring and controls
- Electrical motor topics (including three-phase motors, hermetic motors, etc.)
- Introduction to psychometrics
- Refrigerant safety and handling
Two other prominent HVAC certifications are the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and HVAC Excellence certifications, and training for the certifications can be taken online as well.
For example, students can receive NATE certification training from Everblue, an institution that provides an array of HVAC webinars and training programs. The school's NATE certification training will give students a background in both the basics and in installation and maintenance. To receive full certification, students must pass a basic service test (called the 'core' service test), and successfully pass at least one HVAC specialty exam.
Online Vs. Classroom Training: Pros And Cons
Online training, whether it's to receive an HVAC technician certification or some other certification or skill, is an incredibly convenient way to receive your education.
Other advantages of online instruction include being able to save money on tuition costs, gas, and other expenses, as well as the ability to complete the course requirements and study when you have free time.
Some of the disadvantages can include lack of hands-on training—which is especially important in the HVAC field—and not having an instructor immediately available for any questions and concerns you may have.