AC technicians are by far some of the most important HVAC professionals within the field. HVAC professionals in this role have the general responsibility of controlling the air conditioning and overall climate within multiple kinds of buildings, including the home and workplace. AC technicians perform multiple job functions including the maintenance and installation of AC systems, handling and disposing of certain components, correcting faulty wiring or replacing damaged fans, changing air filters, and performing pressure tests. AC technicians must possess several key skills and knowledge in order to properly perform their role such as having knowledge of AC systems, electricity, and construction as well as having a keen sense for problem solving and critical thinking. No matter what time of the year it is AC technicians are always in high demand and never have to fear a shortage of work.
AC Technician License and Certification
There are other requirements that must be met prior to obtaining work within the AC technician realm. Those who will work with refrigerants must obtain EPA Section 608 Technician Certification. This certification is offered in the forms of Type I, II, III or Universal which span from small appliances of 5 lbs of less of refrigerant up to certification which encompasses appliances of varying pressures and refrigerant content. In addition, different states have different licensing requirements for AC technicians. It is critical for those looking to work as AC technicians to check with both the state level and local level requirements on licensing prior to taking on work in the field. Licensure may be required at the apprentice, journeyman or contractor levels depending on the city or state the applicant lives in and there may also be licensure for the specific type of work that they are able to perform. Some AC technicians may even be required to obtain licensure as a boiler operator or engineer.
AC Technician Training and Education
Prior to starting work in this field most candidates will need at least a high school diploma or GED. In most cases, candidates will enroll within an AC technician program prior to obtaining their first job within the field. Programs for this specialty typically last anywhere from 6 months up to 1 year and will adequately prepare all applicants to enter an apprenticeship following their successful completion. Apprenticeship programs usually last between 2 and 5 years. Those who are interested in obtaining college education or are required to obtain at least an associate’s degree may oftentimes use their education towards the required length of time for their apprenticeship or use this towards actual job requirements. Generally, those with a college education, specifically a bachelor’s degree, or those who have completed several years of work within an apprenticeship will move up the ladder much more quickly than those who have less formal education or overall experience.
AC Technician Salary
AC technicians earn on average $47,000 per year with a general range of $30,000 to $75,000 depending on experience and education. States which pay the highest rates for AC technicians include Hawaii, Illinois, and Connecticut with professionals earning well over $60,000 annually on average.