How to Become an HVAC Technician in New York
Home and business owners throughout New York rely on qualified professionals to maintain the heating and cooling systems in their buildings.
Because of the state’s size, dense population, and unpredictable weather, HVAC technicians in NY are almost always in demand.
If you want to pursue this challenging and lucrative career path, however, you’ll need the proper training and credentials.
Education & Training
HVAC Certification Program
Find a New York trade school or community college with an HVAC certificate or degree program. Many schools offer convenient weekend or online classes, which could be perfect if you have other work or family obligations during the week.
Course curriculum varies by institution, but most HVAC training programs range from six months to two years long and include classes like:
- Basic Mathematics
- Schematic and Blueprint Reading
- Fundamentals of Electrical, Heating, Cooling, and Hydronics Systems
- Welding and Sheet Metal Fabrication
- Load Calculations and Psychometrics
- Troubleshooting and Diagnostics
Additional Skills Taught
Many HVAC courses also teach students how to install, repair, and replace refrigeration units in residential and commercial buildings.
Customer service and communications classes are also part of most programs so aspiring HVAC techs can learn to interact with clients and coworkers in a professional and efficient manner.
In addition to learning through traditional classroom instruction, HVAC students complete practical assignments to gain hands-on experience.
Community colleges and trade schools typically have workshop areas where aspiring HVAC technicians can practice installing and repairing furnaces, air conditioners, and refrigeration units.
New York HVAC Technician Requirements
After earning your certificate or degree, you’ll need to begin a Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship and gain industry experience working with a licensed HVAC technician in New York. Each program has different standards that apprentice HVAC techs must meet.
On the Job-Training Time
However, most apprenticeships require you to complete 1,000 to 2,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training.
How Long Will It Take?
Each city in New York has its own requirements for HVAC apprenticeships. If you decide to begin an internship right after high school, you might finish your training in about five years.
Meanwhile, those who complete a trade school program first usually earn the required hours in roughly three years. At the end of your apprenticeship, you can apply for an official HVAC license.
HVAC Licensing Exam
HVAC license exam requirements vary by city in New York, so you’ll need to check with your local licensing bureau to learn about the application and testing processes in your area.
Some New York residents may need to pass an official exam. Others may only need to present documentation to prove they’ve completed the required industry hours and pay a registration fee to receive their license.
- Type 1: Servicing small appliances
- Type 2: Servicing high-pressure appliances
- Type 3: Servicing low-pressure appliances
- Universal: Servicing all types of equipment
HVAC Technician Salaries in NY
How Much Can You Make?
The average HVAC technician salary in New York varies depending on where you live. Check out the list below to see the typical annual earnings for qualified HVAC techs in your location.
- New York City $74,970
- Syracuse $59,348
- Yonkers $68,062
- Rochester $58,942
- Long Island $74,171
- Albany $63,730
Techs with additional skills and refrigeration or boiler maintenance certification may earn over $80k per year. After several years of working in the industry, many technicians decide to open their own private HVAC or building facilities maintenance businesses.
What Do They Do?
An HVAC tech is a skilled trades professional like an electrician, plumber, or welder. As the acronym suggests, HVAC technicians work on the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in homes and office buildings.
HVAC technicians perform a wide range of duties during their workday. For example, an HVAC specialist might conduct routine maintenance checks at the start of their shift to ensure the filters, drains, motors, and other parts of a client’s heating and cooling systems are functioning properly.
After completing that task, the tech may travel to a different location to repair or replace a faulty furnace or air conditioner.
Those working with construction companies might be able to perform all their duties at a single site. HVAC technicians in these roles consult with architects and builders to determine where the building’s heaters, air conditioners, and vents will go.
Then, they install the necessary units in the new build or renovation and ensure the heating and cooling systems are up to code.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for HVAC jobs in the United States is likely to increase by five percent over the next decade. Qualified professionals with ample industry experience may have access to as many as 40,100 employment opportunities per year between 2021 and 2031.