How to Become an HVAC Tech in New York

Did you know that New York is the 4th highest state in the nation for HVAC employment?  Because of the state’s size, population, and unpredictable weather, HVAC techs always in demand.

Education & Training

The best way to get started in HVAC is take an online certification course, such as the ones below.

Search HVACR Certified Technician Programs

Get information on HVACR Certified Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Program Benefits

Graduates will be prepared to pass the three main certification exams:

HVAC Excellence Professional Exam

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NATE Core and Specialty Test

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EPA 608 certification exam

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With an online class, you can study on nights or weekends if you have other work or family obligations during the week.

What Do You Study?

Introduction to HVACR Concepts:

  • Fundamental principles including heat, temperature, pressure, matter, and energy.
  • Detailed exploration of refrigeration processes and refrigerants, including oil chemistry and management.

Operational Safety and Equipment Use:

  • Comprehensive safety protocols and practical quizzes.
  • Detailed insights into tools, equipment, and shop practices, including handling fasteners, tubing, and piping.
  • Procedures for leak detection, system evacuation, and cleanup.

Control Systems and Calibration:

  • Basic to advanced concepts in electricity and magnetism.
  • Introduction and troubleshooting of automatic control systems, including applications of DDCs and pneumatics.
  • Calibration of measuring instruments and system charging techniques.

Electric Motors and Controls:

  • Classification and application of various electric motors.
  • Motor control systems and methodologies for diagnosing and repairing motor issues.

Commercial Refrigeration Techniques:

  • Key components like evaporators, condensers, compressors, and expansion devices.
  • Troubleshooting techniques and special focus on commercial ice machines and refrigeration systems.

Heating Systems and Air Quality Management:

  • Overview of heating options including electric, gas, oil, and hydronic systems.
  • Indoor air quality and air-conditioning specifics, focusing on cooling and comfort dynamics.

Installation and Maintenance Practices:

  • Effective air distribution, system installation, and energy auditing.
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting of different chilled-water air-conditioning systems.

Advanced Applications and System Integration:

  • Comprehensive look at all-weather systems, air source and geothermal heat pumps.
  • Coverage of domestic and commercial cooling systems, including detailed operation of high-pressure and absorption chilled-water systems.

Professional Development and Simulation Training:

  • Soft skills essential for HVACR technicians including communication, decision-making, and problem-solving.
  • Advanced simulation challenges focused on practical application in HVAC and electrical systems.

How Long is It?

You can complete the 330 hour course in 9 to 12 months.  Just depends on how frequently you can study.

How Much Does It Cost?

$3100, which can be financed.  Materials and textbooks are included in the price.

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Other Local Trade School Programs

    Apex Technical School
    Comprehensive HVAC program that provides 900 hours of training in repairing and maintaining various systems, prepares students for the EPA Type 608 certification exam, and offers flexible class schedules starting every few weeks.

    • Long Island City


    Lincoln Tech
    Learn from Master HVAC Educators in this hands on career training program. Morning and evening classes. HVAC Excellence Accreditation.

    • Whitestone, Brooklyn


Salary Range

Annual Salary Survey for NY

Below is data for areas in the state from the BLS.

Area Hourly Annual
Albany-Schenectady-Troy $30.48 $63,400.00
Binghamton $29.00 $60,320.00
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls $28.18 $58,620.00
Capital/Northern New York $27.84 $57,900.00
Central East New York $28.51 $59,300.00
Elmira $28.26 $58,780.00
Glens Falls $28.45 $59,180.00
Ithaca $31.31 $65,120.00
Kingston $29.65 $61,670.00
New York-Newark-Jersey City $34.39 $71,520.00
Rochester $29.31 $60,960.00
Southwest New York $28.47 $59,220.00
Syracuse $28.93 $60,160.00
Utica-Rome $28.20 $58,650.00
Watertown-Fort Drum $28.34 $58,950.00

Occupation: Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (SOC Code499021)
source: data.bls.gov

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.

New York HVAC Requirements

Apprenticeship Required

NYS Dept of Labor logo

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 Does Apprenticeship 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.

EPA Certification

Aspiring HVAC techs must also apply for the EPA’s Section 608 Technician Certification and take one of four exams based on the types of equipment they plan to service. For example:

  • Type 1: Servicing small appliances
  • Type 2: Servicing high-pressure appliances
  • Type 3: Servicing low-pressure appliances
  • Universal: Servicing all types of equipment

Preparation for this exam is part of the course advertised above.

Job Description

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.

Additional Duties

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.

Special Tasks

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.

Career Outlook

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.

Search HVACR Certified Technician Programs

Get information on HVACR Certified Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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