HVACs are good business. Many people don’t know how to properly maintain or repair their own HVAC systems which is where you come in. As an HVAC technician, you can make a very good living. The problem is that getting certified can be expensive. The average cost of certification ranges from $500 to over $1000. But what if I told you that there are free online HVAC certification programs?
Yes, there are a few different ways that you can get your HVAC certification for free. Not having to spending a dime on certification can be a game changer, especially if you’re just starting out in your career.
The boon is that becoming an HVAC technician is a great way to make a good living. And that most of what you actually need to learn will be on the job. Which is great news if you’re someone who learns best by doing.
In this article, we will be discussing three different ways that you can get your HVAC certification for free. So, if you’re interested in becoming an HVAC technician or are already one and just looking to get certified, read on. We’ll show you how to get certified without spending a dime.
Why Become an HVAC Technician? The Pros and Cons of the Job
Before we get into how to get your HVAC certification for free, let’s first discuss why you should become an HVAC technician (or why you shouldn’t). Every job comes with its strengths and weaknesses and it’s important that you know what you’re getting into before making the commitment.
If the pros are more attractive to you than the cons, then becoming an HVAC technician is probably a good fit for you. Let’s take a look at both the pros and the cons of being an HVAC technician.
Pros of Being an HVAC Technician
HVAC technicians enjoy a number of advantages and perks in their line of work. Some of the pros include:
- HVAC technicians can make a very good living (their median yearly salary is $48,630).
- It’s a job that is always in demand. Especially with the way climate is going, more and more people will need HVAC technicians to either repair or replace their old, inefficient systems.
- You can learn most of what you need on the job. While it is beneficial to have formal training, a lot of what you’ll need to know as an HVAC technician can be learned on the job.
But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Like any job, being an HVAC technician has its downsides too which are listed below.
Cons of Being an HVAC Technician
Like any other job out there, being an HVAC technician comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some of the cons of the job:
- It can be physically demanding. As an HVAC technician, you will often be lifting heavy objects, crawling into small spaces, and working in uncomfortable positions.
- The work can be seasonal. In some parts of the country, demand for HVAC technicians is higher in the summer than it is in the winter. This can make for some lean times if you’re not prepared financially.
- It’s a dirty job. You will be working with a lot of dust, dirt, and other debris.
So, there you have it. Some of the pros and cons of being an HVAC technician. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not it’s the right job for you, consider taking one of the free online HVAC certification programs we’ll be discussing below. It might just help you make up your mind.
How to Get Your HVAC Certification for Free
Now that we’ve discussed some of the pros and cons of being an HVAC technician, let’s get into how you can get your certification for free. We’ll be discussing three different ways that you can do this.
It might sound too good to be true — but trust us, it’s not. All of these methods will earn you a certificate — and in some cases, a full apprenticeship — to get started into the world of HVACs.
HVAC Certification Method #01: On the Job Training
One way that you can get your HVAC certification for free is through on-the-job training. Many companies are willing to train their employees on the proper way to maintain and repair HVAC systems. And, once you’re certified, many of these same companies will offer you a raise or promotion.
It’s a win-win for both you and your employer. You get the education you need to get into the field and they get a certified technician that they can trust to do the job right. Obviously, don’t expect to earn a full salary while you’re in training. But, once you’re certified, you should be able to negotiate a better salary.
To find opportunities for on-the-job training, we suggest checking with your local HVAC companies. Many of them are always looking for new technicians and are willing to invest in their education, provided you can commit to working for them for a certain period of time.
HVAC Certification Method #02: Apprenticeship Programs
Another way to get your HVAC certification for free is through an apprenticeship program. These programs are typically sponsored by unions or trade associations and can last anywhere from two to four years. During your apprenticeship, you’ll work alongside a journeyman HVAC technician and learn the ropes of the trade.
At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll be required to take a test to earn your certification. Once you’ve passed the test, you’ll be able to find work as an HVAC technician anywhere in the country.
Finding apprenticeship programs can be a bit tricky. But, the best place to start is with your local union or trade association. They should have information on apprenticeship programs in your area.
Alternatively, you can always reach out to HVAC companies in your area and inquire about their apprenticeship programs.
HVAC Certification Method #03: Online Courses
The third and final way to get your HVAC certification for free is by taking online courses. These courses are offered by a number of different schools and can be completed at your own pace.
While they might not be as comprehensive as an on-the-job training program or an apprenticeship, they will still give you the basic knowledge you need to get started in the field.
Just be sure to do your research before enrolling in any online courses. There are a lot of scams out there and you don’t want to waste your time or money on something that’s not going to help you get ahead.
Here are a few of the best free online HVAC certification courses:
- SkillCat’s HVAC Training — This is a very well made free online app that offers a great HVAC technician course. The course comes with included self proctored exams and offers certificates of completions for each course inside it. SkillCat offers over 50 courses and includes 3D simulations, step by step instructions, and even a job board to help you find work once you’re certified.
- Alison’s Courses — Alison offers a variety of free online courses, including a few that are specific to HVAC technicians. These courses cover topics like compressors and refrigerated containers, oil in refrigerator and air conditioning systems, and even a diploma in marine refrigeration and climate control. While neither of those courses is strictly related to HVAC, they will still give you a good foundation of knowledge to work from.
- Efficient HVAC Systems at EdX — EdX is a massive open online course provider that offers courses from a variety of different schools. They have an HVAC course offered by the Delft University of Technology that covers topics like mechanical and electrical systems, energy efficiency, and building automation.
Warning: The certificate for the EdX course can’t be obtained for free. You will have to pay a small fee of $98. It’s very affordable, and definitely recommended if you’re looking for a more comprehensive online HVAC course.
So there you have it. Three different ways that you can get your HVAC certification for free. Now all you have to do is choose the method that’s right for you and get started on your path to becoming a certified technician.
There are many ways to get your HVAC certification for free. The best way to find the right method for you is to research your options and choose the one that best fits your needs. Once you’ve got your certification, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career in HVAC.
Don’t underestimate your local union or trade association as a resource. They can often help you find apprenticeship programs and other opportunities to get your foot in the door of the HVAC industry.
Sometimes, even your local government will offer free certification programs. It’s definitely worth looking into if you want to get your HVAC certification for free.
There are also a number of online courses that you can take at your own pace. Just be sure to do your research before enrolling in any of them, as there are a lot of scams out there.
Once you’ve got your certification, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career in HVAC. With the right training and certification, you’ll be able to find a good job in the field and start making a difference.
But remember that these certifications are just the first step. Once you’ve got your certification, it’s up to you to keep learning and growing in your career. The best way to do that is to get out there and start working in the field. There’s no substitute for experience when it comes to becoming a successful HVAC technician.