HVAC Education and Training Requirements in Utah
Utah HVAC Undergraduate Education Options
Obtaining an education and training in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) in Utah involves a number of different steps and educational requirements. There are a few different routes one can choose in order to become trained as an HVAC technician.
Common courses of study in undergraduate HVAC education for residential and commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning in Utah include:
- Hand and Power Tool Use
- Safety Practices
- Blueprint Reading
- Gas and Hydronic Heating
- HVAC Troubleshooting Techniques
- Residential HVAC System Design and Installation
- HVAC/R Mathematics
- Ductwork Installation
- Air Distribution Systems
- Humidity Control
- Energy Conservation Equipment
- Electricity Fundamentals
High School Diploma and HVAC Training
If you have not yet earned a high school diploma and are already thinking about a career in HVAC, then you can start taking high school courses that will benefit you as an aspiring HVAC technician. High school curriculum courses that can help in your future HVAC career include:
- Computer Science
- Vocational Training
- Shop Classes
- Mechanical Drawing
- Technical Math
- Blueprint Reading
There are five different institutions in Utah that offer HVAC training programs, all of which require graduation from high school or a GED. Getting a head start through high school courses and hands-on training is a great way to begin your career as an HVAC technician.
HVAC Training at Utah Colleges
HVAC technical training programs in Utah will generally earn each student an associate’s degree and certification upon graduation. Courses typically take anywhere from six months to two years to complete. HVAC training courses are available at 5 different Utah educational institutions. Programs can range from 600 course hours to more than 1,000 course hours in classroom instruction and hands-on training.
All of the 5 Utah colleges offer HVAC certificates, and Utah Valley University offers the option to study for a bachelor’s degree in HVAC.
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HVAC On-the-Job Training
Another route one can take on their journey to acquiring HVAC technician skills is through on-the-job training. By assisting an experienced technician, you can learn firsthand the ins and outs of the trade and work your way up. Many companies also offer internet, self-study or classroom courses to assist in HVAC training.
Although it is possible to acquire the skills necessary to become an HVAC technician solely through on-the-job training, those who receive formal education and certification are oftentimes preferred by employers.
HVAC Apprenticeships in Utah
Apprenticeships in HVAC typically last for 3 to 5 years, combining classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. HVAC courses associated with apprenticeships can cover the following topics:
- Use and Care of Tools
- Ventilation & Air-Conditioning Systems Design
- Safety Practices
- Blueprint Reading
HVAC apprenticeship opportunities can be found through local chapters of HVAC industry contractor associations, such as:
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America
- Air-Conditioning Contractors of America
- Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
- Journeymen and Apprenticeships of the Plumbing & Pipefitting Industry of US & Canada
Utah HVAC Licensing Requirements
There are a number of different requirements to obtain a license to work as an HVAC technician in Utah, including work experience, passing the licensing exam and continuing education in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Applicants for the HVAC licensing exam are required to have 4 years of experience over the past 10 years under the direct supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor. The licensing exam requires a $110 nonrefundable fee. It consists of 75 questions, with a time limit of 3 hours, and requires a 70% or higher grade to pass.
The Utah HVAC Contractor (S350) license allows for the fabrication and installation of complete warm air heating and air conditioning systems, and complete ventilation systems. The five major areas of study for the HVAC licensing exam include:
- HVAC System Design
- HVAC System Fabrication
- HVAC System Installation
- HVAC System Maintenance
- HVAC Safety
The first year of HVAC licensing is free upon passing the exam, and is valid for two years. In addition to initially passing the exam and obtaining the license, it is required for HVAC technicians to continue their education in order to maintain their licenses. Continued education for HVAC consists of 16 hours of related coursework, with a minimum of 8 hours on the current edition of the National Electric Code every other year.
Work as an HVAC Technician in Utah
According to a 2012 report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the HVAC industry is projected to increase by 21 percent over the next 10 years. Entry-level positions in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning industry include:
- HVAC Technician
- HVAC Service Technician
- HVAC/R Service Technician
- HVAC Installer
- HVAC Apprentice
- HVAC Helper
As of December, 2014, the average salary for a certified HVAC technician in Utah was $32,000, with a range of $21,000 to $46,000 for a variety of different positions within the industry. Because of the widely varied climate in Utah, there are endless opportunities for employment in the HVAC industry across the state in both the residential and commercial sectors.
Utah HVAC Career Requirements
HVAC professionals who work with gas appliances in the state of Utah are required to pass the Rocky Mountain Gas Association’s certification exam.
HVAC technicians who work with refrigerants are required to earn a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Refrigerant Handling Certification. In order to earn certification from the EPA, HVAC professionals must pass 1 of 3 specialized exams, with focus on high-pressure refrigerants, low-pressure refrigerants or the service of small appliances.
Post-Graduate Studies and Continuing Education in HVAC
Once you have become an HVAC technician, your educational pursuit in heating, ventilation and air conditioning does not have to come to a halt. There are many different opportunities for HVAC professionals to continue their education through either obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree or post-graduate training.
It generally takes 4 years to earn a Bachelors’ Degree. A master’s or doctorate in fields relevant to the HVAC industry, such as Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering, typically require an additional 2 to 6 years of education.
HVAC technicians with a higher education in mechanical or electrical engineering are often given preference by employers for positions relating to the research and development of HVAC systems.
Your career does not have to come to an apex once you have reached the status of Master HVAC Contractor or Journeyman HVAC Mechanic in Utah. Since the industry is constantly expanding and adopting new technologies, the opportunities for educational and career advancement in HVAC are always growing.