If you are mechanically inclined and are searching for a career that will let your passion for machinery grow while also providing a steady paycheck, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC. In order to become an HVAC technician, you will either have to apprentice directly with an established technician or attend a trade school for several years. In fact, some people choose to do both in order to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible. In addition, you will also have to pass the Environmental Protection Agency's 608 Certification Exam, which consists of several multiple-choice questions about various types of appliances. Read on to discover which type of certification best fits your career goals.
The first portion of the exam deals with questions regarding smaller appliances. Home refrigerators, small air conditioning units and even vending machines are all perfect examples of the kinds of appliances that an HVAC technician with Type I certification is qualified to repair. In these instances, you might be contracted to repair electrical controls or wiring, install air ducts, or check for various leaks.
Type II exam questions focus on appliances with high pressure refrigerant. This includes supermarket refrigeration units and heat pumps, among other things. Because high pressure refrigerant sometimes presents more complex technical problems with more expensive equipment, HVAC technicians contracted to fix such units may be required to read blueprints or building plans, test chemical inputs and install supply lines.
The third type of exam question relates to low pressure refrigerant. Like Type II, these questions are often complex and usually revolve around larger units such as chillers that use vapor compression. HVAC technicians are expected to understand the various types of chillers, their functions, and be able to repair the relevant types of motors, turbines, and compression units.
While licensed HVAC technicians don't need to become certified in all three types, it certainly helps to expand employment opportunities. In addition, prospective technicians can apply for other, more specific certifications that permit them to work on especially advanced or unique machinery. In doing so, an HVAC technician not only gains valuable experience, but may also carve out a niche in which they become the primary provider for services in a given location. Knowing which certification is right for your career goals is the first step in becoming a successful technician.
You could also contact a company like Bernie Buchner Inc for more information about what it takes to become an HVAC technician.