How to Become an HVAC Technician in Arizona
Professional HVAC technicians can take different paths to the career, but the following steps are the most common for technicians in Arizona.
Step 1: Complete High School (4 years) – While completing high school is not strictly required for becoming an HVAC technician, a high school diploma or GED will be hugely beneficial in applying to HVAC training programs. Students who want to pursue this career should be sure to excel in science and math courses, particularly physics and circuitry. If vocational programs are offered in HVAC repair, this is also highly recommended.
Step 2: Enroll in an HVAC Program (1 – 2 years) – A formal training program is not part of the requirements set forth by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, however, aspiring HVAC technicians should not expect to be able to find work experience without some foundational knowledge of HVAC systems. Ideally, students should look for a program that is accredited by HVAC Excellence or the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). Depending on whether the student wants to earn a certificate of completion or a degree (typically an Associate of Applied Science or AAS), the timeline for these programs can vary from 1 to 2 years.
Step 3: Seek Out On-the-Job Training (2 to 4 years) – In order to be qualified for licensure in Arizona, new HVAC technicians must have a minimum number of verifiable years of experience. Comfort Heating, Ventilating, and Evaporative Cooling requires 2 years of experience while both refrigeration licenses require at least 4 years of experience.
Step 4: Apply for Arizona Licensure – With the requisite number of years of supervised professional experience, HVAC technicians can apply for licensure with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. Along with proof of experience, technicians must submit official scores from the state approved trade exam.