HVAC Schools in Long Island, NY

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A varied climate throughout the year is only one of the reasons that many heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC) professionals choose to work in Long Island, NY. These workers also enjoy local support and advocacy provided by various organizations and trade associations. For example, the Long Island and New York Mechanical Contractors Association (LINYMCA) promotes a high standard of business practices in the HVAC industry, offering members myriad benefits including help with finding apprenticeship programs, a regular newsletter, legal assistance, and more. HVAC workers in the area can also enjoy the support of the Long Island Geothermal Energy Organization (LI-GEO), whose purpose is to “educate and advocate for the advancement of geothermal ground source heating and cooling systems on Long Island.” Ultimately, this non-profit organization aims to organize a regional trade organization around the use of geothermal heating and cooling systems, providing members access to industry resources and discounts, along with other advantages. Finally, HVAC workers in the area can also receive assistance from the Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors of Long Island (PHCCLI), a local chapter of a national trade organization that hosts exclusive events and boasts other member benefits.

These organizations are integral to the well-being of HVAC workers and the strength of the industry as a whole. For the unaware, however, what exactly are the responsibilities and day-to-day tasks of HVAC workers? In general, HVAC professionals perform the following duties, among others:

  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws
  • Test HVAC circuitry and components
  • Maintain necessary credentials for their job
  • Lay wiring and piping structure for all HVAC equipment
  • Travel to job sites when commuting is required
  • Read and interpret blueprints
  • Conduct maintenance and repair
  • Educate customers on best practices for saving resources

It’s important to note that this is certainly not an exhaustive list, and HVAC workers in Long Island may find themselves with a number of additional responsibilities. Also, aspiring professionals should know that all HVAC workers in Long Island who work with environmentally sensitive refrigerants need to maintain active EPA Section 608 certification, as failing to do so can lead to legal penalties.

In general, pursuing a career as an HVAC worker demands a thorough knowledge of the intricacies of both the job and the industry, as well as a significant amount of education in the field. The guide offers a career path for aspiring HVAC professionals, including salary expectations, certification and licensure requirements, and accredited HVAC programs in Long Island, NY.

Occupational Demand for HVAC Workers in Long Island

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2016) offers promising employment projections for aspiring HVAC workers. In fact, salary expectations for these professionals are fairly generous and the industry is slated to grow significantly into the future. According to BLS estimates (Dec. 2015), 39,600 HVACR jobs will be created between 2014 and 2024, amounting to a nationwide increase of approximately 14 percent, more than double the anticipated growth rate among all occupations during that time (6.5 percent). Furthermore, Long Island HVAC workers should note that state-based expectations are even more encouraging; data from Projections Central (2017) shows that positions in NY’s HVAC industry will likely grow 26.5 percent between 2014 and 2024, adding 3,840 fresh new openings in this field.

There are varied reasons for the rapid growth in the HVAC industry over the coming decade. For one, HVAC systems need routine maintenance and servicing and generally must be replaced every 10 to 15 years by skilled workers. In addition, HVAC regulations and laws regarding the HVAC industry are constantly changing, as well as industry technology, all forces which necessitate constant system updates. It’s worth pointing out that nearly all structures in Long Island retain some form of climate control, and any new construction in the area requires the installation of new systems.

An online search for HVAC positions in Long Island illustrates the high demand for these professionals. For example, a search on Indeed (May 2017) yielded 470 relevant results, including positions with Slomin’s, Johnson Controls, Henrich Equipment Co., New York Community Bank, and Emcor, to name a few. A similar search on Monster (May 2017) showed 148 HVAC job openings in the area, including those with Company Confidential, Unified Air Industries Corp., Randstad Engineering, LL Engineering PC, and Run Rite Mechanical Corp., among many others.

HVAC Technician Salary in Long Island

According to data provided by the BLS (May 2016), HVAC professionals earn relatively high salaries, particularly in a career typically requiring two years or less of postsecondary education. Indeed, the mean salary for HVAC workers was $48,320 per year ($23.23 per hour) and had the following percentiles:

United States (294,730 HVAC workers): $48,320 annual average salary

  • 10th percentile: $28,440
  • 25th percentile: $35,440
  • 50th percentile (median): $45,910
  • 75th percentile: $58,960
  • 90th percentile: $73,350

In hourly figures, these salaries amounted to:

United States: $23.23/hr. Average

  • 10th percentile: $13.67/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $17.04/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $22.07/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $28.35/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $35.26/hr.

The national figures were slightly different according to another source of data, Payscale (May 2017), which relies on self-reported salaries. Among the 431 HVAC workers from around the country reporting their annual salaries, Payscale found these percentiles:

United States: 431 HVAC workers

  • 10th percentile: $28,000
  • 25th percentile: $34,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $43,054
  • 75th percentile: $55,000
  • 90th percentile: $67,000

An additional 2,441 HVAC workers gave Payscale their hourly salary figures, resulting in these percentile wages:

  • 10th percentile: $13.00/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.00/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $18.78/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $24.00/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $29.00/hr.

It’s worth noting that while HVAC workers in New York State boasted much higher salaries than the national figures, the state also has a significantly higher cost of living, as well. To be sure, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2017) asserts that New York is the third most expensive state in the country, behind only Hawaii and the District of Columbia. That is certainly an important consideration when considering the following regional salary data.

The BLS (May 2016) statistics show that there were 15,930 HVACR positions across New York State, the fourth most among all states in the nation. These professionals had the following mean salaries and percentiles:

New York (15,930 HVAC workers): $55,560 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $32,290
  • 25th percentile: $40,530
  • 50th percentile: $52,790
  • 75th percentile: $68,530
  • 90th percentile: $86,590

In hourly figures, these equated to:

New York: $26.76/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $15.53/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $19.48/hr.
  • 50th percentile: $25.38/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $32.95/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $41.63/hr.

The BLS (May 2016) also offers regional wage data There are three BLS-designated regions within 100 miles of Long Island. Notably, the HVAC workers in the New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division earned the highest average annual salary at $60,430. The following provides a breakdown of HVAC mechanics’ and installers’ salaries for these BLS-designated regions:

New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division (10,350 HVAC workers): $60,430 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $34,890
  • 25th percentile: $44,440
  • 50th percentile (median): $58,630
  • 75th percentile: $76,710
  • 90th percentile: $92,070

Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division (3,700 HVAC workers): $60,310 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $38,490
  • 25th percentile: $49,880
  • 50th percentile (median): $57,450
  • 75th percentile: $69,480
  • 90th percentile: $88,530

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (17,910 HVAC workers): $59,970 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $35,270
  • 25th percentile: $44,700
  • 50th percentile (median): $57,880
  • 75th percentile: $74,590
  • 90th percentile: $91,000

Accredited HVAC Schools in Long Island

Multiple pathways exist for aspiring HVAC workers to obtain the necessary education and training to begin a career in this field. For example, these individuals may choose to complete an apprenticeship, enroll in a formal program, or obtain training in another way.

One source for education for HVAC workers in Long Island is the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), which provides a host of different courses covering various subjects. For example, students can take courses on refrigeration and air conditioning, gas heating and controls, automatic heating, and more, all of which are varied in length. The fees also vary; some courses cost $140, while others cost just over $2,000.

Those looking for HVAC training also have the option of pursuing an associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree at Suffolk County Community College, which prepares graduates for a career in the field. Students take courses on system design, diagnostics, and servicing and controls, and participate in both internships and intensive laboratory sessions. This program requires completion of between 64 and 66 credit hours, and tuition for New York residents is approximately $2,385 per semester.

Finally, HVAC training is also available through the Branford Hall Career Institute in Bohemia, NY, where students will learn about residential and commercial systems, commercial refrigeration, indoor air systems, and more. Students in this program also benefit from job placement assistance upon successful completion. Since the cost of this program varies by many factors, interested students are encouraged to call a program representative for current tuition rates at (800) 959-7599.

These are only a few of the HVAC training programs open to people in Long Island, NY. Please note that there are also accredited online HVAC programs available, which can accommodate geographical or time-related difficulties of attending an on-campus program.

HVAC Certification & Licensing in Long Island, NY

Prior to working in the industry, aspiring HVAC workers must first obtain the necessary certification and licensure as required by law. First, all workers who handle environmentally sensitive refrigerants must possess EPA Section 608 certification. This certification is split into four different types: type 1 (small appliances), type 2 (high-pressure appliances), type 3 (low-pressure appliances), and type 4 (universal). Many HVAC/R programs ensure that graduates are fully prepared to sit for these certifying examinations.

Furthermore, other national organizations offer skill-based, employment-ready certifications. The following includes a short breakdown of some of these entities, along with sample certifications:

  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) – EPA Section 608, commercial air conditioning, dynamic compression, HVAC/R electrical, etc.
  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE) – air distribution, heat pump [air-to-air], hydronics gas, commercial refrigeration, light commercial refrigeration, etc.
  • HVAC Excellence – Heating, Electrical, Air-conditioning Technology [HEAT], HEAT Plus, residential heat load analysis, green awareness, etc.

A detailed list of national credentials can be viewed on the HVAC certifications page.

In addition, HVAC workers in Long Island are required to meet all local licensing requirements before performing any related work. While there isn’t a NY state license for HVAC professionals, municipal and county-level license requirements must be followed. For example, HVAC contractors in Suffolk County must apply for a license through the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing & Consumer Affairs. Please note that there are both electric and plumbing categorizations in HVAC contracting, and separate applications and exams are required for each. To qualify for the country’s HVAC contractor license examination, applicants must submit the following:

  • Proof of at least seven years of experience during the past ten years
  • Detailed, written statement about work experience
  • An “Affirmation Form”
  • A “Background Information Form”
  • Passport-style photo
  • A $200 application fee

Nassau County also has HVAC contracting licensing requirements as well. The county’s Office of Consumer Affairs issues two-year “Home Improvement Licenses” for those who upgrade, maintain, or install HVAC systems. Please contact the OCA for details.

Above all, HVAC workers in Long Island, NY should ensure that they have all necessary local credentialing prior to beginning work.