How to Become An HVAC Technician in Texas
Becoming an HVAC technician is a rewarding and lucrative career option, but it does require the proper preparation. While there are many paths that may lead to this career, following the steps as outlined below is one of the most common ways to successfully become an HVAC technician in Texas.
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma
Earning a high school diploma is the best way to jumpstart nearly any successful career, and HVAC is no exception. Students should focus particularly on science and mathematics classes that will be useful in further HVAC studies. Many high schools also have vocational programs that may help students get started on the right track towards this career.
Step 2: Complete Accredited HVAC Program (1 to 2 years)
After completing high school, many graduates decide to enroll in an HVAC program to learn the fundamentals of the profession. Depending on the program, students can earn a certification in just a year. Students should ensure that the chosen school provides EPA certification as part of the program. “Accredited” is another important descriptor to look for when choosing an HVAC program. See below for more information on the accreditation process.
Step 3: Register as an ACR Technician
In Texas, HVAC technicians are required to register with the state before they begin work. The professional registration is the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, or ACR, Technician registration and applicants can register with the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR).
Step 4: Take ACR Certification Exam
Although certification is not required to begin work under a contractor’s supervision, those who wish to do so can take an examination at one of the state’s approved schools, also available from the TDLR. Passing this examination makes ACR technicians eligible to be Certified ACR Technicians.
Step 5: Find Employment with a Licensed ACR Contractor (4 years)
Before being allowed to work as a licensed ACR contractor, Texas technicians must complete at least 48 months of practical training under the direct supervision of a licensed ACR contractor. Technicians who want to work independently will need to find a licensed ACR under whom they can complete this training.
Step 6: Apply for ACR Contractor License
Once technicians have completed their requisite supervised training, they must apply for their ACR contractor license within 6 years.