How Long Does It Take To Become An HVAC/R Technician?

HVAC/R technicians are skilled professionals who install, repair, and maintain heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration equipment. They might specialize in residential heating and cooling, helping homeowners stay comfortable in any kind of weather, in the complex systems required for large buildings like corporate offices, or in working on the commercial refrigerators and freezers that restaurants depend on.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for HVAC/R technicians is expected to grow faster than average in the coming years.  But how quickly can you take advantage of this career opportunity? Let’s look at the path and timelines for becoming a professional HVAC/R technician.

What Do You Learn in HVAC School?

Being an HVAC/R technician is a highly skilled trade. On a daily basis, you’ll be working with costly electrical and mechanical systems. Incorrectly executed or delayed work can lead to big costs for businesses in lost revenue and inventory. Failing to keep homes properly climate controlled during extreme weather can be dangerous for its residents. That’s why you need specialized training to work in the HVAC/R field.


Some of the topics covered in a reputable HVAC/R training program include:


  • Electrical work
  • Sheet metal fabrication and Installation
  • Principles of refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and EPA Certification
  • Gas Piping, PVC Piping, Flue Pipe Installation
  • Diagnostics for Furnaces, Air Conditioners, and Boilers

How Long is HVAC/R School?

Because learning to become an HVAC/R technician requires a substantial amount of both theoretical and practical training, it’s not a profession that you can simply rush into in a few weeks.


However, the good news is that you can enter this field quicker than professions that require a two-year or four-year degree. The length of an HVAC/R program varies depending on where you choose to get your vocational training. At ETI School of Skilled Trades, the HVAC/R training program can be completed in a little over seven months.

HVAC/R Technician Licensing

The federal EPA requires the Section 608 Technician Certification for all states. This certification has four “levels”: Core, which is an overview of the problem the world faces due to global warming and ozone depletion, the Type I certification covers small appliances, Type II covers high-pressure heating and cooling units, and Type III covers low-pressure systems. Technicians who pass the exam for all four levels receive the Section 608 Universal Certification. Having the Universal Certification will open the most job opportunities. All our HVAC/R graduates at ETI will test for the Section 608 Universal Certification.


Once you have acquired your EPA Section 608 certification and the other licensing requirements specific to your state, you will be ready to apply for HVAC/R technician jobs. It’s possible to complete the process and start your new career in under a year.

Become an HVAC/R Technician With ETI

ETI School of Skilled Trades has been in the HVAC industry for over 50 years. Students in our HVAC/R program receive training from highly qualified instructors with years of real-world job experience in the industry, and we have well-established relationships with Chicagoland employers who seek out our HVAC/R graduates. Contact us today to learn more!