If you want to complete your training but feel like you don’t have enough time, night classes or school training may not be an option for you.
However, now you have an opportunity to obtain your education by applying for an HVAC certification online training program.
Sometimes, there is even an opportunity to take your exam online.
In this article, you can learn about online HVAC training programs as well as their pros and cons.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Defining Some Terms
- 2 Benefits Of Studying Online
- 3 What You Can’t Do Online
- 4 What You Can Do Online
- 5 Diplomas, Certificates, And Degrees
- 6 EPA Section 608 Certification
- 7 NATE And HVAC Excellence Certification
- 8 State Licensing
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 Can I Get a Free HVAC Certification Online?
Defining Some Terms
In our article, we want to pay attention to such an aspect as obtaining HVAC certification after completing a training program.
Certificate programs can be considered as a synonym to a diploma or a degree training but there are other uses of this word that may lead to different misunderstandings.
You aren’t obliged to complete a training program at a trade school if you want to get your HVAC diploma.
Of course, it is a great option but there is a variety of other great options such as online courses.
Also, you can get your HVAC certification after obtaining a certain amount of hands-on training and passing an exam.
After completing all these stages, you have an opportunity to get your certificate or diploma.
The word certification may also mean some state requirements.
After obtaining a state certification, you can start working as an HVAC and perform installation, maintenance, and repair works.
Speaking of trade schools, the process of getting a diploma may differ as after obtaining it you need to have an excellent understanding of all topics covered by your course.
Among other available certification options, there are nationally recognized “certifications” such as NATE and HVAC Excellence Certification and EPA Certification.
You need to know that EPA Certification is required for anyone who wants to work with refrigerants.
NATE and HVAC Excellence are certifications of the national level that are used to prove professional knowledge in a specific sphere.
Benefits Of Studying Online
There is a whole bunch of benefits of getting your training online.
Applying for an online program, you have an opportunity to incorporate your education into your lifestyle instead of trying to combine your daily routine with your on-campus education.
Of course, it may sound a little bit isolating but online programs usually include numerous resources and chatrooms that can be really helpful.
According to the data, there are about 3 million students who get their education online so you aren’t alone.
Using online classrooms, you can get access to chats and mails to get in touch with your instructor and get some help.
One other point is that online programs are usually cheaper than on-campus training.
Also, it is a great opportunity for those who want to keep working while getting their training.
It means that you’ll have some income during your education.
Finally, it will let you have a more flexible schedule and complete your training at your own pace.
What You Can’t Do Online
You need to know that obtaining a license, certification, or degree cannot be obtained completely online.
In most states, you need to enroll in an apprenticeship program in order to get your journeyman or master license.
In other words, hands-on experience is an essential part for anyone who wants to get their HVAC license.
You also need to know that you need to provide a notarized resume as well as job experience proof in order to get your license.
The examination process cannot be completed online and you need to attend a proctored test site.
Applying for online training, in some cases, you can get some kind of in-person components so you practice at least some key concepts.
Considering the fact that HVAC specialists are obliged to work with their hands, practice is an important aspect of your training.
Nevertheless, you have an opportunity to complete theory classes from the comfort of your home as a first step to getting your HVAC certification online, but a hands-on experience cannot be studied online.
What You Can Do Online
Despite limitations related to practice, you can complete lots of aspects online when pursuing your HVAC certification or degree.
There are lots of training programs that have the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) accreditation.
When it comes to a licensing process, you usually need to complete a certain amount of training as an apprentice, journeyman, and master.
You need to make sure that your program is accredited so check your state’s requirements to make sure you’ll be eligible to get your license after finishing your training program.
You need to know that other not state-approved courses can be very valuable even if they don’t lead to HVAC licensing.
Applying for a training program provided by HVAC schools, you’ll be provided by different tutorials, reference materials, manuals, guides that you need so you can complete your training successfully.
After obtaining all these materials, you can work on them at your own pace.
You need to find a perfect combination of online education, hands-on training, and working experience that will lead to your perfect HVAC career.
Among the available areas, there are:
- Air conditioning technology;
- Automatic and electronic controls systems;
- Commercial refrigeration and heating systems;
- Programmable controls;
- Refrigeration technology;
- System evacuation;
- System charging.
After completing an approved online program, you have an opportunity to get your NATE certification.
Below, you can find more information about the issue.
Speaking of EPA Type I certification, it can be obtained online from start to finish.
You need to know that some HVAC programs contain the EPA certification as a part of their curriculum.
So getting HVAC certification online is not impossible, or at least a part of it.
Diplomas, Certificates, And Degrees
There is a whole variety of online courses, vocational schools, specific institutes, and colleges that offer HVAC training.
It means that you should be very careful when looking for the right training program you can apply for.
Some of these options are available online at least partially.
Just make sure to check all the available options in your area.
Below, you can find information about all the available options that may interest you.
Nine- To Ten-Month Diploma/Certificate Program
Applying for a trade school or community college training, you enroll in an HVAC diploma program that can be completed in 9 or 10 months.
During your education, you’ll be able to get a bunch of basic knowledge required for your future career.
You need to know that you can complete the theory part online but in-shop part and apprentice hours should be completed online.
Two-year HVAC Associate’s Degree Program
After obtaining an Associate’s Degree in HVAC, you’ll be able not only to get your diploma but also gain an excellent understanding of basic HVAC principles and concepts.
To be able to apply for it, you need to have your high-school diploma or GED.
It is a great opportunity to get some extra points when looking for entry-level jobs.
There is a variety of accredited online programs you can apply for if you want to get an HVAC Associate’s Degree.
After completing it, you can work as an HVAC mechanic, technician, sales consultant, maintenance, air conditioning tech, refrigeration tech, and so on.
HVAC Bachelor’s Degree Program
If you feel like getting some more profound training, HVAC bachelor’s degree program will be the best option for you.
This four-year program aims to prepare specialists that can work as hands-on technicians as well as perform various managerial roles.
It is a great option for those who interested in project management and communication issues of HVAC.
After completing this program, you’ll be able to work as a project manager, facility manager, HVAC supervisor, technician and so on.
HVAC Engineer Program
One other great option is to choose a program that is focused on engineering.
You need to know that there aren’t bachelor’s degree programs that are concentrated on HVAC specifically.
If you are interested in this career and want to get a bachelor’s degree, you should consider applying for a Mechanical Engineering degree.
After completing such a program, you’ll be able to work with thermodynamics, refrigeration systems, and heating technology.
One other point is that this program allows you working outside of HVAC but it is good enough to prepare you working with ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems.
A bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering allows you working as a mechanical engineer, field service engineer, design engineer, inspector.
Just keep in mind that your training program should be accredited by your regional agency or HVAC Excellence.
It means that your program meets industry standards.
EPA Section 608 Certification
In order to get the EPA Section 608, you need to complete a Type 1 certification test that can be done online.
It is an open-book exam that can be done both in a testing center or online.
Speaking of EPA 608 certification Types 2 & 3, both these options require a proctored testing.
After completing Type 1 certification, you’ll be able to work with small appliances (5 lbs or less of refrigerant) that use hazardous refrigerants.
This national examination is required by federal laws and has no expiration date.
The exam includes a core section and a specific exam.
Just keep in mind that you’ll need to complete a core section once again if you decide to take the Type 2 or Type 3 exams in the future.
There are lots of free practice tests for various sections of the exam so you can get ready for the Type 1 exam.
After making sure you are ready for the final test, you need to register at EPATest.com.
Speaking of Type 2 and 3 exams, they are related to high and low-pressure appliances, respectively.
Both these types require you completing an exam in a proctored environment.
Nevertheless, Zack Academy provides an opportunity to pass these exams online with the help of a webcam.
If you want, you can learn about their programs using their official website.
NATE And HVAC Excellence Certification
HVAC Excellence Certifications are provided by a nationally recognized organization that developed a program that is considered a benchmark for excellence within the field.
After completing some required exams, applicants get an employment-ready certification.
During these exams, you need to show your excellent knowledge of the sphere you are going to work in.
Tests are held at the end of each course module during your training.
Speaking of a NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification, it shows your knowledge of HVACR systems.
It covers a whole variety of topics that are related to different spheres of HVAC.
This certificate is considered valid proof of your knowledge to your employers and consumers.
Among the NATE specialty areas, there are:
- Heat pumps;
- Gas heating;
- Oil heating;
- Hydronics gas (service only);
- Hydronics oil (service only);
- Light commercial refrigeration (service only);
- Commercial Refrigeration (service only);
- Ground Source Heat Pump Loop Installer;
- Senior HVAC Efficiency Analyst.
Both these options aim to evaluate your practical knowledge of the HVAC field.
While state exams are mainly focused on technical issues, HVAC Excellence and NATE pay more attention to various daily situations you may face working as an HVAC tech.
If you are interested in one of those exams and want to get ready for them, you can use numerous online resources.
We’ve told you about various certification options but you need to know that all of them don’t meet legal requirements in specific areas.
In other words, each state and even county or city has its own licensing requirements.
To be able to get your license, you need to pass a test specifically for your area.
Also, there are some fieldwork requirements that can be partially fulfilled by some online or classroom programs.
To learn more about the requirements and testing in your area, make sure to get in touch with an appropriate government office.
You need to know that an accredited online education in HVAC is a great option to consider.
Applying for it, you have an opportunity to control your diploma, certification, or licensing process.
Also, it allows you to schedule your training according to your needs and work at your own pace.
If you already have a degree in HVAC, it is a good idea to get some auxiliary certifications such as EPA or NATE.
Thus, you can expand both your knowledge and salary as well as career prospects.
Can I Get a Free HVAC Certification Online?
As far as we know there are no options that allow you getting your HVAC certification online for free.
In most cases, you are obliged to take your examination in a proctored environment.
Those programs that offer online training, do have a cost.