Before jumping into any line of work, it is a good idea to research about it. If you are thinking about becoming an HVAC technician in Illinois and have questions about the licensing requirements, then this article might help you.
What Does an HVAC Technician Do?
HVAC technicians are expected to do the following:
- Install HVACR systems.
- Diagnose problems with HVACR equipment and fix those issues.
- Carry out routine maintenance procedures.
The Process of Becoming an HVAC Professional in Illinois
Below are various stages involved in becoming an HVAC technician.
- Complete Your High School Education
Vocational schools and community colleges look for candidates who have completed their high school education; therefore you will be required to obtain a high school diploma or GED.
- Complete HVAC Training
You can then seek admission in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) program or a technical diploma program in HVAC-R or HVAC-R Technology. After completing these programs, you will have a solid grasp of the following topics:
- Air-conditioning and heating principles.
- Heat loss and heat gain calculations.
- Heat pump technology.
- Installation of autonomic and pneumatic controls.
- HVAC electrical controls.
- Energy transfer principles.
- Obtain EPA Certification
After obtaining the required educational credentials, you will be expected to obtain the federal level EPA certification. Without this certification, HVAC technicians are not able to find employment anywhere.
- Start Working as an Apprentice
Once you are armed with the technical knowledge and know-how, you can then enroll in an apprentice program. The hands-on training will give you the opportunity to put your skills into professional practice. Moreover, the apprenticeship experience will also help you build your contacts and boost your confidence.
- Aim for Industry Certifications
The learning never stops once you enter this line of work. HVAC processionals are expected to keep themselves updated with the latest technological advancements, and for that, they need to keep expanding their knowledge and skill set. One way to do that is by obtaining specialized industry certifications. You get certified through a variety of organizations such as:
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
- National Competency Testing Institute.
- Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.
Is a License Required to Become an HVAC Technician in Illinois?
You won’t be required to obtain a license if you want to work as an HVAC technician. However, the state of Illinois requires contracting companies and HVAC contractors operating in Illinois to have licenses.
Although there are no statewide license requirements, you must consult the local authorities and check whether they have any specific rules or regulations for HVAC professionals.
How Much Do HVAC Professionals Earn in Illinois?
Official employment statistics indicates that the yearly mean salary of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers was $59,590 in May 2018. This is higher as compared to the national average of $50,160.
The salary trend of HVAC mechanics and installers is displayed in the table below:
|Annual Mean Salary (IL)||$57,250||$62,430||$59,590|
|Annual Mean Salary (US)||$48,320||$49,530||$50,160|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
It can be seen from the table that the annual mean salary of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in Illinois followed an upward trend from 2016 to 2017 but followed a downward trend in 2018. When compared to the national average, the annual mean salary of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in Illinois was higher than the national averages for all three years.