Politics might be the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about Washington DC. However, you might be surprised to find that there are lots of other career choices too. Among the most lucrative tech careers in the District of Columbia can be found in the HVAC industry. To work in this industry you need to make sure you have the right qualifications with Washington DC HVAC certification.
As an HVAC technician in Washington DC, you can earn an average annual salary of $59,090 – the second highest paid profession in the industry throughout the US. Additionally, the field of HVAC is one with the highest number of job opportunities. Thus, if you want to become an HVAC technician in the area, this guide is for you.
HVAC Training Guide
Before you can get your Washington DC HVAC certification and license, you should undergo training first. You need to undergo hands-on training by enrolling in an apprenticeship program or a formal vocational program.
You can find a number of vocational schools throughout Washington DC. It is here you can learn the ins and outs of the HVAC industry. Moreover, as a student, you can learn everything you need to know about servicing HVAC systems along with innovative technologies and eco-friendly techniques.
You can find a lot of accredited trade schools in the area which can provide you the necessary training and work opportunities in the field of HVAC. Additionally, you can learn all skills that are essential in your career as an HVAC technician. To get started, simply look for an HVAC school in your area.
The Licensing Process
You need to obtain a Washington DC HVAC certification and license before you can work on HVAC units and perform jobs like installation, maintenance, and repair. You also need to cover the fees for examination and application, comply with the requirements, and get a passing score on the examinations. Once you passed all of them, you will then receive your license from the Board of Industrial Trades. Now let’s talk about all those requirements you need to meet.
As an HVAC technician in Washington DC, you will be able to enjoy a lucrative salary once you gain enough experience. Initially, you need to pay a $65 application fee and an examination fee of $85.
- Age Requirement
Aside from the fees, you should be at least 18 years of age before you can submit your application. You should provide proofs and documents that will verify your age and identity. One of them is two 2” x 2” passport size photos which clearly shows your face.
- Additional Requirements
If you don’t have your own HVAC business, you should send a notarized employment verification letter with the letterhead of the company you’re working with to the Board. This will serve as verification that you are an employee of that said HVAC business.
Once you have sent your application, it will then be reviewed and verified by the Board of Industrial Trades of the Occupational and Professional Licensing Administration in Washington DC. They’re also the one to provide you with forms to schedule your exam. If you want your application to be accepted, you should make sure you have no outstanding debts in the area. It is also required to submit a copy of any government-issued ID.
Another requirement is a Certificate of Completion to confirm that you have successfully undergone and completed an apprenticeship program. On the other hand, if you received your training from an HVAC training program, you should send a copy of your graduation certificate. It should be sealed in an envelope and delivered by your school to the Board.
Once your application is approved by the Board of Industrial Trades, you can either receive your apprenticeship or contractor license or proceed to take the examination for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic.
As an HVAC technician, you will receive training when it comes to the proper handling of refrigerants. But in order to do so, you should have an EPA certification first. There are three types of certifications to choose from depending on the type of appliance you want to handle. For small appliances, you can go for Type I certification. For high and very high-pressure appliances, you can choose Type II. For low-pressure appliances, you can opt for Type III certification. Meanwhile, if you want to work on any type of appliance, you can instead go for a Universal certification. This is a national certification and not just a Washington DC HVAC certification.
The Examination Process
Before you can obtain your Washington DC HVAC certification and license, you should first pass the refrigeration and air conditioning examinations. The exams are all open book and all questions are multiple choice.
For the Journeyman Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Exam, you need to answer 60 questions in two hours. The Master Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanical Limited exam comes with 70 questions answerable in three hours. Lastly, the Master Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanical Unlimited exam consists of 80 questions with a 210-minute limit.
The exam you should take will depend on the licensure type you want in the area. The Journeyman examination allows you to obtain a contractor level license. Meanwhile, the Master Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Unlimited exam grants you the Master Mechanic License, and the Master Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Limited exam offers you the Master Mechanic Limited license.
Both Master Mechanic and Master Mechanic Limited license requires at least five years of work experience in the HVAC industry along with a passing score in the exam. However, those who have the limited license can only repair, install, or maintain AC units not exceeding 25 compressor horsepower.
The Master Mechanic examination will test your practical and theoretical knowledge when it comes to the maintenance, installation, replacement, and repair of AC units that have more than 25 compressor horsepower. The exam is supervised by Pearson Vue. If you arrive late during the examination day, your application and examination fees will be forfeited.
You can use a number of reference materials to increase your chances of passing the examinations. Some of them are as follows:
- The International Mechanical Code by the International Code Council
- Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning by Andrew Althouse, Alfred Bracciano, Carl Turnquist, Daniel Bracciano, and Gloria Bracciano
These reference materials are considered industry-standard. Thus, you should make sure you study and review using these materials before your examination. Despite the examination being open book, you still need to answer the questions within the specified time limit.
While open books are supposed to be easy, you shouldn’t rely on books alone if you want to pass the exams. If you apply for an HVAC certification and license, you should also have hands-on experience and knowledge of the theory.
If you haven’t considered pursuing a career in the HVAC industry yet, you might want to consider it now. The field of HVAC is one of the most lucrative industries in Washington DC. You can expect a high income, and there are a lot of job opportunities available. As long as you have your Washington DC HVAC certification and license, you can essentially become your own boss as an HVAC contractor.
However, if you’re not into managerial responsibilities, then there are also a lot of opportunities available for an HVAC technician. By pursuing a career in the field of HVAC, you can surely enjoy a stable and high paying job in the District of Columbia.
It would be wise to check out nearby states HVAC certification requirements as well:
- Virginia HVAC Certification
- Maryland HVAC Certification