Skip to main content

How to Become an HVAC Technician in North Carolina

Ready to start your HVAC career training in North Carolina? Here are the steps to become a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technician in North Carolina. Some aspiring HVAC technicians apply for apprenticeships once they graduate high school. Others make the switch later in life by attending a vocational school.

At Miller-Motte College, we aim to simplify the transition from student to entry-level HVAC technician. Our Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Basic Refrigeration (HBAC/BR) program was created around industry standards to provide affordable, quality education. Training to become an HVAC technician in North Carolina is straightforward, hands-on, and career-focused with Miller-Motte.

Why Become an HVAC Technician?

Working as an HVAC technician can be a rewarding career path with ever-changing scopes of work. In a typical workday, one client could need their unit completely replaced, while another may need general maintenance. Due to the varied needs of each client, HVAC technicians can often find new ways to apply their skills. Dedicated HVAC schools offer focused training that can prepare you for a fulfilling career in this field.

Being an HVAC technician can offer room for continuous growth and job security. HVAC technicians often work in different locations, temperatures, and on units of various sizes. They spend most of the day on their feet or driving to their client’s location.

How to Become an HVAC Technician in North Carolina

While there are multiple ways to become an HVAC technician, we recommend the following path:

  1.     Enroll in an HVAC training program
  2.     Pass the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 exam
  3.     Gain experience under a licensed HVAC contractor

When choosing an HVAC program, make sure to consider the program cost, length, curricula quality, and school reputation. Choosing a National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) recognized HVAC program can ensure the material covered meets industry standards. This helps students develop relevant knowledge and skills, so they are better prepared for entry-level positions upon graduation.

The EPA Section 608 exam showcases a program graduate’s understanding of refrigeration reclamation and recycling processes. It tests graduates on their understanding of regulations surrounding refrigerants commonly used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. This prepares graduates to properly and safely service, maintain, repair, and install cooling units or systems.

HVAC technicians must pass the EPA Section 608 exam to start working in their new field. Once passed, HVAC technicians can begin earning field experience and gaining valuable insight by working under licensed contractors.

While earning NCCER credentials is not mandatory, having them may prove beneficial. They are recognized across the industry and are a quick way for employers to verify a technician’s education and skills. These credentials may make a technician more appealing to future employers which can give them an edge over the competition.  

How Long Does It Take to Learn the Basics of HVAC?

The time it takes to learn the basics of HVAC varies depending on the length of their program.

Students in Miller-Motte College’s HVAC/BR program can develop a working knowledge of HVAC in just 10 months. Our program aims to prepare students for employment in residential and commercial HVAC sectors.

We help students build their understanding of air conditioning and refrigeration system design before transitioning to maintenance and repair. We expand this knowledge by covering refrigerant reclamation, recycling, and technician’s responsibility regarding refrigerant.

Our students study electrical theory, circuitry, controls and motor theory as it pertains to air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration systems. This prepares students to wire and install climate control units as well as measure and troubleshoot circuits in existing systems. Students also train to service, maintain, and install propane, electric, and natural gas heating systems.

Our students can also practice maintaining and repairing heat pumps.

Sections dedicated to handling refrigerants and heating systems were created in compliance with the Clean Air Act legislation. These sections may prepare students to sit for the EPA Section 608 exam. Please note a third-party organization conducts this exam and may be subject to change without prior notice.

As such, Miller-Motte cannot guarantee students will be eligible to take or will earn EPA Section 608 certification should they take the exam.

We combine hands-on learning with classroom knowledge to provide a well-rounded approach to HVAC education. This is supplemented with industry-experienced instructors who provide practical advice to better prepare students for their new careers. Students have the opportunity to earn NCCER credentials as they complete our HVAC/BR program.

Our Career Services team helps program graduates explore placement opportunities, prepare for upcoming interviews, and more. Our hands-on HVAC/BR program is available at our Raleigh, NC and Fayetteville, NC campuses.

Types of HVAC Training

Start your HVAC career training in North Carolina with two main paths:

HVAC Trade Schools:  Dedicated trade schools, like Miller-Motte College, offer focused HVAC programs, often with hands-on training and curriculum aligned with industry standards.  These programs can be a great way to gain the essential skills and knowledge for entry-level HVAC positions in a shorter time frame.

Apprenticeships:   Apprenticeships with experienced HVAC contractors combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. This path lets you earn while you learn, gaining practical experience directly in the field. The duration of an apprenticeship can vary.

Which Path is Right for You?

The best choice depends on your individual learning style and goals. Trade schools often offer a faster path to completing your training, while apprenticeships provide a chance to earn income while gaining hands-on experience but can take much longer to complete.

Ready to explore your HVAC training options? Contact Miller-Motte College today to learn more about our HVAC Technician program you can complete in as little as 10 months.

How Long Does It Take to Become an HVAC Tech?

The time it takes to become an HVAC technician can change based on various factors. When creating a timeline to become an HVAC technician, aspiring technicians should consider the:

  •       Length of their prospective HVAC program
  •       Potential number of Section 608 exam attempts

Passing the Section 608 exam is required for HVAC technicians who handle, work with, and service refrigerants. It is also helpful for HVAC technicians interested in applying for refrigeration technician positions. Once program graduates pass this exam, they can begin applying for entry-level HVAC technician positions.

North Carolina HVAC Licensing Requirements

In North Carolina, while HVAC technicians don’t require a state-issued license, there are specific requirements for those working in the field. However, though not strictly required, HVAC technicians can enhance their employability by acquiring industry-recognized credentials through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).

These certifications demonstrate knowledge, skills, and align with industry standards, making technicians more appealing to potential employers in North Carolina’s HVAC market.  Additionally, some local municipalities might have additional licensing or registration requirements, so it’s always best to check with your specific city or county.

Next Steps

The path to becoming an HVAC technician in North Carolina may seem overwhelming at first glance. At Miller-Motte, we aim to help our students streamline and optimize this process with our NCCER recognized HVAC/BR program. As students complete our program, they can prepare for their EPA Section 608 certification exam.

Miller-Motte does not guarantee graduates will earn third-party certification. However, we aim to expose our HVAC/BR students to relevant concepts during their program. This may help graduates in North Carolina earn their EPA section 608 certification and begin applying for entry-level HVAC positions.

Our students are trained in electrical theory, airflow characteristics, piping design, air conditioning system design, heating system design, and more. Industry-experienced professionals lead courses in our HVAC/BR programs. This helps students better understand how their new skills and knowledge can be applied in the field.

Ready to start training for exciting careers in HVAC? Call us today at (800) 705-9182 or submit this form to request more information.