A career as a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC-R) technician provides endless opportunities to grow and earn an excellent wage. A refrigeration specialist installs, repairs, and maintains systems using the latest industry technology.
One of the best routes to becoming a certified refrigeration tech is by enrolling in a course that combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience to give you the skills and knowledge necessary to start your career on the right foot. During an eight-month training session, you can learn about heat transfer, pressure and temperature laws, electrical circuitry, and related subjects in a hands-on learning environment. After graduation, you will be prepared to take the state certification exam and immediately begin working.
HVAC-R mechanics and installers oversee heating and cooling systems in large buildings and offices, such as factories, hospitals, schools, government buildings, and other commercial spaces. It's their job to make sure these places stay cool during the summer and warm in the winter. Experts with Refrigeration training concentrate on businesses with large-scale refrigeration needs, like fresh and frozen foods companies or beverage manufacturers.
The primary focus of HVAC-R is new construction of larger buildings and their maintenance afterward. It is an entirely different field than automotive air conditioning or small appliances like refrigerators and deep freezers. Pros with refrigeration training work with cutting-edge technology, often installing and maintaining new, innovative systems that have just been developed and are increasingly complex. Modern refrigeration is an emerging technology and a fascinating field to be involved with. Employers generally prefer applicants with postsecondary training from an accredited refrigeration training facility.
You can earn a good paycheck in HVAC-R, but you'll work diligently for every penny. The hours and duties can be demanding at times. It's not uncommon to work massive overtime during peak heating and cooling seasons. When systems go down during inclement weather, the tech with refrigeration training in Austin and other cities is one of the first experts that businesses call for assistance. Although the hours and work can be demanding, the compensation usually makes up for it.
To get your career in refrigeration going, you should enroll in a trade school or vocational school that offers an excellent training program to earn your certification at the end of the course. You can get an entry-level position as a residential and commercial refrigeration technician, HVAC tech, or maintenance technician with certification.
The certification program takes 720 hours to complete. That might sound like a lot, but it's spread over an easy-to-digest eight-month calendar that mixes classroom activities and studies with hands-on lessons from expert instructors with real-world experience and knowledge.
Upon graduation, you are qualified to apply for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Registered ACR Technician License. If you choose a suitable career institute for your refrigeration training, everything you need to know to pass the licensing exam should be covered during your course.
Once you graduate from your training, you will be eligible to apply for:
- Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR)
- Registered ACR Technician License
- EPA License (Training and testing are included in the program.)
It's not difficult to get on the certification path. The first step is to apply and get accepted into a program. From there, you'll need to line out your financial aid. Most students at a trade school or vocational school are eligible to receive financial assistance. Many students can finance their entire refrigeration training even if they don't qualify for aid.
If you've never explored getting financial aid, you might be surprised. There is a lot of money available for students to further their education. The U.S. government sets aside billions of dollars to help students continue their studies every year. There are grants and scholarships available, which is money gifted to you that doesn't need to be repaid if you complete the course and get a job in a related field.
There are grants and scholarships available to those that qualify. Grants are typically given from the Department of Education through an application process called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Scholarships can come from multiple sources, like nonprofit organizations, state programs, religious institutions, and other sources.
There are also more traditional loans that you can apply for that will need to be paid back with interest. The silver lining is that the interest is considerably lower than a credit card, so it's wiser to pay for your training than to charge it to your plastic. If you want to see your financial aid situation, visit studentaid.org and fill out a free Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It's surprisingly easy to use, and you should get all the answers you need in a few days.
Veterans who served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces – Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, or Coast Guard – are eligible for military assistance. Many students transition from the military to a trade school or vocational school after completing their enlistment. Many veterans discover they can expand on many of the skills and abilities they utilize in the military, such as discipline, following orders, and a dedication to excellence.
What's it worth getting training in a trade if you can't put it to work after graduation? Thankfully, that's an issue that rarely comes up in Austin. The refrigeration industry is booming in the weirdest city in the Lone Star State. It will be plenty hot in the summers in Austin for years to come, and there are countless opportunities in the city and the surrounding vicinity. Graduates have gone on to success in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and lots of places in between. Countless grads have gone on to opportunities and growth outside of Texas.
Austin's trade schools and vocational schools are tied to the local market and know the industry well. Numerous businesses come directly to the schools to track down the best and brightest up-and-coming students. There are excellent placement programs for new graduates that make the transition from the classroom to the real world a breeze!