3 Reasons to Pursue HVAC Training in Connecticut
Keeping indoor conditions comfortable in all sorts of weather is a challenge in a state that experiences four distinct seasons. Connecticut HVAC schools can help you gain the technical know-how to stand out from the pack and build a solid career in the heating and cooling trade.
Here are the three most compelling reasons to get into the HVAC trade in Connecticut:
1. High Salaries
You can make good money in this field. In fact, salaries in the heating and cooling trade are higher in Connecticut than in all but two other states. As of May 2018, the median hourly wage for HVAC mechanics and installers in Connecticut was $29.94. That's more than 30 percent higher than the national median wage. On average, HVAC technicians make $64,180 per year in this state.1
What's more, you can make decent money right from the beginning of your career: The average entry-level wage for this trade in Connecticut is $19.13 per hour. With experience, the top earners take home $38.66 per hour or more.2
2. Abundant Job Opportunities
There is a great need for more HVAC tradespeople in Connecticut. In a 2017 survey of energy manufacturers and producers in the state, 57 percent said they were struggling to find entry-level workers for jobs related to energy efficiency, and HVAC positions were far and away the toughest roles to fill. Companies were having more challenges finding qualified HVAC technicians than plumbing or electrical workers. And 82 percent of those energy companies were planning to hire new workers between 2017 and 2020.3
Plus, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor, employment in the HVAC trade is expected to grow more than eight percent statewide in the decade leading up to 2024. The department expects an average of 84 HVAC jobs to open up each year over that time period.2 By getting the right training now, you can be well-positioned to find success in this growing trade.
3. A Variety of Good Routes Into the Trade
Connecticut mandates that anyone working in the HVAC field must be either an apprentice or a licensed journeyperson or contractor. However, there are a few different ways to accomplish that.
One option is start working in this trade as soon as you find an HVAC contractor who's willing to act as your sponsor and take you on as an apprentice. Then, you can register with the Connecticut Office of Apprenticeship Training. During your apprenticeship, you'll receive paid on-the-job training under the supervision of your sponsor and complete relevant classroom instruction. Apprenticeships last anywhere from one to four years, depending on the type of license you're going for. (The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection offers 20 different HVAC-related licenses.)
Another option is to start by completing an HVAC program at a Connecticut vocational or trade school. Doing so can boost your chances of landing an apprenticeship, since many employers look for candidates with a certificate, diploma, or degree. Most technical and trade schools also prepare their students for the EPA Section 608 certification exam, which is required of all HVAC professionals who handle refrigerants.
Plus, if your trade school program provides training in a specialized HVAC area, you may be able to shorten your apprenticeship by up to two years. So it's possible that by completing two years at a vocational school, you could qualify to take one of these licensing exams right after you graduate:
- Limited warm air, air conditioning, and refrigeration journeyperson (D-2)—can install, maintain, and repair any warm air, AC, or refrigeration system, but cannot service oil burners
- Limited cooling journeyperson (D-4)—can work with all refrigeration systems
- Limited oil and gas burner journeyperson (B-2)—can do residential and light commercial installations
- Limited oil and gas burner journeyperson (B-4)—can do residential, commercial, and industrial installations
After two years of work as a licensed journeyperson, you can take the additional exams to become a licensed contractor.
Train for a Reliable Trade
Get on the path to a brighter future. Connecticut HVAC schools can help you accelerate into a dynamic career in the heating and cooling trade. The schools listed above are standing by to help you get started. Or type your zip code into the school finder below to discover additional training options close to where you live!
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on July 18, 2019.
2 Connecticut Department of Labor, website last visited on February 19, 2020.
3 Connecticut Business & Industry Association, 2017 Survey of Energy & Energy Efficiency Workforce Needs, website last visited on July 17, 2018.