LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AS AN HVAC TECHNICIAN
Earning your HVAC certification is the first step toward a meaningful and rewarding career in HVAC — and our team at CrossPurpose is here to help you get there.
In the field of HVAC, the name of the game is growth. Over the next decade, HVAC jobs are expected to increase by more than 5%, and Colorado is one of the fastest-growing states for HVAC positions! Better yet, you’ll be able to secure a strong starting wage as an HVAC tech, with plenty of room for advancement as you gain skills and experience.
At CrossPurpose, we want to help you succeed in your career. That’s why we’ve put together everything you need to know about becoming HVAC certified in Colorado. We’ll cover the types of HVAC licenses, the benefits of becoming an HVAC technician, what your salary expectations should be, and how you can get free, hands-on training by applying through CrossPurpose.
Let’s jump in!
What Is an HVAC Contractor?
For starters, let’s break down what HVAC stands for: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
As an HVAC tech, you’ll help with repair and maintenance for heating and cooling systems, as well as potentially branching out into the areas of plumbing and electricity. HVAC contractors are vital to the health and safety of our communities, keeping our homes and businesses clean, comfortable, and contaminant-free.
Let’s take a look at some specific duties you might complete on a day-to-day basis:
- Installing, testing, and maintaining HVAC systems and units
- Installing, rebuilding, and replacing parts like repair fans, motors, thermostats, fuses, filters, valves, and other equipment
- Troubleshooting systems
- Making electrical connections
- Explaining HVAC systems to customers in simple terms
- Keeping a record of your work
- Potentially, selling future contracts to home and business owners
Of course, the types of work you’ll encounter as an HVAC technician are nearly endless! If you’re a problem solver who loves working with your hands, a career in HVAC could be a great fit for you. When you work with CrossPurpose to earn your HVAC certification, we’ll ensure that you’ve got the expertise and resources needed to flourish as an HVAC professional.
Do You Need a License in Colorado to Become an HVAC Technician?
Fortunately for aspiring HVAC technicians, Colorado has no statewide requirements for licensing. However, most cities and counties do have licensing requirements, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re meeting local regulations before you can begin your career in HVAC. If you’re unsure about local requirements, our coaches at CrossPurpose can get you on the right track.
Here are a few things many employers look for when hiring a young HVAC apprentice:
- A high school diploma or GED
- A driver’s license and clean driving record (to travel to jobs)
- In some cases, a minimum age of 18
- A willingness to learn and a keen ability to ask questions and make observations
And here are a few things you need in order to become an HVAC technician:
- Proper training, via one of two paths:
- 1. Attend a college, trade school, or online certification program, OR
- 2. Gain on-the-job training as an apprentice at an HVAC company while you prepare for certification exams
- Certification in your specialty (if applicable)
- For example, the residential wireman or residential plumber licensing exams
- EPA certification (Section 608), which allows you to work with refrigerants
- The Environmental Protection Agency requires that you score 70% or higher on an 80-question multiple choice exam
We know that this is a lot of information to take in all at once — but don’t worry, we’re about to explain it in more detail! In the next two sections, we’ll walk you through some of the types of licenses you can earn as an HVAC tech and check out the key benefits of HVAC certification.
Types of HVAC Licenses
As you progress in your HVAC career, you’ll have the opportunity to increase your salary and take on a wider range of projects by earning additional electrical and plumbing licenses. Here are the key ones to know about in Colorado, along with the requirements to receive them.
Expected salary range in Colorado: $35,000 to $50,000
To become a residential wireman, you’ll need to accumulate 4,000 hours of residential work experience within two years. Though this is the lowest level of electrical licensing in Colorado, a residential wireman license opens the door to steady pay and career growth.
Expected salary range in Colorado: $50,000 to $75,000
The requirements for a journeyman electrician license are a little bit stricter! They fall into two categories: education requirements and experience requirements.
- Education: 288 hours of classroom education, with proper documentation (e.g. a transcript or similar statement)
- Experience: 8,000 hours of experience earned within four years, 4,000 hours of which must be commercial/industrial work
Expected salary range in Colorado: $60,000 to $80,000
The highest rung on the ladder of electrical certification is master electrician. Master electricians make an outstanding salary — but it’ll take a lot of work to become one! You can choose any of these options:
- Graduate as an electrical engineer from an accredited college or university and gain 2,000 hours of construction experience within one year, OR
- Graduate from an electrical trade school or community college and gain 8,000 hours of experience in less than four years, OR
- Complete the journeyman electrician requirements and earn 2,000 hours of additional experience within one year.
If these requirements sound intimidating, don’t sweat it! The journey of becoming a master electrician, plumber, or another type of HVAC specialist begins with a single step. CrossPurpose is here to guide you during that first step, equipping you with the tools and knowledge you need to become HVAC certified and eventually earn a stellar salary as an HVAC technician.
Expected salary range in Colorado: $40,000 to $55,000
If you choose to become a plumber, the first license you can earn is that of a residential plumber. The requirements are super straightforward: gain 3,400 hours of experience over two years.
Expected salary range in Colorado: $45,000 to $65,000
Next up is the level of journeyman plumber, which is a license that you can easily acquire as you gain experience in the field! To become a journeyman plumber, all you need to do is accumulate 6,800 hours of experience within four years — twice as much as a residential plumber.
As long as you continue to work full-time as a plumber, you should have no problem earning your journeyman license and unlocking more responsibilities and a higher earning potential.
Expected salary range in Colorado: $55,000 to $75,000
The gold standard for plumbing licenses in Colorado is that of master plumber. Again, the requirements are straightforward: gain five full-time years of practical experience, which amounts to 8,500 hours.
Benefits of Getting an HVAC Certification
Now that we’ve covered the main requirements for becoming an HVAC technician and touched on the types of licenses you can earn, it’s time for the fun part: exploring the benefits of working in HVAC.
To help you decide if HVAC is right for you, the CrossPurpose team has compiled five awesome benefits of working as an HVAC technician.
- Begin your career in a rapidly growing profession.
Every company and home needs HVAC professionals — especially in the bustling Denver community. HVAC jobs in the United States are predicted to grow by more than 5% over the next decade. In Colorado, the numbers are even better: job growth is set to exceed 38% between 2018 and 2026!
- Become an expert problem solver.
Sometimes, HVAC technicians need to get creative to make a complex repair or install an intricate part. Regardless of your career path, knowing how to solve problems is an invaluable asset.
- Learn a trade that’s highly transferable, no matter what state or city you’re in.
Whether you’re in Denver, Dallas, or anywhere in between, licensed and certified HVAC professionals have a competitive edge in the job market. Technicians are in high demand in just about every city in America, so you’ll never have to worry about being out of a job.
- Get the opportunity to start your own HVAC business.
What’s better than working as a master electrician or plumber? Overseeing a team of master electricians and plumbers! Once you’ve gained enough experience, you’ll have the chance to start your own HVAC company, which will allow you to help out your community and earn a healthy paycheck each month.
- Enjoy a strong salary and impressive benefits.
Many HVAC companies offer excellent benefits, including training opportunities, health insurance, a 401k retirement plan, and a structured bonus program. Combine that with the steady salary you’re earning, and you’ll be adding to your savings account in no time.
Here’s a look at the salary trajectory for HVAC technicians in the United States:
HVAC Technician Salary Guide
|Less than 1 year||$26.71/hr ($55,560 annually)|
|1 to 2 years||$26.60/hr ($55,330 annually)|
|3 to 5 years||$26.45/hr ($55,010 annually)|
|6 to 9 years||$32.87/hr ($68,370 annually)|
|10+ years||$39.04/hr ($81,200 annually)|
Choosing the Right HVAC Certification Program
If you’re ready to launch your career as an HVAC tech, getting certified is the first thing you need to do. We know how overwhelming the certification options can be, so we’ve dropped them into three convenient categories for you to consider.
- Gain certification through a college or university.
Though attending a two- or four-year program at a university tends to be a more expensive option, it also provides much-needed real-world experience in the HVAC specialties. Local colleges — for example, Pikes Peak State College or Front Range Community College — offer certifications and degrees that take 1-4 semesters, depending on the path you take.
- Earn an online certification.
Many students opt for online certification programs because they’re cost-efficient and often come with flexible schedules. An online certification from an accredited program is a great way to get started in the HVAC industry.
- Earn a certification that combines online and hands-on training through CrossPurpose.
So, how do you get the best of both worlds? One word: CrossPurpose! We’ve partnered with Master’s Apprentice to offer cutting-edge HVAC training to students in the Denver area.
Our comprehensive training covers everything from resume building to working with specialty tools, and it’ll give you the foundation you need for a successful career in HVAC.
How to Pay for Your Training
In many cases, the biggest barrier to gaining HVAC certification is the price tag. At CrossPurpose, we believe that everybody deserves access to fulfilling and rewarding employment, so we’ve put together a list of ways to make the cost more manageable.
Scholarships are a fantastic way to lower the financial burden of HVAC training. Whether you’re earning an online certificate or getting a degree from a local university, many organizations are willing to give funds to students to support them in their studies.
If you’re earning an online certification, some programs allow you to split your cost into smaller monthly payments. That way, you can begin working toward certification even if you can’t afford to pay the entire cost upfront.
Last (but definitely not least!), you can earn your certification for free! At CrossPurpose, we know that life can get busy and stressful. We try to remove this stress and financial burden by providing top-notch training at no cost to you. In fact, we might even pay you a small stipend while you learn!
If you’d like to learn more about our free, flexible training programs, get in touch with us today.
Get HVAC Experience With a Pre-Apprenticeship Program
Before you dive into your career as an HVAC technician, you’ll need some on-the-job training. One of the best ways to secure this experience is through a pre-apprenticeship program, where you’ll learn the basics of maintaining and repairing heating and cooling systems.
Our pre-apprenticeship training at CrossPurpose is overseen by professional HVAC tradesmen who have years of experience. By the end of your training, you’ll be ready to:
- Start work as an HVAC apprentice.
- Understand basic code requirements.
- Apply principles of job site safety and electrical safety.
- Install, maintain, and repair various heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.
- Use specialty tools and machinery.
- Troubleshoot common issues with HVAC systems.
- And more!
When you choose CrossPurpose, you’ll have a steady hand on your shoulder from start to finish. Our career coaches will help with your resume, prepare you for your interviews, and teach you how to communicate effectively with your colleagues. Plus, we’ll equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to thrive as an HVAC technician.
Ready to transform your life with free HVAC training from CrossPurpose? Get in touch with us today!
HVAC Career Paths
Thankfully, HVAC professionals aren’t confined to one area during their career! After you earn certification, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of specialties. Consider these possibilities when you’re making your career decision:
Automotive HVAC Technician
If you’re a car enthusiast, this is the role for you. Automotive technicians handle installation and repairs for mechanical and electronic vehicle components. You’ll get to work with cars, trucks, semi-trucks — even farm equipment! Plus, thanks to your specialized set of skills, your salary will likely start higher than the salary of your HVAC peers.
Wind Turbine Technician
As wind turbines continue to sweep across the plains of America, there’s never been a better time to enter the workforce as a wind turbine tech. In this role, you’ll be in charge of inspecting and repairing equipment on mechanical wind turbines.
If you like to work outdoors and want to contribute to the cause of clean energy, this position is perfect for you — as long as you aren’t afraid of heights!
Solar Energy Technician
Speaking of clean energy, solar technicians are some of the highest-paid specialists in the HVAC industry. Where the salary of most HVAC techs falls in the $50,000 to $70,000 range, solar energy technicians and installers can make up to $100,000. Though you’ll have to go through extra training, it’s sure to pay off in the long run!
Get Started Today
Becoming an HVAC technician opens a world of possibilities — and CrossPurpose is here to help you explore them all. Whether you’d like to work as an expert in residential heating, commercial cooling, or aircraft ventilation, we’ll guide you through the certification process and prepare you for your HVAC apprenticeship.
Let’s launch your career in the HVAC field together! Fill out the form below for more information, or give us a call at (720) 724-9544 to schedule an appointment.