According to the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook, the need for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) service and maintenance employees is going to grow faster than other occupations over the next ten years.
In the State of Oregon, there are a number of ways you can pursue getting the right training to join this fast growing field.
There are a number of training programs in Oregon that offer coursework towards a career in the HVAC industry. Training programs include classroom work, computer simulations, and actual hands-on training to prepare you for a job. Suggested schools include the Institute of Technology in the state capital of Salem or the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College. PCC offers options of a two-year degree or one-year certificate program. Lane Community College in Eugene offers a proven program as well. Any of these training programs prepare you for the certification exams required in Oregon.
How to Get Certified in Oregon
In addition to education and practical experience, working in the HVAC industry in Oregon requires state certification. Depending upon your chosen specialty, different certifications are available and required. EPA certification assures your knowledge of the effects of HVAC on the environment, with an understanding of refrigerants. CFC Certification is another type of cooling system compound comprehension, and there are several types of "degrees" of certification, depending on which type of systems you will be working on. A certificate in brazing may also be required. The exams for these certificates are given at multiple locations around the state and throughout the year.
Salaries for HVAC Technician Jobs in Oregon
The medium pay for HVAC technicians can be as much as $21 per hour and over $40,000 on an annual basis, depending on experience and the type of systems being worked on.
HVAC Training and HVAC Schools in Oregon
In addition to the school programs already mentioned, it is possible to become a certified HVAC technician through approved and accredited apprenticeship programs, where you learn on the job, in addition to taking classroom work off of the job site.
Apprenticeship programs last two to five years, with advancement about every six months; also required is 150-200 classroom hours and 4000-10000 hours on the job training. More information can be uncovered about the apprenticeship path from licensed HVAC contractors in Oregon, or by contacting applicable Union organizations.
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