The demand for trained HVAC technicians has steadily increased over the past couple of years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this trend will continue to improve with a predicted 21% growth until 2024.
To put it simply, HVAC engineers and technicians will have steady work and can expect higher rates in the upcoming future. To be fully prepared for the boom, you’ll need proper training, hands-on experience, and the correct license as required by state regulatory agencies.
To help your HVAC career, this guide includes reviews of some of the best HVAC schools in Dallas, the requirements needed to become one, and the salary and job outlook for HVAC technicians.
Requirements to Be an HVAC Technician in Dallas
In order to become an HVAC technician, you need the relevant prerequisite certifications and professional qualifications. If you live in or are planning to reside in Dallas, the following are the qualification and requirements to be an HVAC technician:
The first step to achieving an HVAC certification is getting a high school diploma. Having a high school diploma will open the path to entering a certified vocational training college or center.
Once vocational training has been completed, a graduate can go for an ACR certification examination or start working as a technician right away. Taking an ACR examination is more beneficial and rewarding because it increases the chances of employment and admission to higher learning levels in the field of HVAC.
After completing the necessary supervised training, technicians can apply to become a licensed ACR contractor. In Dallas, you can either get a Class B license or a Class A license in the field of air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating. A Class A HVAC license allows technicians to work on units of any size. Meanwhile, a Class B HVAC license allows technicians to work on cooling systems under 25 tons, and 1.5 million BTUs/hour or under heating systems.
In order to be eligible for the Texas HVAC license exam, individuals must be at least 18 years old and should have proof of 36 months of practical and hands-on experience.
Salary and Job Outlook in Dallas
Although technological advancement has resulted in the stagnation of many career paths over the last couple of years, the demand for HVAC technicians has risen steadily. According to Salary.com, the average salary of an HVAC Supervisor in Dallas is $72,912 as of March 26, 2020. However, the range generally falls between $82,805 and $62,939.
Salary ranges can differ depending on several important factors, including certifications, education, the number of years you’ve spent in the profession, and any additional skills. The average salary for technicians with less than a year of experience is $23.00 per hour, while technicians with more than ten years of experience can earn as much as $33.62 per hour.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an average job growth of around 7% in all other sectors. On the other hand, an average job growth of around 15 to 16% is expected in the HVAC sector in the same period of time.
Some of the most common HVAC projects that will have steady high demand in the future include the installation of appliances in newly constructed houses, enhancement of energy efficiency by upgrading and retrofitting systems, and replacement of older equipment with a new one.
List of the Top HVAC Schools in Dallas
The art of successfully showing your ability to new clients or potential employers boils down to the standard and quality of education and training you’ve received. Some of the best HVAC schools in Dallas include:
Our Review of the Program
At the Dallas campus, students learn how to repair, install, troubleshoot, and maintain commercial and residential HVAC systems. They learn how to work with ac units, air distribution units, hydronic and geothermal heating units, refrigeration units, heat pumps, and more.
Keeping area businesses in mind, the program trains students in accordance with the National Skill Standards set for HVAC technicians. The school is further designed to prepare technicians for Universal EPA certification, and Type I, II, and III testings.
Once students have learned the basics of being an HVAC technician, they’ll have several different opportunities to fine-tune and apply their knowledge by working on demonstration models in the campus’ skills labs. With access to three lab areas and five dedicated classrooms, students will be offered both opportunities and hands-on training for HVAC certification.
Moreover, the 10,500-square-foot facility offers simulators and training equipment, including A/C water-cooled trainers, advanced and regular heat pump trainers, and compressor fault simulators.
Lastly, graduates can go for entry-level HVAC positions with contract manufacturers, wholesalers, or companies in specialty areas such as commercial or residential cooling, refrigeration, and heating; and domestic refrigeration or air conditioning appliances.
Our Review of the Program
Founded in 1946, the Lincoln Technical Institute has provided HVAC training to thousands of students all throughout the United States. The school’s HVAC program introduces pupils to Green Technology – greener and eco-friendly alternatives to comfort cooling and heating systems, along with Geothermal and Solar Thermal Green Technologies.
Being the first school in the United States that integrates the Energy Auditing courses developed by the Green Mechanical Council, it teaches and keeps students up-to-date with advancements in technology, resulting in the enhancement of their HVAC skills, training, and marketability to potential employers. Furthermore, of the 114 Certified Master HVAC Educators in the country, 26 of them are teachers at Lincoln Tech schools.
The Dallas campus offers both evening and day classes. HVAC classes also include hands-on exercises that are conducted in a Green House, which is a mini-house where students can physically work with HVAC components. Moreover, modern technology is used in the classes, like thermal imaging cameras to determine energy efficiency levels. Classrooms are further set up with labs, while lectures are equipped with central air systems, household furnaces, walk-in freezers, and facilities to resemble ductwork.
Once graduates have completed the HVAC program, they can pursue numerous other certifications, including EPA certification testing, and work as independent contractors. Lastly, Lincoln Tech graduates are offered job placement assistance as well.
Tech Zone HVAC-R
Our Review of the Program
Tech Zone brings hands-on practice and classroom study together for every subject taught. Both students and instructors apply the theory taught in the classroom in the lab. All classes are designed to give students a basic HVAC understanding in a way that will give them the confidence to perform and successfully complete tasks in the real world.
At Tech zone, instructors teach students the importance of identifying and understanding the different mechanical and electrical components of a system and how to properly diagnose and charge it.
Students are given an understanding of heat transfer and the temperature/pressure relationship in the classroom. Meanwhile, the campus’ lab gives students the opportunity to practice control boards, which resemble the components of an HVAC system. They also learn how every system is wired and how the wiring affects its operation and function.
Tech Zone offers both full-time and part-time courses to fit your schedule. Classes are kept small and don’t have more than ten students so that instructors can focus on each individual pupil. The training equips individuals to become certified HVAC technicians in as little as two weeks. Lastly, the program gives students the best possible chance to pass every section of the 608 system successfully and become universally certified.
Dallas County Community College District
Our Review of the Program
This education program helps students prepare for the certification exam needed for an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration EPA license. Students can give this exam at both Eastfield and Cedar Valley colleges.
Both colleges have state-of-the-art labs with gas heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners, and electrical heaters, along with efficiency ratings that range from the highest to the lowest for maximum experience. They also provide training in servicing thermal- and solar-powered heat pumps.
Both colleges also offer different clubs, including arts, wellness, culture, networking, academics, and more. Students can either join a club or start their own. They also offer a wide range of sports opportunities, including baseball, basketball, soccer, and many more. They also compete in their respective leagues.
Eastfield and Cedar Valley colleges are part of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, which is the largest air-conditioning organization in the United States. This membership gives pupils easy access to contractors in North Texas, providing them with an opportunity to directly contact successful businesses in their area.
Our Review of the Program
With a mission of learning, leading, and teaching, Vernon College is a community college that incorporates opportunity with education through their student support services and instructional programs.
Using both distance and traditional learning modes, the college acknowledges the importance of extra-curricular activities as well. It supports several different student organizations, athletic teams, and performing groups. It also offers a wide variety of intramural competitions, including volleyball, whiffle ball, basketball, and flag football.
Furthermore, the Student Government Association, with help from the Student Activities Office, plans, sponsors, and organizes several different entertainments, recreational, leadership, and social activities for students all through the academic year.
The Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, AAS program offered by Vernon College has a probable completion time of two years. Meanwhile, the HVAC Level 1 Certificate takes around 32 weeks or nine months to complete.
With the increasing number of HVAC jobs available in Dallas and technicians earning well over the national average, there’s never been a better time to enroll in an HVAC school. By putting money, effort, and time into your education and career, you can undoubtedly secure a high-paying job. Make sure you go through all the aforementioned schools before making your decision!