Washington HVAC Training

HVAC, or Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, is both the hottest and coolest career field in the Evergreen state. With our abundance of rainy days, Washingtonians rely on HVAC workers to keep their homes and businesses comfortable all year round. There are many jobs HVAC industry, including HVAC technician or mechanic, refrigeration specialist, facilities maintenance supervisor, and duct system installer. Nationally, the number of jobs in this area is expected to grow at a faster pace than most other occupations, and employers are having trouble finding workers with the right skills to fill open spots. Successful HVAC workers get to enjoy a job that combines physical activity, mental stimulation and the satisfaction of providing something that people need and appreciate.

Whether you live in a rainforest or   basin, or on an island, fjord or mountain or next to a bay, there’s an HVAC career for you somewhere under the rainbows of Washington.

HVAC License and Certification in WASHINGTON

The state of Washington does not offer or require an HVAC license, but it does require HVAC technicians to have either a trainee or journey level electric license. However, obtaining an HVAC License or Certification in Washington will give you more edge when applying for opportunities available in the state. Only the city of Seattle requires an additional refrigeration and gas piping license. Getting a trainee license does not require any prior education or experience. Trainee licenses need to be renewed every two years until you test for and receive a 06a or 06b electrical license at the journey level.  You can go here to apply for a trainee license.

The 06b electrical license is available after a worker has completed and can show proof of at least 2,000 hours in the HVAC industry while being overseen by a certified electrician. The 06a license is a journey level license specifically for HVAC and refrigeration work.  Eligibility for the 06b is dependent upon the completion of 4,000 documented hours working HVAC under a certified electrician as well as the completion of necessary continuing education courses. This license must be renewed every three years to remain valid.
Veterans with prior military experience in HVAC and refrigeration work may be able to count some of that work toward the documented work hour requirement. If this applies to you, you may contact the Washington Department of Labor and Industries to see if your military hours can qualify.

HVAC Education and Training Requirements in Washington

HVAC careers can begin either at school or through an apprenticeship. Washington has 14  schools offering HVAC certification programs and there are 7  organizations with formal apprenticeship programs. There are even pre-apprenticeship programs in HVAC Schools in Washington.  HVAC technicians in the state must take several certification exams, depending on the specific electrical components of the cooling and heating systems they will be working with. Training standards are set and overseen by the electrical board of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
Employers tend to prefer to hire those with a certificate from a school or those who have completed a formal apprenticeship from a program approved by the electrical board. With that said, you should be well-informed of Washington’s HVAC Education and Training Requirements. School programs can take anywhere from three quarter terms to two years, depending on the level of certification a student or apprentice seeks. Apprenticeships tend to take a little longer, not uncommonly three years or more. However, this route may provide benefits for those eager to earn the necessary documented working hours required by the state for 06a or 06b electrical licensure.  An apprenticeship may also provide for an HVAC technician to command a higher pay rate earlier in his or her career, due to more hands-on work experience.
Most formal apprenticeship and school programs have a few basic requirements. Though these requirements vary, many programs only accept  applicants that are at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, can pass a basic skills assessment test, have a valid drivers license and are able to pass a drug test.

Employment and Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median income for HVAC heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $43,640 and the average hourly wage is as of May 2012. In Washington, the 2013 average was a bit lower, at $40,000, according to Indeed.com. However, Washington HVAC Salary Information shows that experience and certifications add to wages. According to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, some HVAC technicians in the state make $76 an hour!

Schools in Washington Offering HVAC Programs

B R Engelking/HVAC School
23024 Brier Road,  Brier, WA 98036
Phone:   (425) 778-2510
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Heating; Refrigeration

This school offers evening and weekly classes for those with limited time to attend school.

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Programs:

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Bates Technical College
1101 South Yakima Avenue,  Tacoma, WA 98405
Phone:   (253) 680-7255
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Carpentry; Electrical; Heating; Refrigeration; Welding
One can earn an associate’s degree over the course of six quarter terms. This program is accredited by the Partnership
for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).

Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindberg Avenue,  Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone:   (360) 738-0221
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Electrical; EPA Certification; Heating; Refrigeration; Welding
Bellingham Technical College offers a 131 credit associate’s degree.

Brudvik School of Refrigeration
20926 63rd Avenue W. Suite B,  Lynnwood, WA 98903
Phone:   (425) 771-6024
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Heating
This school does not have a web site. Perhaps you could get a discount by sharing your web development skills.

Clover Park Technical College
4500 Steilacoom Blvd. SW,  Lakewood, WA 98499
Phone:   (253) 589-5800
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Electrical; Heating; Refrigeration

Get a Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Service Degree in 4 quarters or become a
Basic HVAC/Refrigeration Service Technician in 3 quarters.
HBTI HVAC Business and Technical Institute
22641 83rd Ave S, Kent, WA 98032
Phone: (253) 638-7797
Programs: Continuing Education
Continuing education classes for those with previous HVAC experience are available here.
Inland Northwest HVAC Training Center
811 E. Sprague #6,  Spokane, WA 99202
Phone:   (509) 747-8810
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Electrical; EPA Certification; Heating; Plumbing; Refrigeration

The HVAC/R Service Technician Training program features  900 hours of instruction and an
HVAC/R internship.

North Seattle Community College
9600 College Way North,  Seattle, WA 98103
Phone:   (206) 527-3730
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Heating; Refrigeration

The HVAC Technician certificate program is 4-quarters, or 53 credit hours and offers classes that can accommodate those with an without backgrounds in HVAC or electricity.  The program  was started  in partnership with Lennox, a leading manufacturer of climate control solutions for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Perry Technical Institute/YVCC
2011 W. Washington Avenue,  Yakima, WA 98903
Phone:   (509) 453-0374
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Electrical; Heating; Refrigeration

This program takes two years and graduates are credited with one year towards the two years required to be eligible to take the certification exam for the 06a HVAC/R Specialty Electrical License.
Renton Techncial College
3000 NE 4th Street,  Renton, WA 98056
Phone:   (425) 235-2352
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Electrical; Heating; Refrigeration

Just Southeast of Seattle, this school is a good option for residents of King county.

Seattle Area Pipe Trades Education Center
595 Monster Road, SW #100,  Renton, WV 98055
Phone:   (866) 396-4833
Programs:   Plumbing; Refrigeration
Spokane Community College of Spokane
1810 N Greene Street,  Spokane, WA 99217
Phone:   (509) 533-7329
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Electrical; Heating; Plumbing; Refrigeration
Walla Walla Community College
500 Tausick Way,  Walla Walla, WA 99362
Phone:   (509) 522-2500
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Carpentry; Electrical; Heating; Refrigeration; Welding

Wenatchee Valley College
1300 5th Street,  Wenatchee, WA 98801
Phone:   (509) 664-2514
Programs:   Air Conditioning; Heating

HVAC Apprenticeship Programs in Washington (click links for program sites)
Northeastern Washington- Northern Idaho Sheet Metal Apprenticeship Committee
HVAC Service Technician
HVAC Test, Adjust and Balance Technician
Minimum Qualifications:
-18 years of age
-High school diploma or GED
-Valid drivers license
-Passing a basic aptitude test administered by the apprenticeship sponsor
-Physical fitness sufficient to perform the duties of the trade

Northwest Washington Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Committee
HVAC/Refrigeration Mechanic
Minimum Qualifications:
-At least 18 years old
– High school diploma, GED or state equivalent
-Must pass COMPASS test
– Valid Washington drivers license
– Passing a NON-D.O.T drug test

Seattle Area Plumbers, Housing Plumbers, Pipefitters, HVAC/Refrigeration Mechanics, and Marine Pipefitters Apprenticeship Committee
HVAC/Refrigeration Mechanic
Minimum Requirements:
– At least 18 years old
– High school diploma, GED or state equivalent
-Sufficient scores on the ASSET test
-Valid Washington State Drivers license

West Sound Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Committee
HVAC/Refrigeration Mechanic

Minimum Requirements:
– At least 18 years of age
– High school diploma, GED or state equivalent
-Valid Washington state drivers license
Western Washington Sheet Metal JATC
HVAC Service Technician
HVAC Test, Adjust and Balance Technician
Minimum qualifications:
-At least 18 years of age
-High school diploma, GED or state equivalent
-Taking and passing a Sheet Metal Math and Reading Assessment test
-Valid drivers license
-Social security card
-Proof of auto insurance
Southwest Washington Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Committee
HVAC/Refrigeration Mechanic
Minimum Qualifications:
-At least 18 years of age
-High school diploma, GED or state equivalent
-Passing the COMPASS test
-Valid Washington state drivers license
– A negative 9-panel Non-D.O.T. drug test to be taken 30 days prior to the apprenticeship interview
Southwest Washington Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Committee
HVAC/Refrigeration Mechanic
Minimum Qualifications:
-18 years of age
-High school diploma or GED
-Valid Washington state drivers license
-Passing the COMPASS test. Applicants must pay to take this test themselves.
-A negative 9-panel Non-D.O.T. drug test to be taken 30 days prior to the apprenticeship interview
Want to become an apprentice but don’t feel ready? There are a number of
Pre-Apprenticeship Training Programs available.