How to Become an HVAC Technician in Alaska

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Becoming an HVAC technician in Alaska is a unique career path due to the state’s extreme weather conditions and natural beauty.

You will encounter challenges like working in freezing temperatures and navigating snow-covered areas to reach clients.

However, the job is rewarding as you provide warmth and comfort in harsh Alaskan winters.

It’s a technical career with the added element of adapting to Alaska’s rugged environment.

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What Does an HVAC Technician Do?

HVAC technicians, or Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning technicians, are the ones who keep our indoor spaces comfortable.

They install, repair, and improve heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, ensuring a cozy and healthy environment throughout the year.

How to Become an HVAC Technician in Alaska – Step by Step

Step 1: Meet Educational Prerequisites

Begin your path by meeting the educational prerequisites.

This typically involves obtaining a high school diploma or GED, providing the foundation for your future HVAC career.

Step 2: Enroll in Accredited HVAC Programs

Choose reputable technical schools or colleges in Alabama that offer HVAC programs accredited by recognized institutions.

Look for programs that include HVAC-R Certificates and Associate degree options.

Step 3: Undergo Comprehensive Training

Gain invaluable hands-on experience through internships or apprenticeships offered by HVAC companies or educational institutions in Alabama.

This immersive training will sharpen your skills and prepare you for the HVAC field.

Step 4: Obtain Professional Certification

Upon completing your chosen HVAC program, consider pursuing industry-recognized certifications.

These credentials not only boost your qualifications but also showcase your expertise.

Step 5: Apply for an Alabama State HVAC License

Compliance with Alabama’s state regulations is essential.

HVAC technicians in Alabama often need to obtain a state license to practice legally.

This typically involves fulfilling experience requirements, passing an HVAC trade exam, and submitting a license application.

Step 6: Explore Additional Certifications

To further elevate your standing in the HVAC industry, explore additional certifications that align with your career goals and interests.

These certifications can provide specialized expertise and make you even more valuable.


To become an HVAC technician in Alaska, you need both technical and soft skills.

Key technical competencies include electrical knowledge, tool proficiency, the ability to read manuals, and an understanding of physics/math.

Customer service skills are also important, as is the mechanical aptitude to work with complex systems in tight spaces.

The Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing oversees the Division of Mechanical Administration in Alaska, which oversees the Division of HVAC technicians.

You must meet the certification standards set by both the EPA and the State of Alaska to be qualified as a technician.

I will now share how you can get the right training to start your HVAC technician journey.

Option 1. HVAC Training Institutes and Schools

HVAC technicians in Alaska are required to be licensed; employers prefer workers who have completed post-secondary HVAC training.

Most gain these skills through 6-24 month certificate or associate degree programs at trade schools or community colleges.

The programs often include internships for hands-on experience.

Together, technical education and training provide students with a well-rounded skill set for HVAC careers.

Option 2. Apprenticeship

Another way to become certified in HVAC in Alaska is to complete an apprenticeship.

This is the required first step before applying for HVAC certification in Alaska.

The statewide Local 367 apprenticeship in Anchorage includes 10,000 hours of on-the-job training over five years plus classroom learning. Costs are covered except for books/licenses.

Local 23 in Anchorage/Fairbanks has centers in Anchorage and Fairbanks and offers a four-year HVAC apprenticeship combining practical and academic training.

The program has doubled apprentice training in five years, demonstrating increasing opportunities.

It provides another pathway to HVAC certification for Alaskans.

These apprenticeships provide both the theoretical and practical experience needed for the profession.

Option 3. Certificate Programs

After completing a course of study, universities, community colleges, and vocational schools grant certificate programs as post-secondary credentials.

These usually range from six months to two years.

Get an EPA Certificate

You must obtain the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Section 608 HVAC Certification before you can buy or handle refrigerants or work as an HVAC technician nationally in Alaska.

The EPA offers four certification tracks for working with refrigerants: All EPA certifications are valid nationwide without expiration.

Remember Recertification

HVAC technicians in Alaska must renew their licenses every two years to maintain authorization to work.

The renewal period ends December 31st and there is no grace period.

Technicians can complete the renewal process online through the state licensing portal.

The fee for the two years is $200.

To qualify for renewal, HVAC technicians must fulfill eight hours of approved continuing education training during each interval.

Acceptable topics include codes, technologies, safety, and regulatory compliance.

Proper documentation of the continuing education credits must be retained in case of audit.

Timely renewal is required to legally carry out duties as a mechanical administrator in Alaska.

HVAC Schools in Alaska

Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC)


The main HVAC training program in Alaska is offered at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward.

Their Associate of Applied Science degree in Plumbing and Heating takes approximately two years to complete and costs around $12,339 in total.

University of Alaska’s Mat-Su College

Students can prepare for careers working with HVAC/R systems by earning a certificate in refrigeration and heating from Mat-Su College at the University of Alaska.

University of Alaska's Mat-Su College

Students develop skills in areas like refrigeration, electrical circuits, heating fundamentals, codes, distribution and control systems, and troubleshooting over 24 credit hours.

The program prepares graduates to sit for the EPA Universal Certification Exam and the ESCO Employment Certification.

Located in Palmer, Alaska, the program can typically be completed in under a year.

The cost for an Alaskan resident is $234 per credit, and for a non-resident, it’s $800 per credit.

Charter College

The Certificate in HVAC/R at Charter College prepares students for entry-level careers as HVAC/R technicians over ten months.

Charter College

This blended online and hands-on lab program covers topics such as HVAC science, refrigeration, air properties, piping and duct systems, controls, air conditioning, heating systems, and energy efficiency.

Upon completion, graduates will be able to identify industry standards and work independently as HVAC/R technicians.

The total cost of the course, including books, is $25,182.

School Name Address
Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) 809 Second Avenue, Seward, AK 99664
University of Alaska's Mat-Su College 8295 College Dr, Palmer, AK 99645
Charter College 2221 E Northern Lights Blvd #120, Anchorage, AK 99508


The average salary for HVAC technicians in Alaska varies depending on factors such as location, experience, and additional skills.

Here are the average salaries for HVAC positions in different cities in Alaska:

  • Anchorage, AK: HVAC Maintenance Technician I: $53,990
  • Fairbanks, AK: HVAC Maintenance Technician II: $68,720

In Alaska, the average salary for an HVAC technician is slightly higher than the national average, with HVAC mechanic positions ranging from $45,709 to $72,371.

So, not only will you be keeping people comfortable, but you’ll also be earning a competitive wage!

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Anchorage $54,532
Fairbanks $54,306
Juneau $54,046
Sitka $53,311
Ketchikan $53,311
Wasilla $53,796
Kenai $53,796
Kodiak $53,796
Bethel $53,796
Palmer $53,796

Regional Salary in Alaska

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Anchorage, AK300$73,660$35.42$99,840$39,490
Fairbanks, AK90$74,990$36.05$103,670$47,250
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, OCC Code 49-9021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is licensing required to open an HVAC business in Alaska?

Administrator licensing is needed to open an HVAC contracting business.

The state also requires certain specialty licenses, like gas fitting.

What certifications are required?

HVAC technicians must obtain an EPA Section 608 certification to work with refrigerants.

Some areas, like Anchorage, may require additional municipal licenses too.

What are the costs associated with HVAC training?

Costs vary depending on the program, but expect to pay $12,000-50,000 total.

Apprenticeships have little upfront tuition, while degrees have higher schooling fees.

Additional exam and licensing fees generally range between $100-400.

What is the job outlook like for HVAC technicians in Alaska?

The job outlook for HVAC technicians in Alaska is very good.

Demand for HVAC technicians is expected to grow 6% over the next decade, faster than average compared to other occupations in the state.

HVAC Technician Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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