How to Become an HVAC Technician in Kentucky

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Have you ever dreamed of solving the mysteries behind home comfort systems?

As heating and cooling technology evolves, Kentucky needs skilled HVAC technicians to keep communities cozy.

In the next decade, over 86,000 new jobs will fuel the state’s growing economy.

HVAC careers offer financial stability and satisfaction for those eager to puzzle out today’s complex climate controls.

Intrigued by this essential trade full of challenges?

I want to help you understand Kentucky’s path to HVAC certification.

In this guide, I’ll outline the steps from educational requirements and hands-on training programs to licensing exams and salary forecasts, and I’ll demystify the process of becoming an in-demand certified professional.

By the end, you’ll have a backstage pass to decide if chasing cooling conundrums and heating hurdles is truly your calling.

Read on for a window into Kentucky’s high-tech home comfort industry!

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How to Become an HVAC Technician in Kentucky, Step by Step

Educational Requirements

To become an HVAC technician in Kentucky, candidates must meet the following minimum educational criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have earned a high school diploma or equivalent GED.
  • While not required, a strong foundation in math, science, and technical courses at the high school level can help prepare students for HVAC training programs. HVAC technology is advancing, so formal education provides valuable skills.

No other specific educational requirements beyond a high school credential are needed.

However, many HVAC technicians opt to pursue additional training through diploma, associate degree, or certificate programs to gain the knowledge and qualifications needed to enter the field.

HVAC Technician Schools in Kentucky

Several accredited post-secondary institutions throughout the state offer HVAC training programs to help students gain the skills and qualifications necessary to enter the HVAC field.

The major schools include:

Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College (Bowling Green)Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College

This school offers certificates, diplomas, and associate degree programs in environmental system repair, HVAC mechanical installation, and air conditioning technology.

Ranging from an associate degree (16 months) to a certificate or diploma (four months).

Tuition costs: environmental system repair certificate ($1,740); environmental control system service certificate ($4,350); furnace installer certificate and domestic air conditioner ($6,264), air conditioning associate degree ($11,484); heating ventilation and air conditioning mechanic diploma ($9,744).

Interactive College of Technology (Newport)Interactive College of Technology

Offers a 36-credit-hour residential HVAC training program that takes approximately 45 weeks to complete.

Tuition costs: $15,600

Maysville Community and Technical College (Maysville)

Provides HVAC mechanic diploma programs and certificate options that usually take around four months to finish.

Maysville Community and Technical College

Tuition costs: $179 per credit hour.

Accreditation through organizations like HVAC Excellence and the Southern Association of Colleges ensures the quality of the education provided at these schools.

HVAC Technician Apprenticeships in Kentucky

Apprenticeships are commonly used for HVAC technician training in Kentucky.

Several apprenticeship programs throughout the state provide both classroom learning and paid on-the-job training with a sponsoring employer.

Some examples include:

The Enzweiler Building InstituteThe Enzweiler Building Institute

Offers a 2-year HVAC apprenticeship program that meets twice a week, focusing on both hands-on skills and theoretical coursework necessary to pass licensing exams.

Somerset Community College’s Air Conditioning Technology programSomerset Community College's Air Conditioning Technology program

Prepares students to work as apprentices for 1,500 hours under a Master Contractor before taking the Journeyman exam after 2 years of education.

There are currently over 500 HVAC apprentice opportunities available throughout Kentucky, according to job listings online.

Apprenticeships provide an effective pathway for developing the practical skills and qualifications to work as an HVAC technician in Kentucky.

HVAC Licensing and Certification in Kentucky

All HVAC technicians in Kentucky must adhere to certain licensing and certification requirements:

EPA Section 608 Certification: This certification in refrigerant handling has 4 subtypes (types 1-4) depending on the equipment serviced.

Most training programs include Section 608 certification preparation.

Skill-Specific Certifications: Technicians can obtain additional certifications through organizations like the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association, North American Technician Excellence, and HVAC Excellence to demonstrate expertise in specialty skills.

NATENorth American Technician Excellence

The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification is a voluntary certification program for HVAC technicians that is recognized throughout the industry.

NATE certification is designed to test the knowledge and skills of HVAC technicians in areas such as installation, maintenance, and repair.

The certification is divided into several different specialty areas, including air conditioning, heat pumps, gas furnaces, and commercial refrigeration.

To become NATE certified, technicians must pass a knowledge-based exam and a hands-on skills assessment.

While NATE certification is not required to work as an HVAC technician in Kentucky, it can be a valuable credential that demonstrates a technician’s expertise and professionalism.

Many employers prefer to hire NATE-certified technicians, and some manufacturers require NATE certification for warranty work.

School Name Address
Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College 1845 Loop Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101, United States
Interactive College of Technology 5303 New Peachtree Rd, Chamblee, GA 30341, United States
Maysville Community and Technical College 1755 U.S. 68 Business, Maysville, KY 41056, United States
The Enzweiler Building Institute 3923 Winston Ave, Covington, KY 41015, United States
Somerset Community College's Air Conditioning Technology program 808 Monticello St, Somerset, KY 42501, United States
North American Technician Excellence 2311 Wilson Blvd # 410, Arlington, VA 22201, United States

HVAC Technician Salaries in Kentucky

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC technicians earn competitive salaries based on the training required.

Nationwide, the median salary was reported at $48,730 annually, while in Kentucky it was somewhat lower at $41,220 per year.

Breakdowns of salaries in Kentucky:

  • Number Employed: 4,290
  • Mean Annual Wage: $42,780
  • 10th Percentile: $26,920
  • 25th Percentile: $32,730
  • Median: $41,220;
  • 75th Percentile: $50,960
  • 90th Percentile: $62,250

Payscale data (Nov. 2020) showed a 10th percentile of $31,000 and a median of $47,775 nationally.

It’s important to note that Kentucky has a lower overall cost of living, ranking 19th lowest in the U.S. in 2020.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Louisville $46,545
Lexington $45,976
Bowling Green $44,432
Owensboro $46,048
Covington $47,947
Richmond $45,526
Georgetown $45,950
Florence $47,927
Hopkinsville $44,127
Nicholasville $45,897

Regional Salary in Kentucky

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bowling Green, KY210$48,720$23.42$65,830$30,530
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY160$48,910$23.52$62,600$30,420
Lexington-Fayette, KY880$54,190$26.05$74,480$33,040
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN1,960$52,930$25.45$75,400$33,800
Owensboro, KY170$54,400$26.16$72,160$34,510
* 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

Do I need a college degree to become an HVAC technician?

No, a college degree is not required.

Many technicians learn through certificate programs, associate degrees, or apprenticeships that provide on-the-job training.

How long does it take to become an HVAC technician?

The time commitment varies based on the training path chosen.

Certificates may be earned in 4–9 months, while associate degrees usually take 2 years.

Apprenticeships are often 2–5 years in length, combining classroom and work experience.

What types of skills are important for HVAC technicians?

Key skills include mechanical aptitude, problem-solving ability, physical stamina, communication skills, and knowledge of controls, electricity, and plumbing systems.

HVAC work also requires attention to detail and the ability to multitask.

Is the HVAC field growing?

Yes, the HVAC industry is expected to experience faster-than-average job growth over the coming years.

As new technologies emerge and buildings require modernized systems, skilled technicians will be in high demand.

Growth sectors include renewable energy, energy efficiency, and building automation

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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