How to Get AC Certified


Being AC certified means that you are legally qualified to work on air conditioning units and understand how to safety handle refrigerant to prevent environmental damage. Becoming AC certified includes taking a certification examination and receiving a certification card. A technician’s certification card must be presented in order to purchase refrigerant. You can attend certification classes or study the manual and take the examination on your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-study booklet or online program or enrollment in vocational program
  • Choose a self-study program. The old-fashioned way to study a subject was to obtain the manual and read and memorize the material. This method is still a completely valid way of obtaining certification; however, there are online tutorials aimed at creating a hybrid teaching environment for students who find it difficult to learn by simply memorization. Regardless of whether you choose to learn online or by studying a manual, you will be responsible for absorbing and retaining the information you need in order to pass the examination and practice safe practices for handling refrigerant.

  • Choose an accredited education program. If self-study is not a feasible way of learning for you, you can choose to attend a program aimed at teaching you what you need to know in order to be a successful AC technician. These classes are often hosted by vocational schools. Tuition, while expensive, can be defrayed by obtaining educational grants ad scholarships.

  • Complete the course. Regardless of which method you choose, complete the learning module. This process may take several weeks to complete, but you will walk away with a complete understanding of your role and responsibilities when it comes to the environment and refrigerant. There are hefty fines that can be levied against you for failing to perform proper AC maintenance and practice proper refrigerant techniques.

  • Take the test. Taking the AC certification examination will require you to make an appointment with the appropriate testing facility in your area. If you are unsure of where to test, contact your local vocational school. It may be a certified testing agency; if not, it can usually point you in the right direction. AC certification is broken in three parts. Passing each section will allow you to gain certification in that specific area. Most AC technicians strive to complete a universal certification, which allows them to work on any AC system.

  • Get your license. You will receive your license after passing the licensure examination. You will receive it in the mail several weeks after taking the test. The license will indicate what classes you are eligible to work on.

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