An HVAC helper is a technician who works alongside more experienced HVAC technicians as they complete the installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Your average HVAC helper has less experience when compared to fully certified HVAC technicians, but they remain an important part of quality HVAC service.

Which Tasks Can HVAC Helpers Do?

HVAC helpers often assist with many aspects of key HVAC services, such as:

  • Carrying and loading equipment and materials
  • Getting the site prepared and keeping it clean
  • Supporting the installation, maintenance and repair of HVAC systems

They are also frequently responsible for completing simple tests and checks on HVAC systems to ensure normal operation.

How Do You Apply to Be an HVAC Helper?

For anyone interested in being an HVAC helper, you generally start by completing a training program or an apprenticeship. Completing either may take several months to a year, and should provide hands-on training in the installation and maintenance of HVAC systems. Many programs extend classes to cover related subjects, such as electrical theory and safety practices.

After completing a training program or apprenticeship, HVAC helpers then have the option to become certified through any number of organizations, like the HVAC Excellence or the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. You'll become certified after passing an exam, although some programs also require sufficient on-site work experience or continuing education credits.

How Much Does an HVAC Helper Make?

An HVAC helper's salary usually depends on how much experience they have, the region where they work and the specific company they're working for.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for HVAC helpers is around $37,000, although some HVAC helpers may have an opportunity to earn more. With experience and additional training, HVAC helpers can graduate into truly professional HVAC technicians, which typically earn higher salaries.

Generally, an HVAC helper is an important member of a heating and cooling team, helping ensure the quality installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. After training and education programs are complete, an HVAC helper can become a valuable and well-paid member of the HVAC industry.