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

HVAC helpers typically have less experience and training than fully licensed HVAC technicians, but they remain an important part of quality HVAC service.

What Tasks Do HVAC Helpers Complete?

HVAC helpers are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including:

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

They are also frequently responsible for completing simple tests and checks on HVAC systems to look for signs of trouble.

How Do You Apply to Be an HVAC Helper?

To start as 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. Some programs may also include classes in related subjects, such as electrical theory and safety practices.

Once the training or apprenticeship program is complete, HVAC helpers then have the option to become certified through any number of organizations, including the HVAC Excellence or the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. You'll become certified after passing an exam, although some programs also require a specific amount of work experience or continuing education credits.

How Much Does an HVAC Helper Make?

An HVAC helper's salary varies depending on factors such as how much experience they have, the region where they work and the specific company they're working for.

Based on findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for HVAC helpers is around $37,000, although some HVAC helpers can eventually earn more. With experience and more training programs, HVAC helpers can graduate into fully certified HVAC technicians, increasing their annual salaries.

Generally, HVAC helpers are key members of any heating and cooling team, providing assistance with the 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.