Have you ever wondered who is responsible for building our roads, bridges, highways, and other infrastructure? It all traces back to a discipline known as civil engineering. Those who work in this sphere plan, design, and build different kinds of infrastructure projects.

If you’re interested in learning more about this field, then check out our guide. We’re looking into how to become a civil engineering technician, the education it requires, the salary it provides, and opportunities for career growth.

Job Description

Civil engineering technicians are “hands-on” members of the engineering team who work under engineers, scientists, and technologists. They should demonstrate knowledge of the components, operating characteristics, and limitations of engineering systems and processes particular to their area of specialization.

Civil engineering technicians typically spend their days speaking with their supervisors about plan preparations and evaluating field conditions. Additional job duties include:

  • Develop plans and estimate costs
  • Request quotes for constructing systems and operating facilities
  • Evaluate contractors’ work to detect problems with a design
  • Test construction materials
  • Read and review project drawings
  • Make sure project construction conforms to design specifications and applicable codes
  • Calculate dimensions component specifications, and material quantities
  • Inspect project sites
  • Review blueprints
  • Maintain project files and records
  • Monitor instruments for traffic studies
  • Utilize various computer programs to design projects, collect and analyze data, prepare reports, and manage file system
  • Visit job sites where construction projects are taking place
  • Prepare reports and document project progress
Make sure to read this article for more information on engineering technology! Explore this diverse field and learn how NEIT can help you achieve your goals.

Civil engineering technicians work regular schedules, with a standard 40-hour workweek. They aren't, however, confined to the office that entire time. According to a recent poll, 22 percent of civil engineering technicians said they worked outside at least once a week. 38 percent reported they spend time outdoors every day.

How to Become a Civil Engineering Technician

civil engineering technicians help engineers complete a variety of projects

Education

Though employers typically look for individuals who have graduated from a program accredited by the Board for Engineering and Technology, an associate's degree in civil engineering is not always necessary for breaking into the field.

After graduating high school, prospective civil engineering technicians can enroll in courses offered at a technical or vocational school. Many institutions offer classes in engineering, design, computer software, and other areas that relate to the career. These programs often take less time to complete than those offered at four-year schools.

No matter what kind of program they decide to pursue, all aspiring civil engineering technicians should take science and math courses, as these disciplines are necessary to analyze, design, and troubleshoot their work. Reading and writing skills are also crucial to civil engineering technicians. They must be able to understand all reports, plans, and documents and communicate their findings to other members of their team.

Check out this page to explore the Civil Engineering Bachelor Degree Program from NEIT! Learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.

Bachelor's degree programs are also available. This is a good option for those who want to eventually become civil engineers, as it is the minimum required needed to do so. It's also a good option for anyone looking to earn a graduate degree in engineering or construction.

Courses typically revolve around surveying, urban planning, structural analysis, site development, and highway engineering. These programs take around two years to complete, though institutions may offer expedited schedules.

Experience

Related occupations can provide valuable experiences that apply to the field of civil engineering. Engineering firms often hire drafters and CAD operators to complete specifications. With enough knowledge about design and construction, these individuals may advance to a civil engineering technician.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certifications are not required in this field, but technicians may sign up for certification programs to demonstrate a commitment to growth and further stand out from the competition.

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) remains a global leader in the field, overseeing civil engineering technicians’ certification. More than 148,000 technicians and technologists have received certificates from the organization since it was founded back in 1961.

The NICET provides certifications for civil engineering technicians in the following areas:

Civil Engineering Technology vs. Civil Engineering

civil engineering technicians typically work both in and out of the office

Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers to plan, design, and build roads, bridges, highways as well as commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.

Engineers typically plan and direct the work completed by technicians. They may also be responsible for examining reports and maps, explaining findings to the public, and visiting job sites to ensure projects are completed on-time and without issue. They must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, whereas civil engineering technicians require just an associate degree to begin work in the field

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates civil engineering technicians will experience job growth of around 3 percent between 2019 and 2029.

As populations increase and unpredictable weather patterns continue to occur, the need to rebuild, maintain and enhance existing infrastructure will grow. This provides an enormous opportunity for civil engineering technicians. The rise of green technologies and renewable energy also introduces new opportunities for individuals in the field.

Many technicians will eventually go back to school for a bachelor's degree program in civil engineering technology. This will provide them the experience and education needed to pursue work as a civil engineer. This is a fairly common career path for civil engineering technicians.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineering technicians earn a median annual salary of $53,410 per year or $25.68 per hour, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $80,650. The top-paying industries for civil engineering technicians are as follows:

  • Local government, excluding education and hospitals
  • Construction
  • Engineering Services
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals

FAQ

How many years does it take to become a civil engineering technician?

Most employers look to hire civil engineering technicians who hold an associate degree in the subject. These programs typically take two years to complete.

Is civil engineering technician a good career?

The field of engineering technology will experience job growth of about 3 percent between 2019 and 2029. The need to preserve, repair, upgrade and enhance an aging infrastructure will keep demand for these workers high, meaning civil engineering technicians can enjoy a steady level of job security in the coming years.

What skills are required for a civil engineering technician?

Things like problem-solving, critical thinking, math, reading, and writing should all come naturally to prospective civil engineering technicians. Observational and decision-making abilities are also important qualities to possess.

Is civil engineering technology a good degree?

According to the U.S. News & World Report, engineering technology ranks among the top degrees to pursue at a community college in place of a traditional university. The degree prepares graduates for a number of positions, including civil engineering technician, drafter, and land surveyor.

Conclusion

there are many duties civil engineering technicians are responsible for

Kick-off your career in civil engineering technology today!

The New England Institute of Technology offers both associate and bachelor degree programs in the subject. Graduates will be qualified for careers with civil engineering firms, survey companies, materials testing companies, or construction companies.

Students may also further their education with a master’s degree in the field. We offer graduate degree programs in Engineering Management or Construction Management. Fill out this form to get more information or call us at 401-467-7744.

Welders are professionals well-versed with the different welding processes. A welder uses numerous welding techniques to fabricate metal joints and components found in various industries and industrial products.

Welders are also responsible for ensuring that welding practices adhere to the prescribed quality and safety standards. They prepare materials and equipment for welding, inspecting, and analyzing the welded products to identify welding defects and their sources.

What Is Welding? What Is the Role of a Welder?

Welding is the process of joining metals by applying heat, pressure, or a combination of both. When two metal parts are to be connected, heat and pressure help melt the two metals. Once the molten metal solidifies, the two parts connect together with a permanent bond.

Welding has considerable advantages over other joining processes. You can create leak-proof joints, avoid vibrations due to loose fasteners, and even perform underwater welding. Since welding is a low-cost process and provides high joint strength, it remains one of the most preferred choices for joining metals.

Can you think of a sector where you don’t require the joining of metals? Metal joints find their use in bridges, structures, housing, automobiles, trains, power plants, oil refineries, and many such areas. Wherever there’s metal to be joined, there’s welding to be had!

What Are the Different Types of Welding?

Depending upon the metals you want to join, the strength of joints desired, and ease of operation, you can use one of the several weldings. If you are looking to become a welder, you can gain expertise in any of the following techniques. The most commonly used methods of welding are:

Arc Welding

Arc welding uses an electric arc from an external power supply source to generate heat to melt and join metals. The power supply connects to the electrode that carries current or melts directly into the weld pool due to the applied heat.

This welding method is simple, inexpensive, fast, and reliable. You can find the applications of arc welding in the automotive, shipbuilding, and construction industries.

Flux-Coated Arc Welding (FCAW)

FCAW is a variation of arc welding. The electrode used for FCAW contains a flux that protects the weld pool from contamination. FCAW has a high metal deposition rate, making it ideal for high-speed applications like mass production lines. Mild steel, low-alloy steel, and stainless steel are common materials that you can join using FCAW.

Shielded-Metal Arc Welding(SMAW)

SMAW is very similar to flux-coated arc welding. The only difference between SMAW and FCAW is that SMAW electrodes are solid and have an external covering of flux, while FCAW electrodes have a tubular shape with an inner flux core.

Gas Metal Arc Welding(GMAW)

Gas-metal Arc Welding(GMAW) or metal inert gas welding(MIG) uses a consumable wire-type electrode. A shielding inert gas flows through the welding gun and helps protect the weld pool from atmospheric contamination. Originally developed for aluminum and other non-ferrous metals, GMAW is now used for welding steel and its alloys.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding(GTAW)

GTAW or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is highly popular as it uses a non-consumable electrode. A tungsten electrode and a filler metal help create a joint between the two metals. Inert gases such as argon or helium protect the area being welded from contamination, and most, although not all, welding applications will require filler metal.

Different types of welding

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_tungsten_arc_welding#/media/File:GTAW.svg

Job Responsibilities of A Welder

Let’s take a look at the job responsibilities and the job description of a welder. Welders work in the manufacturing and construction industry and similar areas depending upon their skills and experience level.

A welder’s job description may involve one of the following responsibilities:

  • Fabrication of metal joints and products
  • Studying and analyzing drawings, blueprints, and sketches about metal joints.
  • Calculating the dimension of weld required for securing the metal parts to be connected
  • Ensuring that the workpiece adheres to prescribed quality and safety standards
  • Performing on-site inspections to check for defects and deviations
  • Recommending welding methods for joining a particular set of metals
  • Executing post-welding operations such as filling of holes, deburring, and hammering out the bulges and bends
  • Maintenance of the welding equipment and machinery

What are the Requirements for Becoming A Welder?

Given the scope, there is always a high demand for skilled people in the welding industry. If you want to take up a welding job or become a certified welding inspector, these are some of the requirements you must fulfill:

Education

If you wish to become a welder, you will need a GED or high school diploma. Once you’ve obtained your GED, you can apply for a welding certificate program.

A typical welding certification program can take six to eighteen months. During your certification program, you will learn the various welding methods and techniques. To further enhance your employability, you can pursue an apprenticeship program for additional and on-the-job-training.

An Associate Degree in Welding Engineering Technology can pave the path for a fulfilling career. Students will learn the theory and undergo welding training for joining materials using the various welding processes during this two-year welding program.

Your college might also engage you with construction projects or manufacturing jobs during your apprenticeship to enhance your skills as a welder.

Training

Along with the prerequisite education, training is an important part of becoming a welder. During their training and certification programs, welders work on live projects full time at the actual job location and handle welding equipment to complete their welding duties.

While working, the job instructor or shop floor manager will also teach welders about the various safety protocols important for handling power tools and equipment.

requirements for becoming a welder

Certifications

To fulfill your job duties as a welder, you can also take up one of the certification programs. Some of the most popular types of welding certificates are as follows:

  • Certified Welder (CW)
  • Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)
  • Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)
  • Certified Welding Educator (CWE)
  • Certified Welding Sales Representative (CWSR)
  • Certified Associate Welding Inspector (CAWI)
  • Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI)
  • Certified Robotic Arc Welding (CRAW)
  • Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS)
  • Certified Welding Engineer (CWE)

Skills

As a welder, you must also possess these traits for welding mechanical structures, construction products, and surfaces and performing a variety of welding jobs:

  • Physical fitness
  • Great attention to detail
  • Good dexterity and vision
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to solve real-life problems
  • Troubleshooting abilities
  • Knowledge of welding specifications

What Industries Do Welders Work In?

Some of the top industries that offer attractive job offers to welders are:

  • Mechanical, Architectural, and Structural Products Industry
  • Mining, Agriculture & Construction Machinery
  • Motor Vehicle, Heavy Automotive, Trailers, and Bodies fabrication
  • General-Use Machinery

Employers of welder

Other Employers of Welders

In addition to the above sectors, welders may also work as:

  • Specialty Trade Contractors
  • Self-Employed Welders
  • Repair & Maintenance Specialists
  • Wholesalers of Durable Goods
  • Construction Welders

What Is the Workplace Environment Of a Welder Like?

There is a common misconception that welders work in hazardous conditions. However, the use of safety gear and equipment has helped create a safe workplace for industry workers. A regular 40-hour working scheduling is common among welders. You can also improve your earnings by working overtime as there is a huge demand for welding.

Approximately 20% of welders work more than 50 hours a week. The job can expose a welder to hazards such as inhalation of harmful welding gases.

Workers in the manufacturing and construction industry or repair work may join metal parts located at a great height and be at risk of accidents. Such factors make it essential for a welder to adhere to the guidelines taught during their job training or degree.

How Much Does a Welder Earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), welders earned median annual pay of $42,490 or $20.43 per hour in 2019. In the same year, the top ten percent of welders earned as much as $64,240. Since working overtime is common among welders, a large number of welders work a 12-hour shift daily. It is projected that in the next ten years, welders’ employment will increase by 3%.

How to Become a Welder?

The process of becoming a welder can be roughly divided into four steps. They are:

  • Earn a High School Diploma or GED: A high-school diploma helps provide the basic foundation necessary for taking up any job. As welders require technical expertise, the arithmetic, and geometry that you learn initially help a lot.
  • Get a Certification or a Degree in Welding: You can obtain your certification or associate’s degree from the USA’s best colleges for welding to improve your prospects of a fulfilling career. Certification programs usually last from six to eighteen months, while an associate degree generally takes two years.
  • Participate in Training or Apprenticeship: As a welder taking up apprenticeships in a manufacturing, structural, or repair company can help learn the trade practically. With the hands-on welding experience in joining various metal surfaces and metal parts, your skills improve, and your career can get off to a good start.
  • Earn a Welding Certification: Getting certified is a great way to validate your knowledge of welding and also highlight your level of expertise to potential employers. The American Welding Society (AWS) issues most of these certificates.

Ready to kickstart your welding career? Visit our website to learn more about our full-time courses and degree programs in welding technology.

FAQs

Where do welders usually work?

Welders work in the manufacturing, structural engineering, and fabrication industry for joining metals and components.

What things do welders make?

Welders fabricate metal joints essential for creating an assembly or repair and maintenance of products.

Do welders make good money?

The median pay of welders was $42490 per year in 2019. There is also scope to earn more by working overtime.

Is a welder a good job?

Being a welder is a good job as you can get decent pay and earning opportunities. Working in essential sectors also gives good job satisfaction, making welding a great career option.

Welding refers to the fusion of two or more parts by heat, pressure, or a combination of the two. Of course, that process isn’t always as simple as it sounds. We call the areas where these materials join welding joints and must follow specific procedures to create them.

Different types of welding joints demand different types of welding processes, which means you’ll need to develop a thorough understanding of welding practices to know what’s best for your project. Read this article to learn more about them.

Listed below, we’ll walk you through the different kinds of welding joints and the welds they require.

What are the 5 Different Types of Welding Joints?

welding is used across various industries including engineering, heating and maintenance

There are five different types of welding joints as defined by the American Welding Society. They each boast unique characteristics in terms of how materials may fit together. Keep reading to learn more about each specific welding joint.

Corner Joint

Corner joint welding refers to instances in which two materials meet in the “corner” to form an L-shape. You can use corner joints to construct sheet metal parts, including frames, boxes, and similar applications.

Different weld types can include:

  • Fillet weld
  • Spot weld
  • Square-groove weld or butt weld
  • V-groove weld
  • Bevel-groove weld
  • U-groove weld
  • J-groove weld
  • Flare-V-groove weld
  • Edge weld
  • Corner-flange weld

Edge Joint

You can create an edge joint by placing two materials together to distribute stress. You can create several different forces using edge joints, including tensile, compression, bending, torsion, and shear. You can also use edge joints to construct tabletops or cabinets.

Different weld types can include:

  • Square-groove weld
  • Bevel-groove weld
  • V-groove weld
  • U-groove weld
  • J-groove weld
  • Flare-V-groove weld
  • Flare-bevel-groove weld

Butt Joints

A butt joint refers to when you join two materials on the same plane and weld them together. You can use this joint type to put together piping systems or constructing chairs, cabinets, panels, and tabletops.

Butt welds are made in various ways, depending on the shape of the groove, layering, and width of the gap. The most common defects include burnthrough, porosity, cracking, or incomplete penetration.

Different weld types can include:

  • Square-groove weld
  • Bevel-groove weld
  • V-groove weld
  • U-groove weld
  • J-groove weld
  • Flare-V-groove weld
  • Flare-bevel-groove weld
  • Surfacing weld

Tee Joints

A tee joint (also known as a “t joint”) refers to when two pieces of materials intersect at a 90-degree angle, creating a “T.” Certain preparations must be made depending on certain properties like the thicknesses and weights of material used. You can use tee joints for welding a pipe or tube onto a base plate.

Different weld types can include:

  • Fillet weld
  • Plug weld
  • (Slot weld
  • Bevel-groove weld
  • J-groove weld
  • Flare-bevel groove
  • Melt-through weld

Lap Joints

To create a lap joint, you must fuse two metal pieces in an overlapping pattern on top of each other. They are sometimes categorized as modified versions of butt welds. Welds can be made on one or both sides. You can use lap joints to patch things or join pieces that have different levels of thickness.

Different weld types can include:

  • Fillet weld
  • Bevel-groove weld
  • Slot weld
  • Spot weld
  • J-groove weld
  • Plug weld
  • Flare-bevel-groove weld

How to Prepare Welding Joints

As mentioned, there are four basic welding processes used. There are, however, over 30 different types of welds. Different welding styles can form a specific type of welding joint.

Professional welders must learn to anticipate the forces applied to their weldment. This estimate will help them determine which welding joint to use to prevent structural failures, including cracking or lamination. Proper welding techniques and design can also help prevent corrosion.

Joint preparation refers to the different ways you can prepare metal for welding. This will help you avoid situations where you are left with improper dimensions and poor fusion.

First, you’ll want to remove all impurities such as rust, mill scale, and oxides. You can then use several different cutting methods to cut your pieces in their desired shapes. The plasma arc cutting process is frequently used to do so, along with waterjet and laser beam cutting. Other basic cutting methods include casting, shearing, machining, forging, filing, and routing.

You can also use edge preparation, air carbon arc cutting, and gouging to prepare the joint, depending on the type of alloy you are using.

The application of cleanliness measures is critical during joint preparation. You can use acetone, alkaline cleaner, and other solvents to clean work surfaces and adjacent areas.

Welding Safety Tips

a welder must receive extensive training in equipment maintenance and safety

Creating welding joints can be a hazardous process. You may be exposed to electrocution, fire, explosion, burns, and electric shock. You will also be exposed to dangerous gases and fumes as well as ultraviolet radiation. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself.

The first step you should take to protect yourself revolves around protective wear. You can wear safety glasses, bandanas, welding jackets, helmets, welding gloves, leather aprons, and leather shoes to protect your skin and prevent your clothes from catching sparks.

Welding practices can also be extremely noisy (flame cutting and air arc gouging can produce noise levels of over 100 dB(A)). It would help if you used ear protection to avoid the risk of early hearing loss.

FAQ

What are the 4 types of welding?

There are four main types of welding processes used across the sheet metal industry: MIG welding, TIG welding, Stick welding, and Flux Cored Arc welding.

Which type of welding is best?

While different projects will demand different kinds of welds, MIG welding is the best type of welding for beginners. These welds use a wire welding electrode, making it a semi or automatic process and the easiest to learn.

What materials do you weld?

Some of the best weld materials include low carbon mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and other metals.

What are the most popular types of welds?

Fillet welds remain the most common type of welding practice, with groove welds following close behind.


Check out some of our other articles to learn more about welding, weld joints, and weld types. You might be interested in:

Best Welding Schools in Rhode Island

How to Become a Certified Welding Inspector

How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder?

Do you enjoy solving problems? What about conducting experiments or collecting data? If so, a career as an engineering technician may be for you!

This field covers a lot of ground, so it’s important to know the specific niches involved. Keep reading to learn more about the different areas of engineering technology and the job opportunities involved.

What is Engineering Technology?

Engineering technology calls for the practical application of science, math, and engineering to a wide range of problems.

It is how we transform theory into real-world, working solutions. The process demands design, analysis, research, and development.

The subject can be broken up into four main branches: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and chemical engineering. Smaller branches include aerospace, agricultural, automotive, biological, computer, environmental, industrial, and manufacturing.

Check out this article to learn about the different career opportunities associated with mechanical engineering technology.

Each branch depends on a team of professionals who can conceive, produce, and maintain technological solutions to specific problems their industries are facing.

What Does an Engineering Technician Do?

An engineering technician works alongside a qualified team of engineers and technologists to ensure all machinery used to bring a design to life remains functional and working.

Just as there are several branches of engineering technology, there are many different types of engineering technicians. Check out the list below to learn more about their titles and responsibilities.

Electronics Engineering Technician

electrical engineering professional conducting research and development

Electronics engineering technicians assist electrical and electronics engineers in designing and developing electronic equipment, including computers, communication equipment, monitoring devices, and navigational equipment.

An electronics technician will often find work in manufacturing settings, research laboratories, engineering services, or the federal government. According to the BLS, electronics engineering technicians enjoy an annual median salary of $65,260.

Mechanical Engineering Technician

Mechanical engineering technicians specialize in the building and maintenance of mechanical devices. These individuals typically find work in factories or development labs before manufacturing takes place.

The job title may require individuals to evaluate design drawings for new or changed news, prepare layouts for parts that need to be made, review instructions and blueprints for products, assist with test equipment calibration, and conduct tests for new components.

Examples of products they may work on include refrigerators, HVAC systems, elevators, and electric generators.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mechanical engineering technicians will enjoy a job growth of 3 percent between 2019 and 2019. Full-time technicians typically enjoy a median salary of $56,980 per year.

You can check out the video below to learn more about a career as a mechanical engineering technician:

Industrial Engineering Technician

Like the position listed above, industrial engineering technicians are responsible for developing essential products in machines.

Unlike mechanical engineering technicians, they are also tasked with finding ways to make the production process less wasteful, most efficient, and cost-effective.

This may include managing and tracking inventory to order new materials, assisting with cost analyses, or helping out with the shipping and receiving process for raw materials and parts.

These individuals may find work across a variety of organizations, firms, and businesses. They may also work in industries including business, marketing, healthcare, and service. According to the BLS, industrial engineering technicians enjoy a median salary of $56,550 per year.

Civil Engineering Technician

Civil engineering technicians assist civil engineers with planning, designing, and developing various infrastructure for both the public and private sectors. Projects may revolve around bridges, highways, tunnels, dams, airports, and more.

Job duties include evaluating preconstruction field site conditions, reading and reviewing project drawings and plans, and operating computer-aided software as per the engineer’s instructions. According to the BLS, civil engineering technicians enjoy an annual median salary of $53,410.

CAD Technician

CAD technicians use computer-aided software to convert designers produced by engineers and architects into technical drawings. These individuals may work across a variety of industries, including architecture, construction, manufacturing, and animation.

Cad technicians may also be expected to input design specifications into CAD software, make adjustments to existing CAD models, and complete job reports. According to the BLS, CAD technicians enjoy a median salary of $56,830 per year.

Chemical Engineering Technician

career as a chemical engineering tech

A chemical engineering technician typically works in a laboratory or plant environment under the direction of a chemical engineer. They may be assigned a variety of tasks, including carrying out experiments, chemical processes, or performing inventory.

They are also expected to ensure work areas are clean and meet relative safety standards. Good oral and written communication skills are a must.

Duties assigned to a chemical engineering technician largely revolve around research, manufacturing, and development. According to the BLS, chemical engineering technicians enjoy a median salary of $49,260.

Technician vs. Engineer

Though engineering technicians alongside engineers, they have markedly different responsibilities. Engineers must obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher to land a position. They may need additional licenses and certifications to advance.

Engineers tend to focus on practical mathematics, applied science, and specific engineering techniques. Their process revolves around identifying solutions to real-world problems and conducting the analysis needed to confirm it is a feasible idea.

It is the technician’s job to assist the engineer along the way. Specific duties include collecting materials, running tests, recording data, and ensuring all machines are functional and working throughout the development process.

How Can I Become an Engineering Technician?

Engineering technicians must achieve a minimum of an associate degree. To enroll in these programs, individuals must have already obtained a high school diploma or equivalent.

These programs typically take around two years to complete, though certain schools may offer expedited or flexible schedules.

Engineering technician programs should be accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

These programs will introduce math courses like college algebra, calculus, and physics. They may also incorporate courses on computer-aided design, fundamentals of construction, computer science, and more. Specific program listings will vary depending on the concentration.

Read this article to find out the difference between mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology.

Engineering technician programs will also help individuals develop critical thinking skills and gain the experience needed to land an entry-level position in the field.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, engineering technician jobs are on the rise. The organization suspects that engineering technicians will experience job growth at a rate of 1-3 percent. As more industries continue to lean on technology and development to secure their growth, that number will likely increase.

Data suggests that the best-paying cities for engineering technicians are San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Edison, NJ, and San Antonio, TX.

Engineering technicians are also in a great position to develop their careers. After a few years of experience on the job, they will have gained the experience and knowledge needed to pursue more advanced degrees and job types.

The next step an engineering technician may take to advance their career is to enroll in a four-year bachelor’s degree program to earn an engineering degree. This will expand their job responsibilities, help them stand out to potential employees, and increase their earning potential.

Other potential titles include production manager, manufacturing manager, or engineering director.

While the majority of engineering technicians identify as male, there is an increasing number of females breaking into the field. According to the job-seeking platform Zippia, just under 15 percent of individuals working as engineering technicians identify as female.

FAQ

What does an engineering technician do?

Engineering technicians work as part of a team alongside engineers and technologists. They must assist these individuals in solving problems and designing products.

Their day-to-day tasks revolve around performing tests, collecting data, assembling equipment, and recording performance.

Do engineering technicians make good money?

According to the BLS, engineering technicians can earn anywhere from $55-65,000 annually. This number pertains to full-time employees only.

How do you become an engineering technician?

The easiest way to become an engineering technician is to earn a two-year associate degree in your desired field. To apply, you must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. These programs are usually offered at community colleges or technical schools.

Is an engineering technician an engineer?

An engineering technician should not be confused with an engineer. An engineering technician’s role is to assist engineers with the development of a new product or solution.

Engineering technicians may be asked to run tests, record data, collect materials, or fix parts. Unlike engineering technicians, engineers have graduated from a bachelor’s degree program or higher.

 

Do you want to become a highly-skilled HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technician? HVAC technicians are in high demand, making it an increasingly popular career choice not only across the United States, but around the world.

In fact, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for HVAC technicians is more than the average for any other profession!

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are necessities in residential and commercial projects. While the people using them take these systems for granted, it’s critical to understand just how complex they really are.

When it comes to installation and maintenance, or when the HVAC system suffers a breakdown of any sort, an HVAC technician is the first person they call.

How Much Time Does It Take to Become an HVAC Technician?

The easiest way to kick-start your career as an HVAC or HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, Refrigeration) technician is to receive a recognized associate degree.

For example, New England Tech’s comprehensive degree program in refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating technology enables you to acquire the theoretical knowledge and practical skills HVAC technicians must possess.

While some associate’s degrees at HVAC schools take two-to-three years, you can complete the HVAC program in as little as 18 months at the New England Institute of Technology.

Three Routes for Becoming an HVAC Technician:

becoming an HVAC technician

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for HVAC technicians, mechanics, and installers is $48,730 or $23.43 per hour. By 2029, the employment of qualified professionals in this industry may grow by 4 percent.

This growth rate is just as fast as any other occupation. Rapidly evolving infrastructures, commercial and residential building construction will keep creating job opportunities for HVAC experts.

Apart from getting a degree in the field from a community college, you can also explore the following approaches to become an HVAC professional.

On-the-Job Training

On-the-Job training is an old-school way of doing things. If you have a high-school diploma, you can start your journey in the HVAC industry by assisting an HVAC technician, journeyman, or master.

Generally, this turns out to be the longest route to becoming a skilled HVAC technician, but it is still an option. Working under experienced HVAC technicians can enable you to understand how things work in the industry and pick up practical skills on the job.

Get a Degree or Certification

You can choose to earn an HVAC certification or sign up for a program in refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating technology from a trade school or vocational school. Such training programs usually take anywhere between 6 months and three years to complete.

Courses under such training programs include key subjects like heating technology, refrigeration mechanics, air conditioning, air quality, climate control systems, electrical controls, low-pressure systems, high-pressure systems, modern heating systems, blueprint reading, pipe fitting, duct layout, marine welding, and cutting, and technical math.

Participate in an Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship programs are also a great way to gain a solid foundation in the HVAC industry.

How to Get an HVAC Apprenticeship

To work as an HVAC tech apprentice, you will need to find journeymen around you and visit them with your official documents for an interview. Explain your reasons for wanting to work as an apprentice (rather than getting a degree or certification).

You might need to start as an unpaid intern and prove your worth during the trial period before you start earning regularly.

Alternatively, you can also contact a union and submit an application to them. In most cases, you will need to have a valid high-school diploma and a driver’s license. You might also need to take a math exam and a drug test.

Be sure to keep an eye out for companies offering HVAC tech apprentice opportunities. In such cases, you can apply directly and start working as an apprentice at the company.

Some states in the US offer employment assistance, too. Contact your state’s HVAC licensing board or employment assistance representative to get more information.

While the routes mentioned above are all good, enrolling in a reputed institute’s degree program is the best way to go about it. Colleges like NEIT offer internships and work opportunities as a part of their program, apart from providing extensive classroom and lab training.

Benefits of HVAC Tech Apprenticeships

HVAC apprenticeship

The top advantages of undertaking apprenticeship programs in the HVAC industry include learning to apply essential concepts like:

  • Construction, industrial, and maintenance blueprints
  • Using HVAC systems, tools, and equipment
  • Installing air conditioning and refrigeration components
  • Basic ventilation requirements across a range of projects
  • Air distribution and cleaning systems
  • Servicing refrigeration systems and air conditioning control systems
  • Advanced circuitry and new technology
  • Piping materials for various applications

How Long is an Apprenticeship?

The rules around an HVAC apprenticeship’s duration to obtain certification or licensure differ region to region. In some cases, you need to clock a set number of hours on the job before becoming eligible for a certification exam.

Other states involve you to have a three-to five-year-long commitment as an apprentice. Depending on which state you live in, the requirements may vary. In any case, if you can work long hours, you can complete the “hour” requirements in quick time.

Obtaining an HVAC License

While an HVAC license or HVAC certification license isn’t mandatory in all states, it is a fantastic asset to have. A license can help you fortify your skill set and serve as one of your USPs when seeking employment.

New York, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Vermont, Colorado, and Wyoming are some states that do not require you to have a license. However, almost all the other regions in the United States will need you to be a certified HVAC technician to ply your trade. In such cases, you must clear a written exam.

The licensing requirements, exams, and mandates may vary from state to state. Read this state-wise guide to understand licensing laws.

There are a few ways in which you can obtain an HVAC license:

HVAC Training Program

Get a formal education in HVACR technology – this is perhaps the most reliable and comprehensive way to ensure that you have the right training and a solid understanding of what you need to do on the job.

Make sure you sign up for an accredited HVAC training program at a good college.

HVAC Apprenticeship

Get in touch with local associations such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America or the Associated Builders and Contractors to explore HVAC apprenticeship opportunities.

Practical Experience

Get on-the-job training by working under an HVAC journeyman or contractor since most certifications will need you to have a bare minimum of 12 months of field experience.

Additional Certifications

Contact agencies like the North American Technical Excellence (NATE), HVAC Excellence, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), and Refrigeration Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA) to understand what kind of additional specialty certifications they offer.

Ready to launch your HVAC career as a technician?

FAQs

Do HVAC technicians make good money?

How would you define good money? If it means getting a fair opportunity to earn $48,730 per year, then yes, HVAC professionals with the right skills and training make good money. By the way, that is the median annual wage for HVAC technicians, mechanics, and installers in the United States.

How much do HVAC techs make per hour?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC technicians, mechanics, and installers make $23.43 per hour (average median income). With work experience, you will be able to command a better wage for your work.

Is becoming an HVAC tech worth it?

Yes, HVAC technicians are in massive demand across the United States, thanks to the flourishing construction sites, infrastructure, and technological progress. It is a consistently growing field, and the job outlook is promising, so getting an education in the subject is a rewarding prospect.

How long do you have to go to school for HVAC certification?

Degrees could take anywhere between two to five years to complete. However, you can complete certain HVAC programs, like New England Tech’s offering in refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating technology, in as little as 18 months.

 

 

One of the biggest concerns that students (or parents, depending on who’s paying) have when planning their higher education is the financial burden of pursuing a college education.

This is why programs like FAFSA are so important for students in need of financial aid.

But, what is FAFSA exactly?  FAFSA stands for the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” and is an application that helps determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

NEIT FAFSA FAST FACTS

Whether you are a student or a parent, you should get familiar with the FAFSA and how it can be beneficial to you.

To help you sort through the mountains of information online, we’ve put together this guide that answers the most common questions about FAFSA.  So, if you’re curious about what FAFSA is and how it can help you, read on!

About the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

FAFSA is the form that you need to fill to apply for federal financial aid from the government. Every year, the U.S. Department of Education offers over $120 billion in grants and loans to millions of students who file for the FAFSA.

Almost all universities and colleges have an in-house office that uses the FAFSA to determine students’ eligibility for financial aid (and how much aid they would get). Once filled up, the form is the point of reference for your financial aid package and expected family contribution.

As a parent, you worry about paying for your child’s college education, irrespective of your financial situation, how much you earn, or how much you have saved up over the years. According to a survey, only 45 percent of parents took the FAFSA route (even though 74 percent worried about paying for college).

The federal student aid asks you about your financial information, tax returns, and other important things to determine your financial aid eligibility.

Who Should Fill Out the FAFSA?

If you plan on going to college in the next academic year, it’s time to start filling out the FAFSA. As mentioned above, getting federal student aid is a great way to organize your finances and prepare to pay for your college education.

You can use the FAFSA to apply for federal grants, work-study programs, and loans. Colleges in most states also use your FAFSA information to award non-federal aid.

Listed below are a few reasons why applying for federal aid to pay for your school or college education is a good idea:

  • Most federal work-study programs require the FAFSA.
  • If you don’t apply, you won’t qualify!
  • The FAFSA isn’t meant only for low-income groups.
  • Even if you are financially well-equipped, you can be eligible for federal student aid.
  • Most merit-based scholarships will require the FAFSA to determine your scholarship amount.
  • Federal loans are easier and cheaper to payback compared to private student loans. After you submit the FAFSA, you qualify for low-interest federal loans.

Where Does One Get the FAFSA Form?

Now, let’s get down to business. How can you apply for federal aid from the Department of Education for the next academic year? There are three ways to go about it:

  1. Head to fafsa.ed.gov and apply online.
  2. Use the myStudentAid mobile app (available for download on both iTunes and Google Play).
  3. Fill out the FAFSA form by hand and mail it to the address provided.

In case you need any help in filling out the form, you can go to StudentAid.gov/completefafsa or call 1-800-433-3243.

It is better to fill out the FAFSA using method #1 or #2 since these options make it easy for you to do so. While filling out the form, you need to create a federal student aid ID or FSA ID for yourself. One of your parents also needs to create this ID.

Documents Required for the FAFSA

If you are a dependent student, the FAFSA will collect your (and your parents’) personal and financial data and deliver it to colleges where you have applied.

Your FSA ID (refer to the section above) will enable you to apply for financial aid and serve as the formal (legal) signature, too. You can use the Federal School Code Search tool to find the federal school code for every college you intend to apply to.

documents required for fafsa

Here’s the complete list of documents you will need:

Personal

  • Your social security number
  • Your parents’ social security numbers
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your Alien Registration number (for non-U.S. citizens)

Financial

  • Federal tax information
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Other financial holdings
  • Details of your savings accounts and investments

Head to the official FAFSA website to get more information about the documents you need to complete the FAFSA formalities.

How to Fill Out the FAFSA Form?

The official website is your one-stop-shop for all things FAFSA. Once you log in with your FSA ID, you will need to enter your details and answer a list of questions that determine your dependency status.

Next up, you need to furnish all the relevant details about your parents along with your financial data (income, assets, investments, tax forms, etc.). If you are applying this year, you should enter the financial information from the 2018 tax year. The website’s built-in IRS Data Retrieval Tool will help you automatically pull out the relevant data.

The next step is to list all the schools or colleges that you wish to apply to as a student. You can enter up to 10 colleges and universities in this application.

The best way to ensure that the process goes smoothly is to keep all this information handy before starting the application procedure online. You can also enter some details and save your progress online and continue later.

Check out these handy tips for completing the FAFSA online.

FAFSA Deadlines

The deadline for a student to submit their FAFSA is June 30 (midnight). However, certain states or colleges may have their specific cutoff times and dates for financial aid application. You can find more information about this on the Federal Student Aid deadlines website. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your financial aid office.

Ideally, you should submit the FAFSA as soon as it opens for filing – which is on October 1. The Department of Education allows you to submit the form between October and June, but it is best to do so at the earliest.

Types of Aid Offered Through the FAFSA

The FAFSA offers various types of financial aid packages to students applying for a college education in the forthcoming academic year. Here’s a quick look at all of them:

Federal grants

Grants refer to non-repayable money. Federal grants for college education are per the students’ needs and depend on your FAFSA results.

Scholarships

Your school may offer you a scholarship, which also refers to money that you will never need to pay back. In most cases, you earn a scholarship on merit. If you have done exceedingly well in academics, athletics, or other fields, you could be eligible for a scholarship from your school.

A scholarship might require you to maintain stellar academic progress to keep receiving the aid in some cases.

Work-Study Loans

Your federal student loan could include work-study provisions, which means you can earn and pay back this money by working part-time on campus. Get in touch with your financial aid office for more information about these programs and the related repayment options.

Federal Student Loans

The federal government offers a wide range of subsidized and unsubsidized student loan options that help students pay for college. In the case of a student loan, you are liable to pay the money back to the federal government with interest.

Wondering how to get financial aid or which kind of aid package would be ideal for you? Head to our Financial Aid Overview page for help.

How is the Financial Aid Calculated?

Okay, so you need financial aid to pay for college. But how will the authorities determine how much money you are eligible to receive as aid? Well, it depends on these four factors:

  • Your year in school
  • Your enrollment status (part-time or full-time)
  • Cost of attendance (COA)
  • Expected family contribution (EFC)

how is financial aid calculated

COA refers to the actual cost that you would incur for going to a particular college for one year. This cost of attendance includes your tuition, study material, supplies, boarding, and other expenses. The COA may differ from school to school.

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) lists the EFC. Make sure all the information you entered in your FAFSA is correctly reflecting on the SAR.

The expected family contribution is the amount of money that the federal government expects your family to afford for one year. The FAFSA assumes that 20% of your assets and 5.64% of your parents’ assets are available for spending in a year.

For financial aid calculation, subtract the EFC from the COA. This is roughly the amount that you will need in the form of aid. As mentioned above, since the cost of attendance varies from college to college, every college will individually calculate and determine the aid amount.

How Long Does It Take to Get the FAFSA Money?

Complete the FAFSA well before the June deadline, get your SAR, notify the colleges that you wish to get financial aid, and complete any additional requirements that they may have. Once you have successfully gone through this entire cycle, schools and colleges will send you a financial aid award letter along with (or after) the acceptance letter.

The time between your application submission and the receipt of your financial aid award letter may range from a few weeks to a few months. Once you get the letter, you must accept or deny the aid before the deadline.

FAQs

How long does the FAFSA take?

The FAFSA process could take anywhere between a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on how soon you complete all the requirements and how much time it takes for the financial aid letter to reach you.

Who Qualifies for FAFSA?

To qualify for FAFSA, you need to:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, or an eligible non-citizen (A permanent resident or a U.S. national)
  • Have a social security number
  • Have a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Be enrolled/accepted in an eligible degree/certificate program

Does FAFSA check your bank accounts?

Since it’s a form, FAFSA doesn’t check your bank account. But the form requires you to complete a set of information regarding your assets, including checking and savings accounts. If your FAFSA is picked for verification, you might have to present the documents as proof that the amounts you entered were accurate.

Can the FAFSA cover full tuition?

No, you will not be able to cover all your school or college tuition costs with the FAFSA. Remember, it is a financial aid instrument designed to help you cover some or a large portion of your college education expenses.

Learn how NEIT can help you achieve your career goals.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technicians and engineers are in high demand across the country. If you’re looking for a certification program to help you get a head start in the HVAC industry, read on below.

With the increasing demand for and complexities involved in HVAC technologies, HVAC technicians will continue to find job opportunities. The need for qualified professionals means that you will need to develop the right set of skills and know-how to perform installation, repair, and maintenance work.

The BLS has predicted a growth rate of 4 percent for HVAC technician jobs through 2026 (just as fast as ALL occupations). If you are contemplating an HVAC career, keep reading for everything you need to know about the certification process.

What is an HVAC Certification License?

HVAC technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration units, and systems in various commercial and residential spaces. As mentioned above, with the increasing complexities in HVACR technologies, aspirants must acquire certification to cater to today’s customers’ needs.

Although not mandatory in all states, an HVAC certification license is a great way for HVAC technicians to upgrade their skill set and showcase their credentials and competency to potential employers or customers.

The Benefits of Becoming a Certified HVAC Technician

Being an HVACR certified technician comes with its own set of advantages. Here a look at some of the top benefits of getting certified:

  • Understanding the fundamental principles of HVAC systems and the science behind it
  • Develop a wide range of skills in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration
  • Be adept at analyzing the air quality, gauging humidity levels, and understanding temperature control mechanisms
  • Get the edge over other HVAC technicians applying for the same job as you in the market
  • Get opportunities to work on large-scale projects and showcase your skills and competencies
  • Show your clients and employers that you have the theoretical and practical proficiency required for the job
  • Increase your earning potential – an HVACR certified technician tends to command a better remuneration than their uncertified counterparts.

How to Become Certified – HVAC License Requirements

So, let’s get down to business. How, exactly, do you acquire your HVAC certification? Since the certification rules vary from state to state, it isn’t easy to zero-in on one single approach to getting certified. To make things easy for you, we have listed the steps to become certified.

hvac license requirements

The HVAC Certification Process Explained

High school diploma

Getting a high-school diploma is the first step you should take in pursuing a career as an HVAC technician. Make sure you take an interest in mathematics and physics subjects so that your fundamentals are strong.

HVAC Training

Like any profession, it is important to have a solid base in HVAC-related subjects through classroom training. The ideal way to learn the trade is by completing an accredited HVAC program from a community college, trade school, or vocational college.

HVAC Apprenticeship

Local associations like the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the Associated Builders and Contractors run HVAC apprenticeship programs that typically last three to five years.

Practical Experience

Most certifications require you to have a bare minimum of 12 months of practical experience, so working under an HVAC contractor to acquire on-the-job training is necessary.

Additional Certifications

Agencies like the North American Technical Excellence (NATE), HVAC Excellence, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), and Refrigeration Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA) offer additional specialty certifications.

Types of HVAC Certificates

types of hvac certificates

The primary types of certifications for HVAC technicians include the EPA Section 608 Technician Certification and the industry organization certifications. The Section 608 Refrigerant Recycling Rule requires technicians performing service, maintenance, or disposal of equipment that releases refrigerants and substitute refrigerants to get an HVAC license.

This lifelong certification requires you to pass an EPA test conducted by an EPA-approved organization.

EPA Certifications

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates all HVAC technicians who work with refrigerants to acquire the Section 608 Technician Certification. Under EPA certifications, there are four types:

  1. Type I Certification: Small appliances (air conditioners, domestic refrigerators, and vending machines)
  2. Type II Certification: High-pressure appliances (residential air conditioners, refrigeration units, and heat pumps)
  3. Type III Certification: Low-pressure appliances (chillers, etc.)
  4. Type IV Certification: Universal (which includes all the equipment mentioned above)

Any HVAC technician who works with refrigerants must pass a written exam in one or more of these types.

NATE Certification

The North American Technical Excellence or NATE certification ensures that you are adequately trained to perform an HVAC technician’s duties. This type of certification may include:

  • Installation tests
  • Servicing tests
  • Specialty parts
  • Refrigerants
  • Core units

HVAC Certification Requirements

As mentioned above, an HVAC technician’s requirement to have a valid HVAC certification may be mandatory in some states or regions. The laws around having an HVAC certification depend on the state in question.

In some cases, you may have to complete an HVAC program from an accredited trade school, while in some others, you must have a few years of work experience. To get the certification, you are also expected to pass an exam covering local electrical codes and general HVAC subjects.

HVAC Licensing Requirements by State

The licensing requirements for HVAC technicians differ from state to state.

States like Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona, New York, Vermont, and Wyoming are examples of regions that don’t require state-wide licensing. Almost every other state requires technicians to have an HVAC certification.

In states that need licensing, candidates must pass a written exam. The basic requirements for HVAC licensing in Texas, for example, are for you to pass the NATE exam and register with the state government.

Delaware offers HVACR Technician licensure that follows the traditional apprentice, journeyperson, master licensing model. In Alaska, on the other hand, you must hold separate electrical and plumbing licenses.

The terms, conditions, exams, or mandates in other states may vary. Refer to this state-wise guide to licensing laws for more details.

HVAC Degree with a Reputable Trade School

HVAC certification at NEIT

Trade schools and community colleges around the United States offer wide-ranging programs in refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating technology.

For example, New England Tech delivers a comprehensive Associate Degree Program in Refrigeration/Air Conditioning/Heating Technology that trains students as entry-to-industry level technicians.

NEIT’s Associate in Science Degree in Refrigeration/Air Conditioning/Heating (RACH)

 

Ready to turn your career aspirations into reality? Enter the HVAC business with a bang! Sign up to learn the nuances of these subjects and become an entry-level technician in the HVAC industry with the New England Institute of Technology.

The program curriculum combines the theoretical and practical aspects of both heating and cooling.

Here’s a quick look at some of the key courses offered under the HVAC training program:

  • Introduction to the P-RACH Industry
  • Refrigeration Systems Fundamentals
  • Electricity for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration
  • System Electrical Controls
  • Refrigeration Technician Certification
  • Air Conditioning
  • Modern Heating Systems
  • Blueprints, Pipe Fitting, and Duct Layout

Apart from these essential subjects, you will also learn:

  • OSHA Construction Safety and Health
  • Marine Welding and Cutting
  • Renewable Energy Systems
  • Small Business and the Law
  • Service Industry Communications
  • Technical Math

The program touches upon the basic theory of heat flow and its control and the various methods and processes to make heat flow to either cool or heat a specific area. The refrigeration and air conditioning fundamentals taught in this program align with complex modern-day commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

The program’s heating portion focuses on heating systems such as steam, warm air, and forced hot water. You will also learn about the burners used with these systems and the associated control circuitry.

Electrical wiring, heat loss calculations, and system design are subjects that the program places special emphasis on since they relate to residential and commercial applications. Courses like the installation of heating systems, gas technology, and introduction to welding are also included.

Upon completing the HVAC training program, you can explore positions as technicians in the refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating industries. You will also be eligible for testing in HVAC competency exams and certifications or continuing with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.

Sign up or request more information today!

Costs of Certified Technician Programs

The governing state decides and regulates the HVAC certification costs. A normal two- or three-year-long license may cost you anywhere between $50 to $300.

The EPA Section 608 certification (that we talked about earlier) also depends on the jurisdiction. From $20 for a Type I exam to $150+ for a Universal exam in a proctored setting, the cost of certifications is variable.

FAQs

How long does it take to become a certified HVAC?

Whether you want to be a technician or a general contractor, you will need to enroll in an HVAC training program, learn the intricacies of the field, and acquire ample hands-on training. It could take you up to two or three years to complete all the requirements to become a certified HVAC technician.

How much can I make with an HVAC certificate?

The United States Labor of Bureau Statistics could pay you anywhere between $14.94 and $30.58 per hour (depending on your skill level, qualification, and experience). The median annual wage for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics was $48,730 in May 2019. According to Indeed.com, the average HVAC technician makes $43,000 annually.

Do you have to go to school to get HVAC certified?

You don’t have to go to school or community college, but you’ll have better chances of succeeding in the field by attending one. After all, an educated, qualified, and skilled HVAC technician is better than one who doesn’t have the required qualifications, right?

Even if you live in an area where you don’t need an HVAC certification to ply your trade, it is always better to have solid credentials.

What is a master HVAC license?

A master HVAC license serves as the highest level of a technician in the HVAC business in some states. Someone with a master HVAC license can be the contractor himself. If you have a master HVAC license, you are generally considered to be better than a journeyman (in terms of wage, experience, and expertise).

Master HVAC technicians repair and maintain HVAC equipment, manage the installation and repair, and ensure that the work follows the state building codes. Although the state-wise requirements vary, you need at least one year of work experience as a journeyman to be eligible for the state’s master’s examination in most cases.

What is an HVAC engineer? Does an HVAC engineer require certification?

An HVAC engineer is a professional who designs heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems or accessories. As an HVAC engineer, you need to find solutions to everyday HVAC problems, work in labs with other engineers, or partner with architects to assess residential or commercial spaces’ right systems.

An HVAC engineer is generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and HVAC certification in some states.

What states do not require an HVAC license?

States like (but not limited to) Wyoming, Vermont, Illinois, Arizona, New York, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Indiana don’t require technicians to have an HVAC license.

Are you thinking about a career in industrial welding or welding engineering technology? Whether you want to enter the welding industry as a capable technician or are simply looking to update your skill set, a welding engineering technology program will help you meet these professional goals.

Welding requires a specific set of skills, knowledge, experience, and talent. Though there are many welding processes, Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) is a particularly popular method used throughout the field. Listed below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the flux-cored arc welding process.

Flux-cored arc welding or FCAW, as it is popularly referred to, is one of the most productive manuals or semi-automatic welding processes.

First introduced in the 1950’s as an alternative to manual metal arc welding or stick welding, flux-cored arc welding has since become the preferred welding mechanism for various applications across industry segments.

How Flux-Cored Arc Welding Works

FCAW processes involve using a continuous wire-fed electrode, a constant-voltage welding power supply, and the same equipment used in metal active gas welding (MAG welding). Flux-cored arc welding occurs with or without shielding gas and is way more productive and economical than MAG welding.

FCAW Process

FCAW utilizes the heat created by an electric arc to fuse the base metal in the weld joint region. It uses a hollow or tubular electrode filled with a flux compound (also called a flux-cored wire) that protects the weld pool by forming a gas.

Thanks to the penetrative properties of the flux-cored wires and high deposition rates, the FCAW process finds its use extensively in outdoor welding or welding on contaminated materials. Flux-cored arc welding does not need external shielding gas to safeguard the weld from atmospheric elements.

The use of FCAW for thick materials results in “slag.” You can whittle it out later to give it a clean and polished appearance.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) Uses and Methods

The flux-cored arc welding process takes place in two ways. It is primarily divided into two types based on the shielding method:

Method 1: FCAW by using an external shielding gas

The “dual shield welding” method involves using carbon dioxide with flux to provide additional shielding. The most common shielding gases include carbon dioxide and blends of argon (75%) and carbon dioxide (25%).

The shielding carbon dioxide gas, provided externally using a high-pressure gas cylinder, safeguards the weld pool from oxidation. The metal is also protected by the slag formed as a result of flux melting.

FCAW by using an external shielding gas

This process is generally applied when thicker metals or materials require welding together. The continuously-fed cylindrical electrode enables high deposition rates and amplified production (compared to solid wire or stick electrode).

Perhaps the only drawback of this process is that strong winds may disturb the carbon dioxide gas shielding and affect welding quality in harsh outdoor conditions.

Method 2: FCAW by relying on the flux core to protect the weld area

This method relies on the gaseous protection and slag formed by the flux-cored electrode to cover and safeguard the molten material or metal in the weld. The filler wire core consists of agents that create shielding gases when the welding arc heat burns them.

FCAW by relying on the flux core

This type of welding is extensively used in heavy outdoor projects, irrespective of weather conditions. The biggest advantage here is that you don’t need external shielding gas as windy conditions don’t disrupt the welding procedure, making it ideal for external (outdoor) applications.

Equipment Needed for FCA Welds

The basic equipment you will need for flux-cored arc welding includes:

  • Source of power: The power source or welding machine provides the voltage and amperage supply that helps maintain the welding arc.
  • Welding gun: This type of welding utilized both air-cooled and water-cooled guns. Air-cooled guns are easier to maneuver, but water-cooled guns offer a higher degree of efficiency.
  • Welding cables: Connector cables (generally made of copper) help connect the welding gun to your power source.
  • Wire feeder: The wire feeding motor drives the electrode through the cable and welding gun and has an electrical rotor connected to a gearbox containing drive rolls.
  • Shielding gas equipment: While flux-cored arc welding can occur without shielding gas, you might need a gas supply hose, regulator, control valves, and supply hose for some applications.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding Electrodes

Electrodes are what differentiate flux-cored arc welding from MIG welding. While the latter uses solid wires as the filler material or filler metal, the former involves using electrode wires with a hollow flux-filled center. The electrode wires fill with flux, shielding the weld joint from corroding or contaminating due to natural elements.

Which Metals Can Be Welded with FCAW?

FCAW is among the most popular welding processes because of its flexibility and versatility. Metals like cast iron, stainless steel, carbon steel, high-nickel alloys, and low-alloy steels can be easily welded using the flexible FCAW process.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of FCAW?

Advantages

The flux-cored arc welding process finds its use in industries like construction, heavy equipment repair, structural steel erection, shipbuilding, etc. The primary reason for this is that, unlike most other welding processes, FCAW works on all kinds of materials even if contaminated (except for dealing with contaminants like oils, water, and paint).

It can dissolve mill scale and rust, too.

FCAW welding

Here’s a look at some of the most significant pros of flux-cored arc welding and the factors that make it essential today’s world:

  • This welding method has higher deposition rates (per hour) compared to other techniques.
  • The flux core welding process is excellent for welding dirty, rusted, or contaminated metals.
  • This welding process is ideal for all welding positions and outdoor welding activities because of the flux shield.
  • The flux-cored arc welding process is quite easy to learn and master.
  • This welding method does not require a high level of manual dexterity (as in TIG welding).
  • FCAW needs very little (extra) equipment, making the welding method convenient.
  • FCAW results in better mechanical consistency, strong weld joints, and fewer weld defects.
  • Ideal for metals like stainless steel, carbon steel, high-nickel alloys, and low-alloy steels.

Disadvantages

While the FCAW process offers high deposition, protection against the wind and other atmospheric elements, and a host of other benefits, there are a few limitations or restrictions that you should know.

  • Since the FCAW [process is not fully automated, there can be a lack of precision due to manual or mechanical errors
  • Working near toxic fumes or smoke can be hazardous, and hence, this type of welding must occur in an area that is well ventilated.
  • The cost of an FCAW wire (electrode wire) is more than a solid electrode wire.
  • The removal of slag is essential to achieve a smooth, finished weld surface.
  • The FCAW welding method involves the usage of expensive equipment (compared to other welding processes).

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Factors like the electrode angles, wire feed speed, arc voltage, electrode extension, and travel speeds can prove the difference between a perfect weld finish and a defective one. Here are some of the most common problems you are likely to face when working on a flux core weld and how to deal with them or prevent them:

  • Common wire feeding problems like bird nesting or burn back can cause tangling or extinguish the arc during the welding process. It is best to ensure an appropriate wire feed speed (rate) and distance less than 1.25 inches between the workpiece and contact tip.
  • The wrong drive roll tension can also cause the wire to tangle or flatten. You can use U- or V-shaped grooves in the wire feeder and then set the right tension.
  • Slag inclusions can prevent the weld’s full penetration due to an incorrect travel speed, heat input, or travel angle. Always clean your weld work between passes and maintain appropriate heat input and travel techniques.
  • When the gas from the heated-up flux-cored wire electrode gets stuck in the metal, it can lead to porosity. Ensure you avoid excessive voltage and remove any dirt, dust, paint, oil, rust, or moisture accumulated on the base metal.

Differences Between FCAW, GMAW, and SMAW

FCAW vs. GMAW

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, GMAW, or Gas Metal Arc Welding involves using a continuous solid wire electrode along with shielding gas.

Gas metal arc welding is a common welding process used for vehicle manufacturing, industrial production, construction, and aerospace. Since this type of welding uses gas externally, the wind can hamper the process. GMAW finds its use as a semi- or fully-automatic welding technique.

While FCAW is quite similar to GMAW, the biggest difference is that it doesn’t require you to have an external shielding gas. It revolves around a continuous wire feed process. There are two separate processes associated with flux-cored arc welding, one of which involves using shielding gas.

The other one relies on self-shielding agents (produced when fluxing agents decompose within the welding wire).

FCAW vs. SMAW

Shielded Metal Arc Welding SMAW, also referred to as “stick welding,” is a welding technique used on all ferrous materials. The electrode coating helps de-oxidize the weld area. This generates a shielding gas that protects the weld area from atmospheric contamination.

SMAW finds its use both indoors and outdoors for welding low-alloy and high-alloy steels, nickel alloys, carbon steel, and cast iron (like FCAW). Just like flux-cored arc welding, SMAW, too, creates a layer that you can chip off later.

Flux-cored arc welding is a semi-automatic or manual welding technique that is rarely used indoors. It is generally used outdoors or on contaminated materials. In this case, an electric arc fuses the base material with a continuous filler metal electrode. The shield gas offered by the flux helps protect the weld pool from atmospheric elements.

10 Tips to Improve the Quality of Your FCAW

While the flux-cored arc welding technique has been viable and convenient for several years now, that doesn’t mean the process doesn’t have its own set of pitfalls. As highlighted above, you might face certain challenges with the weld arc area, electrode wires, welding equipment, arc stability, arc length, shielding, voltage, and more.

Here are some pro tips to ensure that your weld joint is of the highest quality and free of complications –

  • Use an anti-spatter spray on your part to avoid molten metal from making a mess.
  • Avoid burn-back by ensuring the appropriate wire feed speed and MIG gun-to-workpiece distance.
  • Always use knurled V- or U-groove drive rolls in your wire feeder to prevent your wire from tangling.
  • Make sure there is sufficient space in the weld joint for multiple weld passes.
  • Maintain a steady travel speed to avoid undesirable slag inclusions.
  • Use a chipping hammer or wire brush to get rid of slag before moving to your next weld pass.
  • Maintain appropriate heat input, voltages, and filler wire feed speed to avoid excessive or less-than-ideal penetration.
  • Prevent porosity in welding by cleaning any grease, rust, coating, oil, dirt, paint, or moisture from the base metal before you begin.
  • It is best to use a filler metal with added de-oxidizers to prevent contaminated welds.
  • Maintain a proper electrode stick-out or extension after the step mentioned above.

Learn FCAW with NEIT’s Welding Program

The New England Institute of Technology, one of the best welding schools in Rhode Island, offers an Associate in Science in Welding Engineering Technology, which focuses on developing hands-on welding capabilities. Delivering the perfect blend of theoretical and practical training, this program helps you understand the concepts and best practices applied in the welding industry.

Welding Engineering Technology Student

If you’re interested in analyzing, designing, fabricating, and testing welded metal structures or products, this program is for you!

In addition to popular welding processes such as flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), GMAW, SMAW, GTAW, oxy-acetylene and air-carbon arc cutting, and pipefitting, you also learn about the application of important peripheral subjects like:

  • Industrial OSHA safety procedures and policy
  • Metallurgy
  • Structural design
  • CADD
  • Destructive and non-destructive testing
  • Engineering blueprint reading and interpretation
  • Precision measurement
  • Materials and manufacturing processes
  • Robotic Control Systems
  • Workplace Communications
  • Basic College Math with Lab
  • Technical Math
  • Physics and Lab

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to kick-start your career in the welding industry as an entry-level welding technician with a solid foundation in design, welding, and fabrication. NEIT’s associate degree program helps students do the following upon successful graduation:

  • Apply your knowledge to the analysis, design, fabrication, and testing of welded metal structures and products
  • Quickly adapt to the emerging applications of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology.
  • Think out of the box and apply creativity to the design of welded metal structures and products.
  • Identify, analyze, and troubleshoot complex technical problems in any welding process.
  • Work with dedication and complete commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement.
  • Leverage the computer as a design, problem-solving, and professional communications tool.

There is no shortage of opportunities for qualified and highly-skilled welding technology graduates. As you gain more experience in the industry and hone your skills, you will be able to pursue any of the following roles in welding technology or related fields:

  • Welding engineering technician
  • Production welder
  • Aluminum welder
  • Fabrication welder
  • Fitter
  • Maintenance welder
  • Sub arc operator
  • Welding industry salesman
  • Industrial engineering technician
  • Quality control engineering technician
  • CADD designer/technician
  • Materials testing technician
  • Ship Fitter
  • Structural Steel Fitter

This comprehensive program is a great choice for adult learners’ needs, those looking to make a career switch, or even industry professionals looking for a skill upgrade in welding technology.

Learn how NEIT can help you achieve the required skills and abilities to make it big in the welding industry.

Request more information about our program here. You can also give us a call to speak to our team today!

FAQs

What are the 4 types of welding?

While there are various types and methods used in welding (broadly speaking), here are the four most common ones:

  • Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) or Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
  • Flux-Cored Arc Welding (self-shielded FCAW)
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) or Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

Read this article to learn more about each of these processes and their application.

What is FCAW welding used for?

Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) is primarily used for welding thick materials and metals. These include cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, high-nickel alloys, and low-alloy steels for activities such as shipbuilding, bridge construction, structural steel erection, and heavy equipment repair across a wide range of heavy industries, including construction.

The continuously-fed tubular electrode helps increase deposition rates and improve productivity. Flux-cored arc welding is generally used for welding contaminated or dirty materials, thanks to its self-protecting properties.

We’re all familiar with what plumbing is. The trade is so widely recognized, it’s even reserved a special space within pop culture. From the Super Mario Brothers to famed journalist Arthur Baer, who once wrote, “a plumber is an adventurer who traces leaky pipes to their source,” plumbing maintains a sturdy hold on the American mindset.

Still, questions remain regarding how to step into the position. How, exactly, does one become a plumber? You’ll find the answer isn’t as simple as some may expect. Plumbing requires specific skills, training, and licenses. Breaking into the plumbing field involves a multi-step process that can take years to complete. Be sure to check out the information below for important tips on how to become a plumber.

What Does a Plumber Do?

Before we walk you through the steps you need to become a plumber, let’s discuss what it is that plumbers actually do. According to the plumber job description provided by Monster.com, the position revolves around the installation, repair, and maintenance of pipes, valves, fittings, drainage systems, and fixtures in commercial and residential structures. Plumbers may also be asked to collaborate with general contractors, electricians, and manufacturing professionals when working on new construction.

 

plumbing tools and equipment

Additional roles and responsibilities include:

  • Following building plans and blueprints
  • Responding to, diagnosing, and resolving emergencies across job sites
  • Performing routine inspections of plumbing systems
  • Light construction, carpentry, painting, plastering, flooring, ceiling, and electrical work as required
  • Preparing bids, budgets, and cost estimates
  • Keeping accurate records of time spent working, description of work performed and materials used

To exercise these responsibilities, plumbers must demonstrate a set of skills and qualifications including but not limited to the use of hand and power tools, knowledge of building codes, as well as safety regulations and practices. Plumbers should also be comfortable reading blueprints and rough drawings and maintain proficiency in basic mathematics and the conversion of measurements. Familiarity with PVC, CPVC, PEX, cast iron, and copper is a plus.

Individuals who want to become a plumber should remember that it is a client-facing trade. Effective oral communication and interpersonal skills are necessary elements to conducting and maintaining business.

In a more broad sense, plumbers should demonstrate excellent problem-solving skills and be able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Advanced plumbers should be confident in their ability to complete projects unsupervised and unassisted.

How to Become a Plumber

Unlike other professions, the path to becoming a plumber is not black-and-white. Different folks will embark on different journeys to reach their professional goals. Some will receive formal training, others will lean more heavily on onsite experiences. That said, there are a few steps along the way that all aspiring plumbers must complete. Keep reading for more information on how to become a plumber.

Step 1: Get Your High School Diploma or GED

Math is central to the plumbing trade. Individuals who are interested in becoming a plumber should have a strong background in algebra, geometry, metric units of measure, or thermodynamics should do well in these programs.

You might also want to earn a college degree or complete a formal training program before looking into plumbing apprenticeships. These programs are typically offered at community colleges or trade schools. While they aren’t required, they will help you stand out from other applicants.

They might also be helpful to anyone worried about past digressions. Employers may be reluctant to bring on apprentices who have failed a drug test, have a DUI, reckless driving conviction, or misdemeanor offenses. The decision to enroll in a plumbing school will help communicate a newfound commitment to professionalism and productivity.

Step 2: Pursue a Plumbing Apprenticeship Program

Anyone who wishes to one day become a licensed plumber will need to complete a plumbing apprenticeship program. These programs will provide on-the-job training and introduce trainees to topics including OSHA safety, state codes, blueprint reading, and drafting. An apprenticeship must be carried out under the supervision of a master plumber.

Apprentices must complete a certain number before sitting for their license exam, which is why most apprenticeship programs take between 2 and 5 years to complete.

Step 3: Become a Journeyman Plumber

 

Once you complete an apprenticeship you can take a licensing exam to become a journeyman plumber. Unlike apprentices, who are only able to work under the supervision of a master plumber, journeyman plumbers are able to work independently. These individuals are able to work across residential or commercial settings. Typical duties include installing and maintaining sewage disposal and gas lines, as well as fixtures or appliances.

Individuals must typically renew every three to five years, though some states require renewal to take place yearly. These professionals have not only mastered the basic skills of the trade but are familiar with the plumbing codes in their area. They should also possess developed customer service, managerial, troubleshooting, and mechanical skills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers at this level can earn a median salary of $55,160 per year or $26.52 per hour.

Step 4: Become a Master Plumber

The next step in your career path is to become a master plumber. After a certain number of hours on the job as a journeyman plumber, you’ll be able to sit for the licensing exam to become a master plumber (typically between two to five years). Different states have different requirements for master plumbers, so check with your local licensing board to see what regulations apply near you. In some cases, additional classes or plumbing training may be necessary.

Master plumbers must pass a written and practical exam to receive the title. Fees also apply. Some states may also require a background check.

Armed with this plumbing license, a master plumber will be able to offer more advanced plumbing services, oversee apprenticeship training, manage crews and offer specialty experience in a specific area of plumbing. According to the BLS, the highest 10 percent of earners in this trade pocket more than $97,170 annually.

Plumbing Specialties

If you’re unsure of what direction you would like to see your plumbing career go in, take some time to explore the different kinds of plumbers out there. Generally speaking, there are five main categories of plumbers: general plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, sprinklerfitters, and pipelayers. Check out the list below to learn the roles and responsibilities associated with each title.

General Plumbers

General plumbers repair the water, waste disposal, drainage, and gas systems in homes and commercial and industrial buildings. They also conduct maintenance services and installations for plumbing fixtures including bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets. They may also be asked to install appliances such as dishwashers, waste disposers, and water heaters.

 

plumbing pipes

Pipefitters

Pipefitters assemble and maintain mechanical piping systems designed to withstand high pressure. They may be used in the installation of boilers, furnaces, water tanks, and other pressurized equipment. Pipefitters also monitor the controls for these systems. These individuals typically work across the industrial sector.

Be sure to check out this article for more information on how to become a pipefitter.

Steamfitters

Steamfitters work on the same systems and projects a pipefitter may be assigned to, but they focus their expertise strictly on how to install pipes carrying high-pressure gases and liquids.

Sprinklerfitters

Sprinklefitters install, modify and inspect sprinkler systems. They must pay close attention to building code regulations as they relate to the space between sprinklers, pipe size, and the amount of water pressure each pipe can handle.

Pipelayers

Pipelayers perform the initial groundwork before laying down pipes used for sewer lines, natural gas or oil pipelines, or large waterlines. They’re trained to work with different materials, including clay, concrete, plastic, or cast-iron pipe. Before laying the pipe, these individuals prepare and grade the trenches either manually or with machines.

Plumbing Schools

As mentioned, it is possible to begin a plumbing apprenticeship with just a high school diploma. Those who wish to advance to the status of a master plumber, however, will likely need to receive a more advanced education. You can find classes offered at either a trade school or community college.

The New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) offers an acclaimed program on plumbing systems and services. Those who enroll will be introduced to the basic theory and practices of heating and plumbing while receiving hands-on experience in a laboratory setting.

The four-term program includes the study of basic tools; methods of fabrication, fitting identification and usage, drainage, waste and venting, water piping methods and design, sewage disposal and treatment, water sources and distribution, and household and industrial maintenance.

Graduates will be prepared to pursue a number of different plumbing jobs after completion of the program. They will also be eligible to continue on for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.

You can check out this article to learn more about the technical degrees we offer and why they’re important.

FAQ

How many years does it take to become a plumber?

It takes anywhere from two to five years to work independently as a licensed plumber. You must work for an additional two years to advance to master technician, meaning you'll need anywhere from 7-10 years of on-the-job experience before you can claim the title.

Do plumbers make good money?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, licensed plumbers can earn a median salary of $55,160 per year or $26.52 per hour. The highest 10 percent of earners took home around $97,170 annually.

Is plumbing a good career?

So long as you possess the skills and desire to work as a plumber, you can look forward to an incredibly fulfilling career. According to the BLS, plumbers will enjoy steady job growth and job security over the next decade. The profession also provides plenty of opportunities for growth. Those who step into leadership positions may also enjoy the luxury of setting their own schedules.