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Within the Construction and Development Pathway at Pickens Technical College are the Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program. Many of you in the Construction and Development pathway are trying to start a new career or are working on creating your first. The jobs you’ll find by completing your training in the Construction and Development pathway, whether as a construction worker, maintenance expert, or HVAC expert will be in high demand, especially in the building development boom of Denver at the moment.

In the HVAC program, similar to the other programs in Construction and Development at Pickens, you are prepared for a career working in a specialized field, and in any specialized field, it helps to earn a few recognizable certifications along the way.

The idea of certifications is pretty simple. If you can take a test, pass it, and earn a certification badge, you’ve proven to employers and potential customers that you are competent in specific skills. In the HVAC department, one of those certifications you’ll have a chance to earn upon completion of your studies is the Industry Competency Exam (ICE), which you’ve no doubt heard instructor Wayne Blackwell deliver speeches on over and over. Aside from proving you can safely work on HVAC machines and equipment without exposing yourself or anyone else to potentially hazardous material by earning your Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certification, your ICE certification is the most important certification in your young HVAC career.

I won’t go on to explain what the ICE certification is, you probably already know that. What you might not grasp yet is that the ICE and EPA certifications you’re studying for now in Blackwell’s class aren’t the only certifications out there for HVAC workers. If you want to get a leg up on your competition after you’ve started your HVAC career, you might have to learn a little more about these additional certifications:

STS Certification

The HVAC industry, like most industries around the world, is changing as a result of shifts in technology to the Internet of Things (IoT), ‘smart’ technology, and more. The industry is moving towards the idea of the ‘smart home.’ In the smart home, all heating, cooling, and energy-saving operations are managed under one master home system, able to either automatically adjust lights, heating, and cooling, or respond immediately to user input.

This relatively new emphasis is creating new demands by homeowners and HVAC customers, such as home energy efficiency.

Smart Technology Systems (STS) certifications are now becoming more common for HVAC workers who want to continue their training. This certification focuses on working within smart home systems to utilize energy more efficiently without sacrificing comfort for the customer.

The STS certification is only one example of the HVAC and building maintenance certifications available to you. Many other certifications are focusing on energy efficiency and the ability to work with increasingly sophisticated home technology.

What This Means

Almost any specialized field requires its workers to constantly train and add certifications to their professional resume. Seeking out and investing in worthwhile additional certifications is one way you can keep rising in the HVAC field.