When looking for jobs in HVAC your first preference should be for employment opportunities with the various departments of the state government; apart from job security you also get better benefits. You may need to get a certification depending on the state that you live in. Also, licensing requirements vary from state to state. While some states will just require you to pass a test, others may need you to participate in an apprenticeship program. The tests may also vary; some states have a fairly straight forward licensing exam while in other states you will need in depth knowledge of electronic code requirements to get through the test.
Most major cities have a myriad of schools that provide HVAC training, you may opt for vocational program that offers both theoretical (class room) training and online classes. Generally, the durations of a training session that you will need for HVAC jobs will last from 6 months to two years at the end of which you will have earned yourself an associate's degree or a diploma. The courses are designed to educate you on equipment design, temperature control, installation and repair and electronics. At the end of the training session, you may have to clear an entry level exam in order to receive your certification.
If the licensing criteria include an apprenticeship along with a certified course, you may want to talk to the local HVAC contractors in your area or friends and relatives who may own an HVAC repair and installation firm. The best way to gather hands on experience is through an apprenticeship program. Also, practical work will give you an edge over the other workers in a tough job market. So it is highly recommended that you consider a short apprenticeship stint even if it's not required; to get the best jobs in HVAC. An apprenticeship program may run from three to five years and will not only include on job training but will also offer class room instructions. Once you complete such a combinatorial course you will be considered a skilled HVAC technician and may get offers to some of the best HVAC jobs in the market for people with your level of experience.
In order to work in the HVAC industry you will also have to get a license that grants you permission to work with refrigerants; to get this license you will have to pass a written test, depending on the type of work that you intend to undertake. There are three categories: low pressure refrigerants, small appliance refrigerants and high pressure refrigerants. The test is conducted and administered by a local body associated with HVAC work such as a union office approved b the EPA.
Another venue for jobs in HVAC, apart from government departments, will be the major Heating and Cooling Companies in your area, get in touch with them to know about any employment opportunities that did not make it to the news papers. You could also talk to the general contractors in your area, who usually have a few of their own HVAC technicians on board to keep a check on the subcontractors.