If you’re pursuing a career as an HVAC technician, getting your EPA 608 Universal Certification is kind of like passing the bar exam if you’re trying to be an attorney. It’s that one thing that demonstrates your qualifications as a professional in the field of HVAC. But even if you know the material inside and out, it can be an intimidating prospect. The good news is, that it doesn’t have to be! Just keep the 5 p’s in mind – proper preparation prevents poor performance. So, we’ve put together a few pointers on how to prepare for the EPA 608 Universal Certification.
Know What to Expect
First, you should know there are 3 certifications that actually come before the universal certification.
The first step in your HVAC future, the Type I certification allows you to work on small appliances. What makes something a “small” appliance? Simple – it works on 5lbs or less of refrigerant. The exam for the Type I certification is only 25 questions and can be taken in an open-book fashion if you don’t intend to continue with additional certifications. If you do, be aware you’ll have to retake it closed book for further certifications. You’ll also need to answer 21 of the 25 questions correctly to pass.
The Type II certification places a larger emphasis on leak detection & repair and allows you to work on or dispose of medium to high pressure appliances, excluding automobile air conditioning and small appliances. It also focuses on proper equipment testing and recovery techniques. To obtain Type II certification, you’ll need to retake the 25 Type I questions – plus an additional 25 questions, closed book and correctly answer 42 out of the 50 questions.
The final certification before the universal certification it Type III and may appear very similar to Type II. But the difference is in the type of system. Type III allows you to work on or dispose of low-pressure systems and the focus is on leakage and leak-testing and pressurization methods. But just like Type II certification, you must correctly answer 42 out of the 50-question exam and it is a closed book exam.
How to Prepare for the EPA 608 Universal Exam
If you’ve successfully passed all three preliminary certification exams, you’re already well on your way to being prepared for the 100 question Universal exam. But there are things you can do to be sure you nail it right out of the gate.
It might sound obvious to say study for the exam. But you can do that by taking practice tests of the exam and also by revisiting the 3 exams you’ve already taken.
Talk to a Professional
If you’re having trouble with a particular area, seek out a professional working in the industry. Most will be happy to answer questions and it’s also a great way to network with potential employers.
Get Professional Training
This is probably the best way to prepare – by getting professional HVAC training at an accredited facility. You can certainly learn the HVAC trade on the job, but completing an actual program will not only better prepare you for the universal certification, it could also increase your opportunities by making you look more attractive to potential employers.
If you’d like to learn more about a career in the HVAC industry and more on how to prepare for the EPA 608 Universal Certification, check out the HVAC Program at Summit College. Summit is helping students get the hands-on training and skills they need to reach their goals of a future as an HVAC technician. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation with our admissions department.