Depletion of ozone in the atmosphere can have harmful effects on the environment and on human health. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, an international treaty that protects the ozone layer by banning the use of substances believed to contribute to ozone depletion, went into force in 1987. The United States signed the treaty and passed legislation to regulate the use of refrigerants, which are ozone-depleting substances. Section 608 of the Clean Air Act requires anyone who works with refrigerants to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Complete a heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration degree program at a technical school or community or junior college. You may also complete a formal apprenticeship or receive this training in the Armed Forces.
Decide which type of certification you will need based on your area of specialization and the types of refrigerant systems you work with. The EPA offers three types of certification exams: Type I (small appliances), Type II (high-pressure appliances), and Type III (low-pressure appliances). You can also obtain Universal Certification by passing all three certification exams.
Go to the Section 608 Technician Certification Programs webpage on the EPA’s website to find the list of approved certification providers. This list provides the mailing addresses and telephone numbers for the main headquarters of these organizations. You can only receive certification through a program approved by the EPA.
Choose a certification program from this list. Most offer testing locations around the country.
Contact the certification provider to obtain information about registering to take the certification exam.
Register to take the exam and pay any exam fees required by the certifying organization.
Prepare for the test by attending any training courses or seminars offered by the program.
Take the exam at the appointed time.
Receive your EPA technician certification card after passing.
Some states require refrigeration technicians to be licensed by passing a test administered by the state.
If you lose your technician card, you may contact your testing organization for a replacement if you have documentation from them proving your successful completion of the exam.
If the original organization is no longer in business, you may contact the EPA for help in replacing a lost card.