It is common for people who work in the HVACR industry to have very little documentation showing their proficiency. Many have never been to any formal school, others started and did not finish. Although there are now many certified techs, there are more that are not certified. This does not necessarily mean that they cannot perform their jobs, but that they have not taken the time to document their abilities. Often, the explanation is “I have been doing HVACR for 15 years and that is worth more than any piece of paper.” I would be the last to suggest that experience does not count – it does. But without a diploma or certification, how does a prospective employer know what you can do? In a tight job market, credentials matter. Many places examine resumes first to determine whom they want to interview. With no credentials, your chance of even getting an interview is slim. If you are one of the many HVACR workers without credentials, my suggestion is that you make documenting your abilities a priority. Chances are, there is a school somewhere near you that teaches HVACR. I am not suggesting that you quit working to go to school. It is often possible to do both. If you do not have any professional certifications from NATE, RSES, or HVAC Excellence you should work on obtaining professional Certification. Yes, it can take some time to go to school or study for a professional certification exam, maybe even a matter of years. Rather than focus on the length of the road, concentrate on the destination. One or two years will pass whether or not you are doing anything to improve your position. The question is, at the end of the time, where will you be? Will you be graduating with a diploma that documents your ability and opens doors, or will you still be right where you are today?