This is a yes and no question as I will explain below.
Some parts of the test can be taken online but the more advanced certification most HVAC technicians need have to be proctored.
Can You Become EPA 608 Certified Online?
The quick answer is yes for Type I, but no for Type II, and Type III.
There are different levels of EPA 608 certification that will need to be taken and passed.
The EPA 608 exam is broken down into four levels the core, type I, type II, type III.
A universal certification is when all the test are passed.
Each type of test passed allows someone to work on certain refrigeration systems.
- Type I Certification —Can only work on Small Appliance (5lbs or less of refrigerant)
- Type II Certification — Can only work on Medium, High and Very-High Pressure Appliances.
- Type III Certification —Can only work on Low-Pressure Appliances.
- Universal Certification — Has passed all the exams I, II ,III, core and can work on any system.
The Type I exam can be taken online, but someone who has a Type I certification can only work on units with 5 pounds of refrigerant or less.
This means refrigerators, small wall mounted coolers, or any small refrigeration unit that has no more than 5 pounds of refrigerant.
Residential and commercial will be off-limits and will not be able to be worked on unless the type II and III, EPA 608 test exams are taken and passed.
To take and pass the type II and III exams they must be proctored.
This means you have to go to a physical location have your ID checked and be watched while the test is taken.
There is no online certification for taking the Type II and III test.
Only having the Type I exam is kind of useless since it limits most of the units that are worked on today, which are residential and commercial.
Old refrigerators and old window mounted refrigeration units are rarely worked on and a new one is usually bought and installed.
Window mounted units cost between $159-$500. Also, new units are much more efficient compared to a five or ten year old model. Refrigerators are almost the same.
This will be different for everyone and I am sure that there are people that only need a type I EPA certification.
If this is the case then yes it can be taken online. Be sure to take it at a real online site and not just some scam site. Mainstream engineering is a trusted source for all the certifications so if you do decide to go for only type I EPA 608 exam then this would be a good place to go.