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CAREERS

HVAC TECHNICIAN

HVAC, or HVACR, technicians work in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. Learn why this skilled trade career could be a good one to pursue in the coming years.

HVAC Technician

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and technicians install, maintain and repair the critical equipment that keeps the interiors of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings safe and comfortable. In recent years, HVAC (sometimes called HVACR) employers have placed a high premium on training employees to fine-tune equipment for energy-efficient performance and safe handling of toxic gases used in heating and air conditioning. These advancements, along with improvements in wireless technology, have made this an exciting time to join this skilled trade.

A closer look at heating, air conditioning and refrigeration professionals

HVAC(R) mechanics and installers are responsible for systems that heat, cool and ventilate buildings. They specialize in pumps, refrigeration systems, heating power systems, wiring and ducts. This may involve consulting blueprints or design specifications to repair or install systems. It may mean gauging use and effectiveness to update energy efficiency or determine the need to replace parts. And it typically involves a high degree of electrical work. These professionals may work in extreme hot and cold temperatures both inside and outside their customers' buildings.

HVAC technician salary and career outlook

If you want to become an HVAC or HVAC-R technician, here's an idea of the salary and job growth you could expect in the coming years:

CareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean WageProjected Job Growth Rate
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers324,310$50,16014.7%
2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Training for a career in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration

Comprehensive training programs at trade or technical schools for HVAC(R) mechanics can take from six months to two years to complete, depending on previous education in math, physics and chemistry. Students take classes in theory and practical applications of temperature control, thermodynamics, blueprint reading, mechanical drawing, electronics, design, construction principles, building codes and governmental EPA regulations for hazardous materials handling. A formal apprenticeship may last from three to five years. Following apprenticeship and formal training, graduates may sit for applicable state or regional license exams.

Explore the programs listed here to discover which one suits your goals and lifestyle.

Sources:

Occupational Employment and Wages: Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2013,

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes499021.htm

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm

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