What Does a Career in HVAC Look Like?
When property owners suddenly find themselves without heat or air conditioning, they’re likely to enlist the services of a skilled Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning Technician. In addition to repairing malfunctioning heating and air conditioning units, HVAC Techs also install and maintain all types of heating, refrigeration, ventilation and air conditioning products in homes, schools, businesses and hospitals.
The best HVAC Techs enjoy the challenge of using their knowledge and strong mechanical aptitude to ensure that systems and products are operating at peak efficiency.
No Two Days Are Alike for HVAC Techs
HVAC careers include a wide range of duties, and no two days are alike for technicians. The majority of HVAC Techs work for plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractors, but every employer’s needs will be different.
One HVAC technician could spend the day traveling from one customer to another making routine service and maintenance calls. Another technician might find himself at one location all day to perform a major repair task. Sometimes, if you’re involved in the installation of an HVAC system in a new building, you might need to spend several days or weeks at one job site.
HVAC Careers Are Physically Demanding
As an HVAC Technician, you will often find yourself working in cramped quarters for many hours at a time. If the building you’re working in is without air conditioning or heat, your work environment can be uncomfortable while you work to fix it. If the heating or air conditioning unit is outdoors, you may also have to deal with inclement weather.
During the peak seasons, which occur during the summer and winter when demand placed on HVAC units is at its highest, you may have the option of working extended hours. The winter can be an especially challenging time for HVAC Techs, as they are often called upon to perform emergency repairs to heating systems in the middle of the night.
What Skills Are Necessary for a Successful HVAC Career?
HVAC careers require the ability to work with a variety of tools and equipment, from basic hand tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches to more technologically-advanced testing equipment. You must also know how to read blueprints and schematics and be familiar with the various types of HVAC products and systems found in homes and larger buildings.
Many of the refrigerants used in cooling systems can be hazardous. Electrical shock is also a risk. You’ll need to be able to work with a high level of caution. Strong people skills are also required, as you will have to communicate effectively with your customers.
How to Get Started With Your HVAC Career
If you’re interested in getting started with an HVAC career, the job outlook looks extremely bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of HVAC Tech jobs is expected to increase by 21% from 2012 to 2022, compared to only 11% for all other occupations in the United States.
You’ll need additional education and training to become an attractive job candidate to potential employers. While many careers require spending four years in college, you can get the training you need to start an HVAC career in much less time.
Training Programs for HVAC Careers
A comprehensive HVAC training program can give you the skills you need to gain an entry-level HVAC Technician position in less than a year. The valuable hands-on training provided by this program will give you a noteworthy advantage in today’s highly competitive job market.
If you want to work in a supervisory capacity, you can take your training to the next level with an Associate of Applied Science in Trades Management – Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. This degree can be obtained in as little as 80 weeks. This degree is also ideal for anyone who plans to own or operate an HVAC contracting business at some point.
Both of these training programs can provide you with knowledge of essential HVAC concepts, including brazing, sheet metal fabrication, electricity, refrigeration, and soldering. You’ll also learn key business and management skills needed to advance your career, and solid mechanical skills that will get your foot in the door with your future employer.