HVAC, which stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, involves controlling the temperature and air quality within a home or building. This high-demand job requires HVAC technicians who know how to install, maintain and repair such equipment. This type of work is challenging, as it involves technical knowledge and the need to know how to diagnose and repair HVAC equipment. Workers require good communications and excellent problem-solving skills to understand what repairs must be made. Following blueprints, installing new equipment and testing for safe electrical wiring are just some of the everyday skills that fall into an HVAC technician’s lap.
HVAC technicians do not require a college degree, only proper certification. Since HVAC work involves a lot of technical knowledge, entry-level jobs require several years of experience on the job before moving into higher-level positions. Even so, new workers are able to learn from the more experienced technicians around them, making the trade an easy opportunity to move up and learn the craft better.
Be aware that being an HVAC technician involves a sense of physical demand. These workers often find themselves working in tight or awkward areas, either bending or standing for long periods of time. The job can also require lifting or kneeling, along with safety risks like electric shock. Therefore, it is important to follow the safety precautions that are involved in HVAC training to prevent any injury or downsides that the job might risk. Overall, if you are good at problem-solving and working hands-on, you might find your calling as an HVAC technician!
Examples of Pre-Apprenticeship Skills
- Demonstrating the correct use of HVAC tools
- Performing safe electrical and mechanical procedures on the job site
- Using tools properly to troubleshoot and test electrical and mechanical components
- Supporting HVAC supervisors with the installation of ductwork, HVAC units and components
- Learning how to effectively conduct HVAC testing
- Learning HVAC common ratings, including symbols and size requirements for residential and commercial buildings
HVAC Work Includes:
- Troubleshooting, installing and repairing electrical and mechanical components
- Install and repair ductwork
- Install and repair HVAC units
- Giving estimates and explaining work orders to customers in a comprehensive manner
Opportunities in a HVAC Career
HVAC technicians are in high demand these days, especially in a time where improved air quality is appreciated and there is a need for reduced energy consumption. There will always be growing opportunities for HVAC technicians since their job is to replace old systems with newer ones, implementing better health and safety for residents. The following are potential careers that an HVAC technician can land themselves in, once completing certification and enough experience.
- HVAC Contractor
- HVAC Installer
- HVAC Helper
- HVAC Apprentice
- Service Technician
Average Pay Rate
During pre-apprenticeship training, new technicians receive anywhere between $10 to $14 an hour, depending on the employer. With continued training, further experienced technicians receive between $14 to $16 an hour. Once fully certified, the HVAC technician can make between $45,000 to $65,000 a year, again, depending on the employer or the location. Full certification takes about 3 to 4 years, but the process is definitely worth it.