There are a number of opportunities for workers seeking HVAC jobs. With the amount of HVAC jobs expected to increase by over 30% in the next decade, skilled workers will have several career paths to choose from. However, with new technology changing the job description of HVAC technicians every year, technicians will have to be constantly learning new things in order to compete.
Different Types of HVAC Jobs
The HVAC industry encompasses a large number of jobs ranging from basic system repair to more intricate tasks such as solar panel installation. HVAC mechanics usually pursue HVAC training to perform both installation and maintenance, however many choose to specialize in specific skills or equipment.
The most common job title in the industry is HVAC technician. Technicians are responsible for installing and maintaining the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems of buildings such as an offices, schools, hospitals, private residences, commercial centers, and retail establishments. Both installation and maintenance requires knowledge of the mechanical and electrical components that make up HVAC systems. Technicians must be able to correctly identify, diagnose, and repair any problems within the system they are working on.
HVAC technicians should also be familiar with the special tools required to work on different temperature control systems. HVAC technicians generally work independently, with installation technicians working less frequently than maintenance technicians. This is due to the fact that HVAC installation depends entirely on the construction of a new building, whereas maintenance is required for HVAC systems in existing structures.
Other HVAC jobs include:
- Refrigeration Technicians
- Solar Energy System Installers
- Heating Systems Technicians
- Air Conditioning Service Technicians
- Air and Hydraulic Balancing Technicians
- Fan Installers
- Field Service Technicians
- Gas Furnace Installers
- Ventilating Equipment Installers
- Commercial Service Technicians
- Environmental Control System Installer Technicians
The specific duties related to these HVAC jobs are not radically different than those of a general HVAC technician. They are, however, more focused and may require extra training and licensing to perform.
How to Find HVAC Jobs
There are several ways to find HVAC jobs. Many different HVAC training programs offer career services in order to help you find a career upon earning your degree. Also, sometimes employers recruit students directly out of HVAC schools.
Apprenticeships are another great way to find HVAC jobs. Oftentimes, apprenticeships can turn into full-time or part-time jobs. Most of them at least offer some paid on-the-job training, which will serve as an entry level job. Stay connected with HVAC students, instructors, and teachers you meet and you will be constantly hearing about new career opportunities.
The Future of HVAC Jobs
Job prospects for HVAC technicians continue to grow with every passing year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for HVAC jobs will increase greatly over the next 10 years, with new job opportunities arising due to technological advances and environmental awareness in the industry. Many HVAC technicians are self-employed, but major employers include air conditioning, plumbing, and heating contractors. The average HVAC technician salary is around $43,380, but HVAC technicians can increase their pay by continuing education and seeking HVAC certification.
Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment & Wages database.