What does a HVAC Tech do?
HVAC technicians specialize in repairing, maintenance, and installation of heating, air-conditioning as well as refrigeration systems. They are responsible for heating, cooling, and air quality in residential and business dwellings.
This job is often done outdoors in hot or cold climates and working in tight spaces; therefore there are frequent injuries and illnesses due to the harsh environments and hazards one can encounter. However, with the appropriate training and safety equipment many incidents can be prevented or avoided.
How to Become a HVAC Tech
A heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic/installer, often referred to as HVACR, would usually be expected to have completed an apprenticeship of 3-5 years which would require you to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass a basic math test, pass a substance abuse screening and have a valid drivers license.
One could take courses from technical or trade schools or community college with courses in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration. These schools usually last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to become certified or receive an associate’s degree. Some states or localities require a license. Those with computer skills, electronics and troubleshooting experience have the most advantage for employment.
Job Description of a HVAC Tech
A heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic/installer works on the units that provide the air quality in homes, hospitals or various buildings and the air conditioning and heating systems that would control the temperature. They use design specifications or blueprints to repair or install units, as well as, testing the systems for proper working order. They would do the installation of electrical wiring and connect systems to water and fuel supply lines and air ducts or other components.
He or she would replace or repair any parts or units needed and give advise on how to improve a system to become energy efficient. A HVACR may choose to specialize in a particular area of equipment, like, solar panels or other types of systems, or may wish to focus on maintenance or installation.
They may sell service contracts which includes the maintenance of the cooling or heating units. They must be current on any government regulation when working with air conditioning or refrigeration units, such as, recycling, conservation and recovery of refrigerants. They need to be aware of the correct way to dispose and handle pressurized gases and fluids.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 21 percent growth in 2012-2022 in this career field.