Are you out of school and ready to join the workforce? Are you thinking about a career change? Now is a great time to consider becoming an HVAC Technician!
HVAC technicians play a big role in keeping people comfortable in their homes and businesses year round, regardless of economic conditions. As a result, the industry is secure and growing without a doubt!
If you agree with most of the following statements, you might want to consider a career in HVAC:
I'm not interested in a 4 year college degree.
I'd like a career that is in demand no matter where I live.
I like to be challenged and use my troubleshooting skills.
I enjoy helping people.
I enjoy mathematics, mechanics, and hands-on work.
The idea of sitting at a desk day after day makes me squirm.
I am looking for a career with job security and high income potential.
What Does An HVAC Technician Do?
As an HVAC Technician, your day-to-day may include:
Inspecting and testing HVAC components for proper operation
Troubleshooting HVAC equipment
Testing electrical circuits or components for continuity
Testing pipe or tubing joints and connections for refrigerant leaks
Installing, repairing, and programming thermostats
Cutting or drilling holes in buildings structure
Preventive maintenance on HVAC equipment
Replacing defective parts or components
Disassembling equipment for inspection, cleaning, or repairs; reassembling
Making recommendations based on performance and efficiency
Communicating problems and recommendations clearly with homeowner
Documenting findings, repairs, and recommendations
What Skills Should I Have?
In addition to HVAC knowledge, there are other skills that will help you succeed as a technician. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, below are some important skills for HVAC technicians to have:
Customer service: As an HVAC technician, you'll often work in customers' homes and businesses, so it's important to be polite and punctual. You'll also have to deal with upset customers from time to time.
Attention to detail: HVAC technicians need to keep detailed records of the work they've performed - including what was done, how long it took, and what parts were used.
Math skills: You'll need math skills to solve trade math problems using standard formulas utilized in the trade - calculating area, volume, weights, angles, pressure, vacuum, and temperature.
Time management: HVAC technicians should be able to stay on schedule and complete necessary work as they respond to daily service calls.
Physical strength and stamina: HVAC technicians need the strength and stamina to meet the physical demands of their job. They may lift heavy equipment, spend a lot of time on their feet, climb in and out of attics and crawlspaces, etc.
Problem solving: As an HVAC technician, you must spot problems in HVAC systems or hear concerns from customers and determine the best way to fix them. Problem solving skills are a must.
Where Can I Sign Up for Classes?
HVAC technicians perform a number of duties related to installing and repairing HVAC systems and equipment. Although it is not required, employers generally prefer applicants with postsecondary education because of the complexity of HVAC systems. These Charlotte area schools offer programs in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Technology:
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: check out UCPS Career and Technical Education HVAC Program
What Would I Learn During Training?
These programs are designed to prepare you to install, repair, and maintain HVAC systems. Topics in these programs may include:
fundamentals of electricity
heating and cooling fundamentals
ductwork and airflow calculations
service & maintenance
mechanical and fuel gas code
specialty trade tools and instruments
What Certifications Will I Need?
Section 608 EPA Technician Certification - Environmental Protection Agency regulations under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified.
NATE Certification - Certification through North American Technician Excellence is a nationally recognized test developed and supported by all segments of heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry. Although it is not a requirement, some contractors prefer NATE-certified technicians because they have demonstrated their knowledge of today's increasingly sophisticated heating and cooling systems. .
HVAC technicians are skilled tradespeople with specialized knowledge. Given all that HVAC has to offer, those interested in the skilled trades should give this career path serious consideration.