We all like to be comfortable. It’s nice to be warm in the winter time and cool in the summer. We do not have any control over the outside environment, however, the inside we can regulate by the mere touch of a switch. Thank goodness for HVAC-R Technicians! We depend on them to keep us comfortable in our homes, schools and at work.
The HVAC-R Technician is tasked with keeping our air systems running smoothly and efficiently. They repair heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, as well as, controlling the temperature and air quality from which we breathe. If you are interested in this line of work, you may be required to attend an online training program to earn a professional certificate or, at some schools, they offer an associate or bachelor’s degree program. Although online programs can be hard to locate, they are available.
After earning your professional certificate, you may choose to concentrate your efforts on a specific specialization such as, working only on residential units or only on commercial units. Other concentrations may include specific brands or certain components of the unit such as, the electrical or computerized portions. Additional certificate programs can be earned to help you show your employer and your customer that you are dedicated to your craft. In addition, if you are working with refrigerant, you will also need certification. Some states may require a license to work in this type of business.
The future job outlook for the HVAC-R Technician is good with a 15% job growth, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, between now and 2026. Increased commercial and residential building is contributing to the reason for the substantial increase in employment opportunities for a HVAC-R Technician. As of May 2016, the salary for this position was approximately $45,910 annually, however, this may vary depending on experience, concentration and job location. One who specializes in commercial repairs on much larger equipment may earn upwards of $65,000 or more per year.
The working environment for the HVAC-R Technician varies greatly. As most parts of a heating or cooling system is located on the outside of the structure, you will be subject to extreme hot or cold temperatures while working outside. In addition, working in awkward positions, excessive standing or squatting and carrying large heavy equipment may be required. The HVAC Tech should not be afraid of heights. Often, they are required to climb ladders onto commercial rooftops.
There are not many variations of other careers related to HVAC-R, however, a position as a boilermaker can earn a satisfactory salary at approximately $62,060 per year, as of May 2016. They often travel to job locations and are tasked with building a boiler on site by assembling and installing it directly into a factory or plant. They also make necessary repairs. This job can be physically demanding.
Sheet metal workers are responsible for constructing ductwork, as well as other products, for our air systems and the like. They fabricate these items from thin sheets of metal. The Sheet Metal Fabricator earns approximately $46,940 annually, as of 2016. This position requires heavy lifting, standing, climbing and squatting. In addition, other related careers may include pipefitters, steamfitters, plumbers, as well as, electricians.
If you would like to learn more about this field, please see our list of the best Online Schools for HVAC-R Tech Programs.