When we hear the word HVAC or HVAC/R, we usually think about the A/C unit in our homes. Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers work on Heating, Ventilation, Air Cooling, and Refrigeration systems; residential or commercial. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, commercial and residential building construction is expected to drive employment growth 13% from 2018 to 2028. Now is the time to consider a career in HVAC/R. But what are the different types of HVAC/R Technician careers?
HVAC/R Career Ladder
There are various types of occupations within the HVAC/R industry; residential A/C and heating, commercial A/C and heating and industrial and commercial refrigeration. The principles the equipment operate on are the same, but the complexity levels are very different. So, HVAC/R Technician’s job title and years of experience determine what type of equipment they can operate on.
HVAC/R Career Paths
There are multiple different HVAC/R career paths you can take. You don’t have to work in people’s homes for the rest of your life if you don’t want to. Below we’ve listed a few different HVAC/R careers.
AC technicians have the most in-demand job in the field which is why most people choose to focus on this type of HVAC training. An AC technician is responsible for making sure the AC unit in homes and offices are functioning properly. They must be able to know how all electrical components work, how to maintain the motors, and check the ductwork.
HVAC engineers play a huge role in the maintenance and repair part of the HVAC industry. They must know how to design, install, repair and maintain the entire HVAC system including the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. They will meet with clients and design systems for residential, commercial, and institutional buildings.
HVAC installers primarily focus on installing the required equipment, control panels, and the entire HVAC system into a building. While they install the systems, they have a working knowledge of the entire thing, meaning, if needed, they can step in and do the maintenance and repair work on the system. The installer should be physically strong, read blueprints, and have great time management since they’re usually on more than one site.
Refrigeration technicians, also often referred to as refrigeration mechanics, are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing refrigerators. They have a working knowledge of a building’s general HVAC unit, but their primary focus is on ice machines, beverage machines, and refrigeration units. They know how to install and repair these systems but may also need to do the upgrades and replace parts.
Automotive HVAC Technician
An automotive HVAC tech keeps all parts in vehicles working properly to ensure passengers are comfortable when driving. Every vehicle comes with a cooling and heating system.
Wind Turbine Technician
Green energy is rapidly expanding so the need for wind turbines and wind farms is also increasing. Wind turbine technicians are the second-fastest growing occupation in the U.S.
The HVAC project manager oversees new projects for an HVAC construction, or they are a consultant for contractors. They assess the site of a new HVAC/R installation or renovation project, then put together a bid for the employer. They are communicating with the client while the project is being completed rather than installing the actual unit.
Service managers oversee the operation of an HVAC/R company or maintenance department. They do anything from assigning specific jobs to technicians to overseeing the outcome of each technician’s work. Strong management and communication skills are often a requirement for this position.
Working in HVAC/R sales can be very rewarding both financially and professionally. HVAC/R salespeople demonstrate and promote HVAC/R units to individuals at trade shows and seminars. Sales representatives usually have technical knowledge, excellent communication skills, willingness to offer great services and tenacity.
HVAC/R Contractor or Vendor
HVAC/R contractors specialize in the installation and maintenance of furnaces, boilers, heat pumps and central air conditioners. Additionally, they will help customers decide which equipment to purchase.
As you can imagine, an HVAC/R manufacturer produces and creates the HVAC/R system. They also try to make the systems more efficient. Some of the top HVAC/R manufacturers in the U.S. are Siemans Building Technologies, Rheem Manufacturing Company, Trane, Lennox International, Johnson Controls and Daikin.
There is nothing more fulfilling than giving back everything you learned in HVAC/R school. HVAC/R instructors’ coach, develop, guide, direct and motivate students. They prepare their students to enter the world of HVAC/R.
Also known as building services managers and building supervisors, are responsible for the maintenance and repairs of all types of buildings, including office buildings, hospitals, hotels, apartment complexes and manufacturing facilities.
Stationary Engineers maintain, renovate, operate and repair boiler systems and all other mechanical systems in a facility. This equipment is similar to that used on ships and trains, but the equipment is stationary rather than mobile.
HVAC/R Business Owner or Entrepreneur
HVAC/R business owners are the top dog of the company. Usually, at first, they will do the hiring, firing, marketing, finances and everything else that comes with owning any type of business, until they have grown large enough to have someone else do it. Big or small, owning an HVAC/R business can be the most rewarding career option.
HVAC/R Program at ETI
The best thing about HVAC/R? If you start in one of these areas and you find it’s not what you expected, you can choose another career path. The more experienced, the more job opportunities that will become available. Ready to take the first step to a fulfilling career? Contact ETI today at (888) 830-7678 to learn more information about our 7-month HVAC/R program.