How to Become HVAC Mechanic and Installer

What To Do Now? HVAC Career Training

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When a heating system, air conditioner, or refrigerator breaks, it can cause lots of stress for the people who depend on these appliances. A professional technician skilled in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) can bring relief from these stresses.

If you are technically handy and think this type of job sounds interesting, you might want to retrain in the HVAC field to become an HVAC professional. Online HVAC training courses are one way to improve your skills and get the education that you need.

The Hands-On Career Skills of the HVAC Technician

Whether the economy is booming or not, HVAC technicians are needed to install and repair heating and cooling systems, as well as keep refrigerators running smoothly. HVAC mechanics are typically quite good with their hands, comfortable around equipment, able to diagnose mechanical problems, and trouble-shoot as needed. Specifically, they understand and keep up to date on the latest technical information about the systems they cover.

Career Advice: HVAC Technician

Becoming an HVAC technician is possible with a high school education. However, to be successful in this field it's generally recommended that you obtain more specialized training. To improve your skills and gain the knowledge needed for modern HVAC systems, you might want to consider retraining via an online HVAC training courses. These courses, combined with hands-on experience, can set you in the right direction for this career.

HVAC students typically study equipment design, construction, electronics, temperature control, maintenance & repair, and more. After training, you can expect between six months and two years of field experience--usually through an apprenticeship--before you are considered proficient in HVAC.

Today, HVAC technicians might work in solo practice, or for a company, and they might specialize in residential homes or business settings. As cooling and heating operations grow in complexity, the demand for well-trained professionals with these career skills will also increase.

Career Outlook

  • Faster Than Average Growth: Employment of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is expected to grow about 21 percent from 2012 to 2022.
  • Trends Driving Hiring: Some of the key issues in the HVAC profession that will influence the number of jobs available include the population growth in cities, the addition of new businesses and schools, and changing Federal regulations
  • Where to Train: Learn HVAC at junior and community colleges, secondary and post-secondary technical and trade schools, and the U.S. Armed Forces through 6-month to 2-year programs in heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration
  • Certification Makes Sense: There are three primary certification categories for HVAC pros: Type I--servicing small appliances; Type II--high-pressure refrigerants; and Type III--low-pressure refrigerants
  • Opportunities for Entrepreneurs: Many HVAC technicians elect to go into business for themselves, specializing in residential or commercial systems and catering to a particular industry
  • Median Annual Salary: In May 2013, HVAC mechanics and installers earned a median annual salary of $46,110 with top 10% making more than $69,740.
  • Top Paying States: Alaska, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey.
  • States with Highest Employment: Florida, Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, May 2013 Wages