Career Development

What Does an HVAC Technician Do?

Find out what an HVAC technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an HVAC technician.

HVAC technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They commonly work on a team with other HVAC technicians, contractors, and engineers to ensure that the HVAC systems in buildings are working properly.

HVAC technicians must have extensive knowledge of HVAC systems and how they work. They also need to be able to read blueprints and diagrams so they can understand how to install new equipment or repair existing systems.

HVAC Technician Job Duties

HVAC technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Helping to design and install new HVAC systems to meet customer needs
  • Troubleshooting problems with existing systems or equipment to ensure proper function
  • Installing and repairing ductwork, including insulation and sealing seams
  • Inspecting HVAC systems or components for problems or defects
  • Installing and repairing heating and cooling equipment such as furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilation fans
  • Diagnosing problems with existing HVAC systems or equipment, including reviewing electrical schematics, using tools to test the equipment, and using computer programs to evaluate performance
  • Reading blueprints and other plans to determine equipment placement and identify any obstacles that may need to be removed or addressed beforehand
  • Cleaning and replacing filters on air conditioning units to ensure they are operating at maximum efficiency
  • Installing and repairing furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilation fans

HVAC Technician Salary & Outlook

HVAC technicians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime. Some HVAC technicians are members of labor unions that negotiate wages on their behalf.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $89,500 ($43.03/hour)

The employment of HVAC technicians is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) services will drive employment growth. As buildings become more energy efficient, demand for HVAC technicians will increase because these workers will be needed to maintain and repair existing systems. However, automation may limit employment growth by allowing fewer technicians to service a greater number of buildings.

HVAC Technician Job Requirements

HVAC technicians typically need to have the following background:

Education: Most employers require HVAC technicians to have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some employers prefer to hire technicians who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Training & Experience: Most HVAC technicians will receive on-the-job training from their new employer after being hired. This training will typically last for a few weeks to a month and will teach the technician how to use the company’s equipment and complete their daily tasks.

Certifications & Licenses: HVAC technicians are often required to have industry-specific certification.

HVAC Technician Skills

HVAC technicians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: HVAC technicians use technical skills to read and interpret blueprints, schematics and diagrams to identify and understand the components of a system and how they work together. They use technical skills to identify and understand the purpose of each component and how they interact with each other. Technical skills are also necessary to identify and understand the purpose of each component and how they interact with each other.

Communication skills: HVAC technicians communicate with clients, coworkers and other professionals. They need to be able to explain technical information in an easy-to-understand way. They also need to be able to listen to and understand clients’ needs and explain how they can meet them.

Problem-solving skills: HVAC technicians use their problem-solving skills to identify and resolve issues with heating and cooling systems. They use their problem-solving skills to identify and repair leaks in pipes, repair electrical components and troubleshoot software and hardware issues.

Mechanical aptitude: HVAC technicians use their aptitude for mechanical processes to troubleshoot and repair complex systems. They use their knowledge of how machines work to identify the source of problems and find solutions. This includes knowledge of how electricity, hydraulics and other elements interact to make a system function.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes and make precise adjustments. HVAC technicians use attention to detail when reading diagrams, checking for leaks and measuring temperatures. This skill ensures that the technician performs their job correctly and ensures the safety of the people in the building.

HVAC Technician Work Environment

HVAC technicians typically work in customers’ homes or businesses, so they must be able to travel to different worksites. They also work in a variety of settings, including new construction sites, existing commercial buildings, and residential homes. Many HVAC technicians work for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors, but some are self-employed. HVAC technicians typically work full time, and some may work overtime or be on call to respond to service requests outside of normal business hours. The work can be physically demanding because technicians often have to crawl into small spaces, lift heavy equipment, and stand for long periods of time.

HVAC Technician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how HVAC technicians work. HVAC technicians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Training

The HVAC industry is changing rapidly, and technicians are now being asked to do more than just install and repair heating and cooling systems. They are now being asked to provide more technical training to customers, as well as to other technicians in the company.

This trend means that HVAC technicians will need to be well-versed in a variety of technologies and have strong communication skills. They will also need to be able to work as part of a team and be comfortable with change.

More Focus on Energy Efficiency

As energy costs continue to rise, homeowners and businesses are looking for ways to save money by becoming more energy efficient. This has led to an increased demand for HVAC technicians who specialize in installing and maintaining energy efficient systems.

HVAC technicians who are able to install and maintain energy efficient systems will be in high demand in the years to come, as more and more people look for ways to reduce their energy bills. By specializing in this area, HVAC technicians can set themselves apart from the competition and ensure that they remain in high demand.

Better Communication Between Technicians and Customers

In recent years, there has been a shift towards greater customer satisfaction in the HVAC industry. This has led to a growing demand for HVAC technicians who are able to communicate effectively with customers.

As customers become more educated about HVAC systems, they will expect technicians to be able to explain the installation process in detail and answer any questions that they may have. In order to meet this demand, HVAC technicians will need to be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

When starting your HVAC technician career, it’s important to consider the type of work you want to do. Do you want to work in a commercial or residential setting? Do you want to specialize in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems or energy efficiency?

No matter what type of work you want to do, it’s important to have a strong foundation in math and science. You should also be able to read and understand blueprints and mechanical drawings. Additionally, it’s important to have a working knowledge of electrical circuits and devices.

Related: How to Write an HVAC Technician Resume

Advancement Prospects

HVAC technicians can find advancement opportunities by becoming a supervisor or manager in their company. Some technicians may open their own HVAC businesses. Many technicians advance by taking on more responsibility and becoming journeymen or master technicians. Some technicians get certified by manufacturers of HVAC equipment. This certification can lead to better job opportunities and higher pay.

Many HVAC technicians take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills. For example, some technicians learn to repair and maintain refrigeration equipment. Others learn to install and service solar heating and cooling systems.

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