It's summer and the temperature is climbing, but your air conditioner isn’t keeping up. This is not the time for it to malfunction and you need help right away!
You need to get in touch with an HVAC-R technician right now!
If the idea of being able to repair this problem yourself appeals to you, then you might consider pursuing a career as an HVAC-R technician.
How HVAC-R Techs Impact Society
HVAC-R technicians are a valuable part of society, especially when you consider the uncomfortable heat of summer and the extreme cold winter can bring.
Their role is to make sure that heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that are responsible for controlling temperature and air quality in buildings are in proper working order.
This is an important service for making temperatures safe and optimal for people to live and work when the seasons bring harsh weather.
A Day in the Life of an HVAC-R Technician
As an HVAC-R technician, your schedule will be determined by your place of employment.
If you primarily work with construction companies installing air conditioning units, you'll have a more consistent schedule. If you specialize in repair, your hours will most likely vary, as air conditioners can break at any time!
No matter your schedule, you'll first learn about the tasks that you need to perform.
Appointments will vary, as some may be quick fixes and others more involved. After you determine what you'll need to do, you'll gather your needed HVAC-R tools and safety gear and head to the job site.
Working inside is common, but at other times you may be expected to work outside in extreme weather conditions. It's normal to work in uncomfortable small spaces.
Where HVAC-R Technicians Work
If you pursue a career as an HVAC-R technician, you might find yourself working in residential homes, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, or construction sites.
You might work for an HVAC contracting company or start your own business and be your own boss.
Pay and Education
If you want to pursue a career as an HVAC-R technician, you'll need to enroll in a trade school or community college. Programs typically last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
Coursework to take to prepare for this career path includes math and physics.
New technicians typically work alongside more experienced HVAC techs. Apprenticeships normally last 3-5 years.
Licensing Requirements and Certifications
Licensing requirements vary state by state in the U.S., but all are required by the EPA to be certified in handling refrigerant properly.
Average USA Pay: 56,541
Average Canadian Pay: 68,250
“HVAC is a well-paying career field. People can make a lot of money doing this job.”
— John Reid, Retired HVAC technician and Academic Director of Skilled Trades Programs at Penn Foster
Love It or Hate It?
You'll LOVE being an HVAC-R technician if you:
Don't mind heights or small spaces
Like being outside
Are good at math and problem-solving
Have decent physical stamina
Have excellent customer service skills
Have excellent time management skills
Being an HVAC-R technician is NOT for you if:
Want a regular schedule
Prefer working indoors
Don't do well in extreme weather
Don't have good interpersonal skills
Want a desk job
Asher is interested in pursuing a career as an HVAC-R technician once he graduates high school. Which extra curricular activity would be the best choice to prepare for a career as an HVAC-R tech?
Congratulations! You've weighed the benefits and downsides of being an HVAC-R technician and have made your decision.
If you still want to move forward with this career path, check out the next steps to reaching your goal!