People like to be comfortable. That's why we have heating and cooling systems to keep our homes at the ideal temperature.
But machines can break down, so we need repairmen. As of 2016, there were over 300,000 jobs available in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC). The industry's growth rate is 15%, more than twice the average job growth rate.
Needless to say, if you're interested in an HVAC career, there will be a job for you. But would you enjoy it? Let's look at what this career looks like.
1. Duties to Expect
Working in HVAC involves several different aspects. You'll install new HVAC systems, perform routine maintenance and inspections, and troubleshoot systems that aren't working. You can view here common problems that you might encounter.
You'll work with your hands a lot and need to understand how electricity and electrical wiring works. You'll also need to have good customer service skills as you will interact with the customer in person. As with other repair-oriented jobs like plumbing you may need to perform after-hours or emergency work as needed.
2. Environmental Conditions
It seems to be a fact of life that things will go wrong at the most inopportune times. So, expect to be working on furnaces in the freezing cold and AC units in the blazing heat.
3. Necessary Training
You can gather the skills you need by taking completing courses at a trade or technical school. If you prefer hands-on learning, you can also work as an apprentice for 3-5 years to gain the necessary experience.
Depending on the state you work in, you may need a license. This usually entails passing a written exam.
4. Good Skills to Have
As an HVAC technician, you'll need to be able to work independently. You'll go out to make service calls. Thus, you'll interact with customers and will need to have good listening and speaking skills.
As an independent worker, you'll have to manage your own schedule. Time management skills are a plus.
Many HVAC problems you'll encounter are rather routine and it won't take much work to figure out the problem. But that's not always the case. Sometimes, you may have to get creative and apply some critical thinking skills to understand a problem.
5. Income Expectations
As with any field, the income range for HVAC workers is broad. However, the average salary is around $50,000 a year. Expect less than that starting out, but once you have a few years experience under your belt you'll see a nice increase.
If you get additional training and specialize you can earn more. You could even join the lucky, hardworking few, who make six figures from starting their own successful HVAC company.
Is an HVAC Career For You?
We hope that this quick overview of what an HVAC career is like has helped you to make your decision. If you like working with electricity and figuring out technical problems you'll do great in this field.
If you think you might be better suited for something else, feel free to check out our blog. We have lots of great information on a variety of careers to help you in your job search.