Air conditioning, heating and refrigeration are among the modern conventions that many of us might take for granted. Though we may use these systems on a daily basis without giving it much thought, there are people who make a living installing the necessary equipment and resolving issues whenever they may arise.
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (otherwise known as HVAC-R) technicians are skilled trade professionals who are tasked with installing, maintaining and repairing systems that control the temperature and air quality in buildings. These systems and their functioning are important because they can greatly affect the feasibility of a building’s use for any given purpose.
HVAC-R technicians are integral to the construction of commercial and residential buildings. Within these two categories, they can also work in a wide variety of settings, such as the following:
- Office Buildings
There are many different specializations that one can work in under the umbrella of the HVAC-R technician profession.
To become an HVAC-R technician, many people enroll in technical and trade school or community college programs that offer training in the field. HVAC-R training programs are becoming increasingly prevalent to meet the demand for professionals in the field. Most programs can be completed anywhere between six and 24 months, depending on the program.
Technical and trade school education programs provide students with a solid foundation for their on-the-job training. Following the completion of a training program, students receive further training as entry-level HVAC-R workers.
HVAC-R technicians can acquire any number of certifications, such as those signifying competence in specific kinds of equipment. HVAC-R technicians who work with refrigerants are required to pass an exam administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Certifications help make technicians more marketable to contractors and other potential employers.
Though many aspiring HVAC-R professionals enroll in trade school or community college programs, there are a few who seek entrance into the HVAC-R field by completing apprenticeships that last between two and five years. Apprentices receive training in the essential skills of the HVAC-R trade from the professionals under whom they work.
With some general information about HVAC-R technicians and the industry in tow, we will now focus on five highlights of choosing to work in the industry.
Plentiful job opportunities
As more and more people continue to need refrigerators, heating systems and air conditioners, the employment outlook of HVAC-R technicians will remain healthy. In fact, employment of HVAC-R technicians is projected to increase by 14 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS attributes this increase in demand to the continuing growth of commercial and residential construction. It estimates that close to 40,000 jobs will have been created since 2014.
HVAC-R technicians who complete accredited trade school programs or apprenticeships are expected to have a brighter employment outlook than those who do not. The BLS suggests that while the workload for technicians who specialize in installation may decline once the demand decreases, those who specialize in repair and maintenance can expect things to be steady for quite some time.
On top of the great job outlook for HVAC-R technicians, they also receive better pay than many other occupations in America. The median salary for HVAC-R technicians was $45,910 in May 2016, according to data from the BLS.
The highest 10 percent of earners in the HVAC-R technician profession made upward of $73,000 annually. The increased implementation of service contracts stabilizes business and their incomes throughout the year. It is not unusual for HVAC-R technicians to work overtime during peak heating and cooling seasons, and they are compensated accordingly.
HVAC-R apprentices typically earn around half of what their professional counterparts make to start. However, they often receive pay raises as they hone their skills and master more and more tasks relevant to the profession through work experience.
Ability to work almost anywhere
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration can be found in buildings, both residential and commercial, all across the country. The technology has become commonplace in today’s world.
Taking into account the rising demand we mentioned earlier, HVAC-R technicians and the services they provide are needed all across the United States. This presents them with tremendous flexibility with regard to where they work, which can essentially be anywhere they want it to be.
While they have the choice of working in a vast expanse of different states and cities, it is worth noting that the demand for HVAC-R technicians is greater in some places than in others. Emerson Climate Technologies conducted a study in which it concluded that the best states for HVAC-R technicians to work in are California, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Illinois.
Make a positive impact on the environment
Many of the jobs that HVAC-R technicians perform improve the efficiency of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, which helps reduce the amount of energy needed for the systems to function. This, in turn, decreases the carbon footprint of these systems.
Some of the tasks that HVAC-R technicians perform to achieve these ends include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Changing filters in HVAC systems
- Installing dehumidifiers in rooms that require them
- Installing thermostats that are designed to minimize energy usage
- Installing specialized heat pumps that reduce carbon emissions
The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) labels HVAC-R technician as a “Green Enhanced Skills” occupation, which suggests that further training may be needed as technology changes and improves. It also signifies that environmentally friendly innovations may result in even more jobs.
HVAC-R technicians can play a big role in increasing the energy efficiency of HVAC systems and reducing their effects on the environment.
Improve the quality of life for customers
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems provide a level of comfort and improve the quality of life for people all across the United States. The job of HVAC-R technicians is important because they are not only the ones who install the systems but also the ones who maintain them and repair them when something goes wrong.
Customer service is a crucial part of the HVAC-R technician profession because they have to be able to listen to customer concerns and explain what they are doing to fix the problem, among other things. Successful HVAC-R technicians can go home at the end of the day knowing that they helped enhance the lives of their customers.
HVAC-R technicians not only improve the living conditions for the customers they serve; in many cases, they save customers money by helping their HVAC systems operate at peak efficiency.
Having established these benefits of working as an HVAC-R technician, the next thing for those interested in an HVAC-R career to do is to find a program that meets their needs.
Secure a stellar HVAC-R education at Coyne
Coyne College is one of the best skilled trade schools in the Chicagoland area. Coyne is proud to maintain this status by thoroughly training aspiring HVAC-R technicians in its diploma program in the skilled trade.
Coyne College offers its HVAC-R program both during the day and at night to accommodate your busy schedule. The program can be completed in as few as 42 weeks and is offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison.
Coyne College’s HVAC-R program will prepare you to perform the essential functions of an HVAC-R technician, such as installing, maintaining and repairing HVAC-R systems in a multitude of settings.
In Coyne College’s HVAC-R program, you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the HVAC-R profession. Some of the required courses in the program’s curriculum include:
- Gas Heating
- Commercial Controls and Applications
- Troubleshooting Systems and Installation
- Air Conditioning, Electric Heat and Heat Pumps
- And more!
In the program, you will become well-versed in the intricacies of HVAC-R by learning from experienced instructors who also have significant experience in the field.
At the end of the HVAC-R program and with your diploma in hand, you will be ready to enter the workforce as an HVAC-R technician.
Coyne College is dedicated to helping its students find gainful employment following the completion of their respective programs. To that end, Coyne offers a wealth of career services and job placement help for its students, including networking and resume advice.
With more than 110 years of experience in helping aspiring skilled trade professionals become competent members of the labor force, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students gain apprenticeships and employment at the conclusion of their training programs.
Coyne College also offers its students career assistance, including mock interviews, externships and resume help. These resources can help students secure apprenticeships after completing the program.
At Coyne College, HVAC-R students receive a well-rounded education that provides them with the tools to succeed as a technician in the ever-growing workforce.
Schedule a tour or get started in the exciting skilled trade of HVAC-R today by visiting http://www.coynecollege.edu/.