Related job titles are: HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Technician, HVAC Specialist, AC Tech, HVAC Mechanic, or HVAC Installer.
How Much Does an HVAC Technician Make? | HVAC Technician Salary
The median yearly salary for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $42,530 in May 2010 (the most recent data available). This median salary is simply the salary where half the employees earned more and half earned a lesser amount. Employees in the lower 10 percent had an annual salary less than $26,490, and those employees in the top 10 percent earned greater then $66,930.
What Does an HVAC Technician Do? | Job Description
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers—often referred to as HVACR technicians—work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the air quality in many types of buildings.
Heating and air conditioning systems control the temperature, humidity, and overall air quality in homes, businesses, and other buildings. By providing a climate controlled environment, refrigeration systems make it possible to store and transport food, medicine, and other perishable items. Although trained to do all three, HVACR technicians sometimes work strictly with heating, air conditioning, or refrigeration systems. They also may specialize in certain types of HVACR equipment, such as water-based heating systems, solar panels, or commercial refrigeration.
How to Become an HVAC Technician?
Because HVACR systems are increasingly complex, employers generally prefer applicants with career college education or those who have completed a formal apprenticeship. Some states and localities require technicians to be licensed.
HVAC Technician Classes and Courses | Degree Programs
A growing number of HVACR technicians receive career college instruction from technical and trade schools or community colleges that offer programs in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. These programs generally last 6 months to 2 years and lead to a certificate; or in some cases, an associate's degree. High school students interested in becoming HVACR technicians should take courses in shop, math, and physics. Some knowledge of plumbing or electrical work and a basic understanding of electronics can be helpful.
HVAC Technician Jobs | Who is Hiring?
Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is expected to grow 34 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Commercial and residential building construction will drive employment growth as the construction industry continues to recover from the 2007-09 recession. The growing number of sophisticated climate-control systems is also expected to increase demand for qualified HVACR technicians.
Job opportunities for HVACR technicians are expected to be excellent, particularly for those who have completed training at an accredited technical school or through a formal apprenticeship. Candidates familiar with computers and electronics will have the best job opportunities as employers continue to have trouble finding qualified technicians to work on complex new systems.
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