HVAC technicians are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. If you’re considering a career as an HVAC technician, it’s essential to understand what the job entails. In this article, we’ll explore the job description of an HVAC technician, including the necessary skills and qualifications, job outlook, and salary expectations.
Job Duties of an HVAC Technician
The primary responsibilities of an HVAC technician can vary depending on their employer and the specific systems they work on. However, some of the most common tasks include:
- Installing HVAC systems – HVAC technicians install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in residential and commercial buildings. This involves determining the appropriate system size, selecting equipment and materials, and installing ductwork, wiring, and other components.
- Repairing HVAC systems – When an HVAC system breaks down, it’s up to the technician to diagnose the problem and make necessary repairs. This may involve replacing parts, cleaning or replacing filters, or repairing electrical or mechanical components.
- Maintaining HVAC systems – To keep HVAC systems running efficiently, technicians perform routine maintenance such as cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, and lubricating moving parts.
- Providing customer service – HVAC technicians work directly with customers, answering questions and explaining how their systems work. They may also recommend energy-saving measures or upgrades to improve system performance.
Skills and Qualifications for HVAC Technicians
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need technical and soft skills. Some of the necessary qualifications include the following:
- Technical knowledge – HVAC technicians must have a strong understanding of heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, and electrical and mechanical principles. This knowledge is typically gained through technical training programs or apprenticeships.
- Physical ability – HVAC technicians may need to lift heavy equipment and work in tight spaces, so physical strength and agility are essential.
- Attention to detail – HVAC systems are complex, so technicians must be able to pay close attention to detail when diagnosing problems or installing new systems.
- Customer service skills – HVAC technicians work with customers daily, so strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of HVAC technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The demand for HVAC technicians is expected to increase as the construction of new homes and buildings continues and as existing systems require repair and replacement.
The median annual wage for HVAC technicians was $50,590 in May 2020, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $77,920. The highest-paying industries for HVAC technicians include natural gas distribution, aerospace product and parts manufacturing, couriers, and express delivery services.