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What does an HVAC Technicians do? 12 Skills of an HVAC Technicians

HVAC Technicians. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is referred to as HVAC. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems that regulate a building’s temperature and air quality are installed, maintained, and repaired by qualified HVAC technicians.

HVAC technicians may opt to focus solely on one of the heating, air conditioning, or refrigeration systems even though they are trained in all three areas. They may have a particular interest in installation, upkeep, or repair in specific circumstances. Additionally, they could be experts in a certain category of machinery, such water-based heating systems, solar technology systems, or industrial refrigeration.

What does an HVAC Technician do?

In residences, office buildings, schools, hospitals, industries, retail establishments, and other institutions, heating and air conditioning systems regulate the temperature, humidity, and general air quality. They support our comfort and wellbeing. Refrigeration systems enable the transportation and storage of perishable goods by creating a climate-controlled environment.

An HVAC technician’s normal workday begins with education regarding the particular task that needs to be performed. Employers send technicians to customers’ locations to address any HVAC-related problems they may be experiencing. Customers may get in touch with independent technicians directly. It can be necessary to replace a mechanical component that is broken or malfunctioning, fix a leaky pipe, or alter the settings on some equipment to improve performance.

Generally, HVAC techs will find themselves doing one or more of the following:

  • Studying blueprints and other specifications
  • Testing pipe or tubing joints or connections for leaks
  • Testing electrical circuits or components for continuity
  • Repairing or replacing defective equipment
  • Improving HVAC system performance by changing filters, cleaning ducts, or refilling refrigerants
  • Installing, connecting, or adjusting thermostats, humidistats, or timers
  • Connecting HVAC equipment to fuel, water, or refrigerant sources
  • Adjusting system controls to balance system
  • Assembling, positioning, and mounting HVAC equipment
  • Cutting or drilling holes in buildings structure
  • Lay out, design, and install low voltage electrical wiring
  • Run after-hours calls as required
  • Record and report time, materials, faults, deficiencies, and other occurrences on work orders

Also Read: How To Become a Paramedic in 2023

What skills help HVAC Technicians find jobs?

  • Air conditioning
  • Analysis skills
  • Automotive diagnostics
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Construction
  • Customer service
  • Ductwork
  • English
  • Equipment repair
  • HVAC

Are HVAC technicians in demand?

The demand for and employment outlook for HVAC technicians are expected to be relatively positive in the near future. Three factors—increased building, environmental concerns, and HVAC equipment’ lifespans—will contribute significantly to the field’s predicted expansion. More skilled specialists will be required to install more complex climate-control systems as more residences and commercial buildings are constructed. Consumers, both residential and commercial, are expected to update, replace, or retrofit older, less energy-efficient systems with newer, “greener” models that are in the long run less expensive to operate due to growing environmental concerns.

Regulations that forbid the production and release of older forms of refrigerant contaminants will further help this environmental need. There will be more ongoing possibilities for qualified technicians because the average HVAC unit has a lifespan of between ten and fifteen years. Applicants with experience in installation, maintenance, and repair work will have a higher chance of maintaining their employment, as new installations may be halted when the economy weakens and the volume of construction activity decreases. Employers will also look for candidates with experience with electronics, computer tablets, and troubleshooting abilities.

HVAC Technician job market by state

State Name Employed HVAC Technicians
Florida 29,450
California 25,010
Texas 23,520
New York 18,500
Pennsylvania 14,120
North Carolina 13,890
Virginia 11,690
Ohio 11,480
New Jersey 9,680
Michigan 8,970
Georgia 8,350
Arizona 8,020
Tennessee 7,760
Illinois 7,680
Massachusetts 7,230
Maryland 6,510
Indiana 6,430
South Carolina 5,740
Missouri 5,720
Colorado 5,430
Alabama 5,040
Wisconsin 4,830
Washington 4,810
Louisiana 4,130
Connecticut 3,870
Kentucky 3,780
Iowa 3,770
Utah 3,590
Oklahoma 3,580
Minnesota 3,440
Arkansas 2,680
Oregon 2,640
Nebraska 2,420
Kansas 2,290
Idaho 2,010
Mississippi 1,980
New Hampshire 1,970
Nevada 1,860
Maine 1,800
Puerto Rico 1,630
Delaware 1,530
West Virginia 1,520
Hawaii 1,140
New Mexico 1,110
Montana 950
Vermont 930
South Dakota 930
North Dakota 830
Wyoming 610
District of Columbia 350
Alaska 310
Guam 190
Virgin Islands, U.S. 100

Major components of an HVAC Technician job

  1. Installation

An HVAC specialist will often install a unit in accordance with the guidelines given by an architect or architectural engineer. A professional will finish the calculations needed to decide which HVAC system is suitable before beginning the installation. The HVAC unit will be connected to the ductwork or distribution system when the HVAC unit has been installed, tested, and connected. The system will also be charged with refrigerant by technicians, who are required to hold an EPA certification.

2. Maintenance

Heating, ventilation, and cooling systems require routine maintenance inspections to ensure efficiency; these inspections typically take place twice a year, at the start of spring and autumn. The blower fan is typically tested and cleaned, the coolant level in the cooling system is checked, and the thermostat and functionality of the system are all tested as part of these inspections by an HVAC technician.

Thermostats and other controls, the air handling system, compressors, and refrigerant levels are just a few of the difficulties or concerns that repair HVAC experts deal with.

3. Ductwork

An HVAC technician may finish the assembly and installation of the ductwork that distributes the heated or cooled air from the HVAC system in projects where union membership is not a factor. It also entails placing the ductwork in the building and cutting the sheet metal into the ducts and connecting them to the HVAC system. At the points where the ductwork enters specific rooms, registers might also be installed.

Some HVAC professionals offer their clients service contracts that include recurring maintenance of heating and cooling systems. Other tradespeople may occasionally collaborate with HVAC technicians to install or repair cooling and heating systems.

For instance, sheet metal workers and duct installers may complete the ductwork on a sizable air conditioning installation project, especially if the workers are covered by union contracts, while electricians may complete the electrical work. Home appliance repair services rather than HVAC specialists are frequently called upon to fix domestic refrigerators or window air conditioners.

Building owners are becoming more concerned about energy conservation due to the rising cost of electricity. As a result, efficient energy use has become crucial to HVAC/R work.

As a result, specialists may be needed to assess the energy consumption of HVAC/R systems, improve existing ones, install smart thermometers or environmentally friendly heat pumps, or just to routinely check on energy usage.

Regarding the handling, conservation, recovery, recycling, and disposal of refrigerants and other fluids, HVAC personnel are required to adhere to national and local laws and HVAC codes, regardless of the task at hand.

Giving consumers advice on how to properly maintain equipment and prevent future issues, such as by routinely lubricating components or replacing filters, is another aspect of the work.

The three main goals of the HVAC technician are to: Prevent issues. Spend less. Maintain your comfort. These experts could also work with the engineering and sales teams to create solutions that address consumer demands and market prospects.

HVAC workers employ a variety of instruments, depending on the task at hand. They employ pipe cutters, wrenches, screwdrivers, and other common hand tools when installing systems. Technicians may employ more advanced tools, such as acetylene torches, voltmeters, combustion analyzers, and carbon monoxide detectors, to test or install complex system components.

How to become an Hvac Technician

Students in high school who want to work as HVAC technicians should study physics, math, and shop classes. It can be useful to have a rudimentary understanding of electronics and some plumbing or electrical skills.

Employers typically favor candidates with technical expertise or those who have finished a formal apprenticeship because HVAC systems are becoming more sophisticated.

The minimum educational requirement for apprenticeships is a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED). Reading and math abilities are necessary. Apprenticeship programs typically run three to five years and include both technical training and paid on-the-job training. Throughout their apprenticeship, technicians learn skills including reading blueprints, using tools, and following safety procedures.

More and more technical and trade institutions as well as community colleges are providing HVAC technicians with certificate or associate programs in refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, and gas technology. Typically, these courses last between six months and two years.

What is the workplace of an HVAC Technician like?

Although HVAC technicians normally work a full-time schedule, due to the nature of their work, they frequently work evening, weekend, overtime, and erratic on-call hours. Several people might put in extra hours during the peak of the heating and cooling seasons.

These experts must get rid of dangerous refrigerants used in air conditioning and refrigeration when maintaining equipment. Using specialized recycling machinery is required. Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) are two common refrigerants that are thought to completely deplete the ozone layer. They can only be bought, set up, and removed by a licensed HVAC expert.

Many HVAC professionals frequently operate in small, uncomfortable areas, at great heights, and occasionally in hazardous situations like severe weather (to service outdoor heat pumps and heat exchangers). Workers could suffer from electrical shocks, burns, muscle strains from carrying large objects, respiratory issues brought on by the toxic chemicals and refrigerants they handle, and many other possible risks.

Plumbing, heating, and air conditioning companies frequently employ the great majority of HVAC technicians, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. A tiny percentage work as independent contractors, as trade school instructors, or in the retail or wholesale industries. HVAC specialists specifically work in the following sectors:

  • Building Equipment Contractors
  • Direct Selling Establishments
  • Hardware Merchant Wholesalers
  • Plumping & Heating Equipment/Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
  • Commercial & Industrial Machinery & Equipment Repair/Maintenance
  • Colleges, Universities, & Professional Schools
  • Personal & Household Goods Repair/Maintenance
  • Aerospace Product & Parts Manufacturing
  • Natural Gas Distribution
  • Wired Telecommunications Carriers

HVAC technician salary by state

State Name Average Salary
District of Columbia $75,050
New Jersey $62,390
Hawaii $62,150
Alaska $61,400
Massachusetts $61,390
Minnesota $61,380
Connecticut $61,250
New York $60,970
Maryland $60,740
Rhode Island $60,600
North Dakota $60,400
Washington $60,010
New Hampshire $59,860
California $59,750
Nevada $59,430
Vermont $59,380
Wisconsin $58,680
Colorado $57,230
Oregon $57,180
Delaware $54,010
Illinois $53,500
Michigan $49,410
Iowa $49,100
Virginia $49,050
Ohio $48,810
Wyoming $48,750
Pennsylvania $48,700
Indiana $48,560
Maine $48,560
Nebraska $48,060
Missouri $48,040
Texas $47,980
Kansas $47,860
Montana $47,850
Utah $47,640
Louisiana $47,630
Kentucky $47,620
Arizona $47,590
North Carolina $47,330
Georgia $47,270
Oklahoma $47,200
South Dakota $47,170
Idaho $46,960
Alabama $46,940
Florida $46,940
New Mexico $46,640
Tennessee $46,640
West Virginia $46,150
South Carolina $43,090
Mississippi $39,460
Arkansas $38,440
Guam $37,190
Virgin Islands, U.S. $35,990
Puerto Rico $23,400

FAQS on What does an HVAC Technicians do

What non-technical skills are required for an HVAC technician?

Some non-technical skills that HVAC technicians should have include:

Good communication
Customer service
Willingness to learn
Problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
Time management

What is the job outlook for HVAC technicians?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for HVAC technicians is expected to grow by 15% through 2026

Are there online classes for HVAC certification?

There are a number of colleges that offer online classes for HVAC certification.

Can an HVAC technician work without a license?

Yes, HVAC technicians can work without a license as long as they do not have a plan to hire employees. However, they should be registered with the Department of Labor & Industry.

Conclusion

Candidates must receive the appropriate certification from an accredited college or trade school in order to work as an HVAC technician. With the possibility to continue with an apprenticeship program for about three to five years, postsecondary education typically lasts between six months and two years. If one wants to work independently, it is extremely vital to practice the craft and accumulate as much expertise as possible. Eventually, some HVAC specialists decide to focus on particular aspects of the industry, such new construction installation.

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