Find out about the skills and knowledge you’ll apply every day in this technical field
If you pride yourself on practical skills and like working with your hands, training to be an HVAC/R technician may be an excellent career choice. If you choose this profession, you will learn to maintain and repair a wide range of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment. Your work may take place in commercial buildings, hospitals, government agencies, schools, private residences, or even places like airplanes, trucks, and ships.
Improving equipment in these facilities is a job that can showcase your mechanical skills as well as your people skills. Do you like gadgets and staying current on technology? You’ll probably be using high-tech tools to analyze and diagnose problems. These might include carbon monoxide testers, combustion analyzers, and acetylene torches. Is that enough to spark your interest?
Before choosing any career field, it’s a good idea to research the job outlook for the future. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” This positive projection is one reason why people are choosing this field.
So, what does a typical day look like for an HVAC/R technician? It depends on the type of company you work for and whether you choose to specialize. You could be your own boss and start a small business, or you could work as an HVAC/R technician, installer, or mechanic at a small “mom and pop” company or a large firm. You could specialize in commercial and industrial equipment. There are plenty of options for a varied career and professional growth.
Wherever you choose to work, it’s likely that no day will look the same, as you’ll be working with different clients and a variety of equipment. Here’s a sample of what a day in the life of an HVAC/R technician might look like:
- Check in with your office to find out what your daily appointment schedule looks like.
- Review the equipment you think you might need in order to attend to all the tasks on your daily list.
- Stock the van with everything you’ll need for the day.
- Drive to your first appointment.
- Provide excellent customer service, by greeting clients and communicating effectively in order to find out about the problem.
- Inspect or install systems, as needed.
- Analyze any mechanical and electrical problems.
- Troubleshoot individual components to determine repairs or any replacement parts needed.
- Connect HVAC/R systems to water, fuel lines, air ducts, or other relevant components.
- Close out the job with the customer, which might include taking photographs, adding notes to the paperwork, and collecting a signature from the client.
5. Go to the next appointment on your schedule.
6. After completing all of your work orders for the day, return to the office to submit any paperwork and sign out.
As an HVAC/R technician, you’ll be responsible for managing your time throughout your day or work shift. Once you’ve completed your assigned work orders and submitted information to the office, your day may be done. Depending on where you work, you may also need to be on call to work evenings or weekends.
If working in HVAC/R intrigues you, then we invite you to learn more about what an HVAC technician does. A good next step is to explore programs like the one at Branford Hall, where our range of courses can help prepare you for an exciting new career.
This article is part of a weekly blog by the Branford Hall Career Institute. We offer professional training programs at eleven campuses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Contact us today for more information about how to take steps toward a meaningful new career!