HVAC Industry Climate

With the election of our latest President here in the states, a new vitality has been placed into the HVAC industry. It is perceived by many people at decision making levels that a new era has come to us that will usher in new legislation to control taxation and thereby boost manufacturing of various kinds of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technologies. Indeed, with the profound emphasis on sustainable practices and the introduction of “smart” technologies, the HVAC industry is expecting production, installation, and maintenance to increase over the next few years.

Employment Demand

The future of employment for HVAC technicians is great. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) the career field will grow 21% right through to 2022. There are approximately 292,000 HVAC technicians currently working and in the coming years, one technician must be added for every five already working in order to meet the demand.

What HVAC Technicians Do

That man or woman who has come to install or repair your system is responsible for a great number of tasks and duties while at your home or business. In addition to many different calculations of air pressure, air flow, tonnage measurements, and a host of other decisions they will have their hand in the following:

  • They will make connections that supply the system with fuel or water. They will connect air ducts and other individual components.

  • They install electrical wiring and controls. They test the wiring and control installation making sure they are in working order.

  • Overall, they are responsible for the inspection and maintenance of an HVAC system.

  • The technician will test individual components and determine if repairs are needed.

  • The technician will replace worn, out of warranty, and defective parts.

  • The technician will be able to suggest ways for you to save money with sustainable practices and procedures including other items your HVAC system may need to lower your energy bill.

HVAC technicians are trained to install, maintain, and repair heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. They may specialize in other areas such as radiant heating systems, solar panels, testing and balancing, or commercial applications. HVAC technicians are responsible for adherence to government legislation in regard to the use of refrigerants, disposal of fluids, and use of other pressurized gases.

Technicians in HVAC must also call into play communication skills to inform customers of repairs or changes that need to be made, new technologies that would decrease their energy expenditure, and impact them to consider a maintenance contract to keep their system performing well.

The Top Ten Skills Needed

  1. Technical Data and Charts: Technicians in this career field need to be able to read manufacturers specifications, schematics, and blueprints.
  2. Systems and Controls: The technician must be familiar with several kinds of systems and what their electrical controls are designed to do.
  3. Testing Equipment: Technicians must be skillful in using a airflow meters, humidity recorders, voltmeters, and ohmmeters. A good overall mechanical aptitude is needed.
  4. People/Customer Service Skills. The technician must have a good, strong set of communication skills to understand the problem from the customer’s point of view, be able to communicate what is actually wrong with the system and how it should be resolved, and communicate to managers, engineers, and possibly building contractor personnel to get the job done. They must also have good writing skills as they will complete reports, work orders, and instructions.
  5. Computer Skills: A good HVAC technician will be able to use a computer and any associated software needed for installation and maintenance of systems.
  6. Time Management Skills: A technicians day is usually very busy. It will be necessary to manage time well to both solve the immediate problem at hand and move on to the next customer in a timely fashion.
  7. Education and Continuing Education: The career of HVAC requires the technician to have a formal educational credential from an HVAC related program. In addition, a good technician will recognize that the career field is constantly growing and creating new technologies. Because of this, new and constant trainings are needed to stay up to par on these new technologies. Along with this requirement for ongoing educational opportunities, the HVAC technician must maintain his/her certification with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) in regard to the safe handling of refrigerants.
  8. Safety Standards: HVAC technicians must be aware of safety regulations and potential hazards of the job. They must understand ways to prevent accidents and employ procedures that do not endanger the home or business owners, fellow technicians, and themselves. They must also be aware of national, state, and local codes for the safe and efficient operation of an HVAC system.
  9. Troubleshooting: Sometimes it is not known what is causing the issue at a job location. The technician must be detail oriented and able to think through what may be causing the problem by the symptoms being given.
  10. Strength: HVAC work requires heavy lifting, turning, standing, bending, crawling and walking. In addition, many different kinds of mechanical, electrical, and construction tools are used which require physical strength to operate.

HVAC technicians are tasked with taking the thoughts, theories, and concepts from the world of science and make them real in the lives of customers. The concepts of physics, air flow, mechanical relationships, and electrical circuitry are sophisticated.  But, the technician must make these theorems real in the every day life of the homeowner or business owner. The technician is the one who brings it all together.