Many people live and work in buildings, enjoying the comfortable atmosphere, without realizing the work that goes into keeping the air temperature and ventilation just right. Those who work in the heating, ventilating, air – conditioning, and cooling fields, or HVAC, are very familiar with the machines and labor that is required to make buildings physically pleasant.
What do HVAC professionals do?
HVAC professionals handle a variety responsibilities relating to building machinery. They need to be able to read the blueprints for the machines, follow them, and repair, install, and perform maintenance on heating, ventilating, air – conditioning, and cooling systems. They are also responsible for installing electrical wiring and testing it, connecting air ducts, connecting fuel or water supply lines, and inspecting all systems. They will also be familiar with government regulations regarding the different systems, and work to maintain an optimal environment for whatever building they are working in. Fairly regularly, HVAC professionals will choose to specialize in a particular system, such as cooling systems, although many others will work on all the types of machinery.
How do you become a HVAC professional?
The regulations for these professions vary somewhat between states, with some states requiring licenses before employment. Even in states where a license is not required, most employers prefer job candidates who have completed apprenticeship programs or other forms of industry training. These classes are often offered at trade or vocational schools, though many community colleges offer options as well. An understanding in math, science, and electronics is extremely helpful for those looking to enter the field.
There is also some training done on the job, and a few places may even offer extensive on the job training to those without formal training, but this is becoming rare. Many candidates looking to become HVAC professionals will end up entering an apprenticeship program, which can last several years and provides practical experience.
How much do HVAC professionals make?
Pay for HVAC professionals is influenced by many factors, such as region, union membership, experience, and education. Overall, the median wage for those in this industry is $42,530 per year, though pay can exceed $66,000 in the proper circumstances.
What are some similar jobs?
For those interested in jobs that involve hands – on work with machines, there are other career paths that should also be considered. For example, boilermakers are responsible for boilers and all similar machines that contain liquids and gases. They also are commonly trained through apprenticeship programs, and earn an average of $54,640 per year.
Another option would be electricians. They usually go through a similar education system as boilermakers and HVAC professionals, with apprenticeship programs and typically earn around $48,250 per year. Electricians are responsible for installing and taking care of the electrical systems in all types of buildings.
Other individuals might be interested in a career in plumbing, pipefitters, or steamfitters. Each of these careers involve piping systems, and repairing and maintaining lines for water, steam, air, and other liquids and gases in and out of buildings. In this industry, new workers are also trained as apprentices and typically earn around $46,660 per year.
Finally, another similar industry might be someone who repairs home appliances. These workers are responsible for know how to repair a variety of common household items such as stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, and more. Employees often receive on the job training and may specialize in a particular brand or appliance. Some employers do prefer candidates with experience of training. Home appliance repairers typically earn about $34,730 per year.
Those who enjoy working with their hands, have an interest in machinery, and would like to work ‘behind the scenes’ in buildings might find a satisfying career in heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and cooling systems. Individuals who would like to get started along this career should speak with the local trade schools and those already in the profession to learn how to get started on the right foot.