Whether at work or at home, we depend on heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers, called HVACR technicians, to keep indoor air clean and comfortable in all seasons. HVACR technicians install electrical wiring and connect fuel and water supply lines to create climate control systems. They also connect systems to air ducts, and install controls for customers to set temperature and humidity levels. Some HVACR technicians specialize in areas such as commercial refrigeration or solar panels. Following government regulations is critical for installation and repairs, including proper handling and disposal of fluids and pressurized gases, and recycling or conservation of refrigerants. HVACR technicians work, at times, in thorny conditions: they have one of the highest rates of injuries due to electrical shock, burns, muscle strains, and injuries from heavy equipment. They often work in cramped spaces, sometimes in high heat or deep cold. Most technicians work for construction contractors on systems in homes, schools, hospitals, stores, or office buildings. Working full time is typical, with occasional evening or weekend shifts. During peak seasons, they often work overtime or irregular hours. As systems become increasingly complex, employers generally prefer applicants with a certificate or related associate’s degree, or those who have completed an apprenticeship. Workers may need to pass a background check. Some locations require HVACR technicians to be licensed.
What they do:
Install or repair heating, central air conditioning, HVAC, or refrigeration systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.
On the job, you would:
Test electrical circuits or components for continuity, using electrical test equipment.
Repair or replace defective equipment, components, or wiring.
Discuss heating or cooling system malfunctions with users to isolate problems or to verify that repairs corrected malfunctions.
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work
planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.