One of the best reasons to become an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning repair) technician is that it offers good pay even for those who are just starting a career as a technician. Based on reports coming from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for HVAC technicians is bright. Right now, there are about 268,000 active practitioners in the US alone, and come 2020, the projection is that the number will increase to more than 358,000 – about 34% more than the actual numbers today.
HVAC technicians typically train with accredited technical schools that offer certificate courses or associate’s degree courses in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning repair. Math, physics, shop, and electronics are some of the subjects that teach students how each component works with another. Apart from these, students are also trained on basic safety procedures and how to read blueprints.
However, there are also those who did not receive any formal education as HVAC technician, but learned the responsibilities and tasks on the job. These technicians worked as apprentice of experienced technicians, learning various tasks such as refrigerant lines insulation, soldering pipes, and working with electrical circuits.
Completing the course or the apprenticeship program qualifies one to become a “skilled worker”, thus, the more it would be easier to find jobs here or abroad.
Licenses and Certifications
After finishing the course, graduates must ensure to take licensure exams and certifications in order to practice their profession.
A standard exam that all must take comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is geared for refrigerant technicians. Specifically, the exam aims to gauge a technician’s knowledge in correct refrigerant handling. The exam largely depends on what specialization the student has chosen – high-pressure refrigerants, low-pressure refrigerants, or working on small appliances.
During the duration of the training, technicians undertake exams that test their knowledge and skills with regard to heating and cooling systems in residential and commercial setting. The benefits of completing various certifications are that it further strengthens an HVAC technicians credentials and proves a technician’s competency when it comes to handling specific tasks and equipment.
Becoming an HVAC technician is one of the most lucrative jobs these days with entry-level technicians receiving between $21,000 and $25,000 per year. Though much of this depends on experience and expertise, being certified on different specializations can help increase the salary even further from $30,000 to $50,000 per year. More experienced technicians can command as much as $75,000 per annum.
Based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future of HVAC technicians is very bright. According to statistics, projection is that from now until the year 2020, a percentage increase of 34% (of the more than 320,000 technicians across the country) is expected for HVAC technician job openings. This is primarily due to the government’s thrust on improving energy efficiency methods and efforts to reduce pollution everywhere. With this clamour also comes the need to replace or upgrade old air conditioning units.