Are you interested in becoming an HVAC technician but wonder what the day-to-day job is really like? Do you enjoy working out of the office and solving problems each day? Ideally, you want to select a career that will fulfill you, utilize your strengths, and provide you with a rewarding job. If you enjoy working hands-on, in a variety of environments, and solving problems, you may consider becoming an HVAC technician.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, HVAC stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning,” and an HVAC technician is someone who works directly with the appliances and HVAC equipment that manages the climate within residences and commercial buildings. So, what does an HVAC technician do? What does the job entail? How can the day-to-day routine vary?
What Does an HVAC Technician Do?
An HVAC technician is a skilled professional that maintains, repairs, and installs heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. You will spend most of your time working with complex mechanical equipment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers typically do the following:
- Install, diagnose, and maintain HVACR systems
- Install electrical HVAC components and wiring
- Inspect and test HVAC systems and components
- Educate customers on proper HVAC maintenance
- Repair or replace parts as needed
- Recommend maintenance to improve system performance
- Keep records of work performed for future appointments
Home and business owners rely on their HVAC systems to keep their buildings comfortable and functional. They also depend on HVAC technicians to keep those systems operating properly.
What Does a Day Look Like for an HVAC Technician?
One of the most attractive things about becoming an HVAC technician is that the job can vary from one day to the next. However, the day-to-day routine of an HVAC technician depends on whether they are working for a franchise or as an independent contractor. If you’re working as a HVAC technician independently, you’ll have days and weeks that are much busier than others. One day, you might have a full schedule with several projects to complete. However, the next day, you might have one minor task to take care of before having the rest of the afternoon off.
If you’re working as an HVAC technician for a franchise or larger HVAC Company, there’s a good chance that your day-to-day schedule will be more consistent. In most cases, a larger entity will keep you busy with a steady schedule throughout the week.
Different Clients and Projects
The day-to-day life of an HVAC technician can also vary depending on the types of clients and projects they’re dealing with. For example, if you work with several large businesses, each project will take up most of your day. Entities like big warehouses and production facilities will have a regular need for HVAC technicians, and they may keep you busy for multiple days in a row. If you work with homeowners, on the other hand, you’ll move from one property to the next. Which type of client you’re typically servicing will depend on several factors, including the company you work for, your own personal specialties, and the area in which you operate.
The majority of HVAC technicians are trained to handle all types of jobs on many different HVAC systems, and unless you narrow your career down to one or two specialties, it will be rare for one day to be exactly the same as the next. On Monday, you might find yourself performing maintenance on an air conditioner and repairing a broken-down furnace. Then, on Tuesday, you might spend your day installing a furnace and inspecting a refrigeration system.
Overall, HVAC is an industry that’s broad and diverse. This is why many people love this career, as it provides a variety, so every day is new and exciting.
Different Tools and Equipment
Because there’s so much diversity in the HVAC field, technicians also get the opportunity to work with a variety of tools and equipment. As an example, installing a new commercial refrigeration system will likely require different tools than performing maintenance on a residential AC unit. As a result, HVAC technicians become proficient with many different implements and become experts at completing unique HVAC tasks.
How Do You Become an HVAC Technician?
Typically, the path to becoming an HVAC technician will involve completing a trade school program and earning your certifications. You may also decide to supplement your education with an apprenticeship for extra hands-on training and experience. During a trade school program, you’ll learn the ins and outs of being an HVAC technician. You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with a knowledgeable instructor and get hands-on experience working on actual HVAC equipment.
What Work Environment Will You Choose?
Once you’ve finished learning how to work in the HVAC field, you’ll need to decide which type of environment you want to work in.
Working as an Independent Contractor
If you value freedom in your day-to-day life and like the idea of building something on your own, the best choice may be to work as an independent contractor in the HVAC field. You’ll be responsible for promoting your services, managing your clients, and taking on every maintenance, repair, and installation job on your own. As an independent HVAC technician, you’ll decide if you want to focus your services on residential, commercial, or new construction clients.
Working for a larger HVAC company
Alternatively, if you’d rather leave the logistical aspects of the job to others, you may be better suited for a career working for an established HVAC company. That way, you won’t have to worry about creating a schedule, recruiting clients, or dealing with finances. The company you work for will take care of all of that, and all you’ll need to worry about is completing the projects you’re assigned. For those who value having a consistent structure, working for a larger HVAC company is often the preferred route.
Working in the HVAC field, will allow you to work with your hands, master a diverse set of skills, and make a direct positive impact on people’s lives. You’ll also get to diagnose and solve problems and have the opportunity for a diverse day-to-day work life. Granted, it takes time, hard work, and dedication to become an HVAC technician and succeed in the industry. However, if you have a passion for HVAC, it’ll be well worth the effort.
Want to Learn More?
The HVAC residential training program at our Pasadena, TX, Chamblee, GA, and Newport, KY campuses offer training in all phases of repair and maintenance of residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This program prepares you for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certification in the management of refrigerants and North American Technicians Excellence (NATE) Certification.
An externship is a part of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning residential training program and assigns you to a partnering company for 135 hours, giving you the opportunity to put your new skills to use and gain real-life career training experience. Plus, after you graduate, our Lifetime Career Placement Support program will be there to help you find work whenever you need it.
Let’s take the first step together! Contact us now to learn more.