HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is an integral part of the construction process and requires workers with highly specialized skills. Since most buildings have a heating and air conditioning system, HVAC technicians are in high demand. HVAC job opportunities abound; workers can be employed by a general contractor or an HVAC company or can work as independent contractors. If you’re thinking about a career as an HVAC technician, here are five things to know.
Business Is Booming
Currently, the HVAC industry employs more than 400,000 people in the US, and the demand for technicians is growing. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC jobs are expected to grow 13 percent by 2028. In New York City, there is also a geographical advantage to becoming an HVAC technician. The New York City area employs more HVAC technicians than any other metropolitan region in the country and has a uniquely promising career outlook.
It’s All in the Details
Heating and air conditioning systems are highly complicated and require strong attention to detail. Even the smallest problem can cause an entire system to malfunction, and it’s up to the technician to recognize the issue and know how to fix it. Successful HVAC technicians are observant, detail-oriented, and have keen problem-solving and decision-making skills. As an HVAC technician, you need to be able to look at a system and quickly identify how to install, repair, or replace it.
Choose a Training Path
Generally, aspiring HVAC technicians take accredited courses at a technical school or local community college. The main difference between the two is the time commitment. Certificate programs usually last somewhere between six months and a year, whereas an associate’s degree takes a full two years to complete. Coursework to become an HVAC technician generally includes studies in HVAC controls, such as voltage or air quality, as well as tools, such as calibration instruments.
Complete an Apprenticeship
As with most construction trades, becoming an HVAC technician requires completing an apprenticeship. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that HVAC apprenticeship programs generally last from three to five years, during which technicians learn HVAC safety practices, blueprint reading, and how to use necessary tools. Working closely with an experienced technician is a great way for new technicians to get introduced to a wide variety of heating and cooling systems.
Obtain Additional Certifications
HVAC technicians can improve their employability by working toward additional certifications and training programs. Certifications in commercial furnaces, unit ventilators, and residential boilers are just a few examples of additional HVAC-related training options. By enhancing credentials, technicians can have a better chance of being noticed by prospective employers and obtaining a job.
Ready to find your next construction job? You can get access to Building Skills NY construction job and training opportunities by checking out our Job Seekers page.