what is an HVAC technician?

An HVAC technician is an expert who specializes in the installation, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems. The word HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC technicians ensure these systems function properly and efficiently in residential and commercial premises.

As an HVAC tech, your work entails personally handling your customers’ HVAC systems to ensure they’re working well. A day in the life for you varies depending on a wide range of factors. These factors include where you work, if you are part of a company or self-employed, and what season it is.

HVAC technicians are essential service providers because of the nature of their work. With most Americans spending much of their lives indoors, an HVAC technician is an important professional. Without them, it can be tricky to ensure consistent heating and cooling, fresh air, efficiency, and low energy costs.

Last, but not least, it is worth noting that an HVAC technician is one of the professionals who work all year round. HVAC systems will always require installation, maintenance, and repair services.

Would working as an HVAC technician suit your knowledge of the installation, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an HVAC technician role.

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average HVAC technician salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salaries of HVAC technicians as $23.38 per hour or $48,630 per year. This was the median salary for 2021, according to the statistics. But then, like with any other technical job, it’s possible to earn more than the median salary as an HVAC technician.

One way to do this is by going back to school. A little more knowledge and skills could help you earn more than other HVAC technicians. Also, a higher level of experience will always attract better pay, like in other fields. Thus, putting in the hours could help you stay on top and earn more.

HVAC technicians handle electrical parts, which require little to no room for error. Thus, most homeowners would rather hire and pay more for an expert technician than take a chance with a beginner. This means you could leverage your job prospects and salary by constantly growing your skills.

Besides decent pay, there are other excellent benefits that HVAC technicians get. For instance, you could get health and auto insurance, although this depends on your employer and what’s in your contract. Some employers also organize competitive pension plans, which will give you a comfortable retirement.

Wondering what you can earn as an HVAC technician? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of an HVAC technician is.

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male looking at mobile device

types of HVAC technicians

You can choose from a wide range of HVAC technician roles when getting into this industry. Below are some of them:

  • air conditioning technician: This role entails ensuring that air conditioning equipment is well maintained and functioning properly. Although you’ll get trained to work on cooling systems, you also handle heating and ventilation systems.
  • hvac engineer: This involves the designing, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems. Your job is to solve customer problems and ensure these systems meet their unique needs.
  • hvac installer: Your work in this role is to install HVAC systems according to specifications. You also need to test and inspect the systems to identify malfunctions and find the best solutions.
  • refrigeration technician: This role entails installing, repairing, and maintaining refrigerators. It also involves working on climate-control systems in residential or industrial premises.
  • hvac mechanic: This technician scrutinizes HVAC systems and their components. In this role, you’ll need to test, examine, and improve these systems to avoid future HVAC problems.

working as an HVAC technician

Working as an HVAC technician requires a lot more than many people think. Investing time and effort into learning more about the HVAC technician career before starting is vital. It will help to know what to expect when working as an HVAC technician. You can do this by reading more about this career.


HVAC technician skills and education

You need some knowledge to become and succeed as an HVAC technician. There are two major paths that you can take to ensure you acquire the relevant knowledge and skills. They include:

  • college: Pursuing a college course is one way to become a technician. A level 2, level 3, or level T course in this field will be enough to make you a trainee technician. You need 2 GCSEs in grades 9 to 3 to get admission to a level 2 course and 4 or 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 3 for level 3 and T college courses.
  • apprenticeship: For this path, you have intermediate and advanced apprenticeships to choose from. You study by shadowing an expert HVAC technician. With time, you would learn the ropes and be able to do the work yourself. It would lay the foundation for you to start working on projects and building experience.

skills and competencies

Besides the knowledge you gain in college or as an apprentice, you also need certain soft skills to succeed. They include:

  • customer service skills: You are likely to come across frustrated customers every day in this job. Having great communication and customer service skills is vital. How you speak to or handle customer complaints determines how easy building trust with them will be.
  • creative thinking: You must be a creative thinker to stay at the top as an HVAC technician. Customers look to you for solutions, so you have to find them even in tough situations. The more complex problems you resolve, the more you grow your skills and build a good reputation.
  • time management: Being a good time manager is vital when looking to work as an HVAC technician. You can easily lose customer trust if you don’t respond to calls in good time. HVAC system breakdowns could cause damage to perishable items or make premises inhabitable, so keeping on time is crucial.
male looking at mobile device
male looking at mobile device

FAQs about working as an HVAC technician

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about HVAC technicians.

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