Without heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and the professionals who install, inspect, and maintain them, people wouldn’t have the comforts of heat and air conditioning in their homes and businesses. And as long as we rely on heating and cooling systems to stay comfortable, there's always going to be a need for people in this field.
The job of an HVAC tech is physical, and the conditions you’re working in can be tough some days. But if you want a career that lets you use your mind, can be trained for in as few as six months, and pays well—an average annual wage of $54,690 in 2021 (bls.gov)—training to become an HVAC technician might be a great option.
So, what's the typical day of an HVAC technician like?
A Different Experience Every Day
There's really no 'same old' when you work as an HVAC technician. Most HVAC workers will tell you that no two days are alike—and that is what they like so much about the industry. Your work won't be boring, and your schedule will always look different.
For instance, one day might consist of an all-day air conditioning installation job in a major commercial building. Your next day might be making various house calls for repairs, inspections, and estimates. Some projects may be so extensive that they take several days or weeks to complete.
So, if you like a little variety in your workweek, you'll definitely find it when you work in the HVAC industry.
HVAC technicians are either self-employed or hired by mechanical, heating, and cooling companies, large corporations, or other organizations. Places like apartment complexes or condo associations have their own HVAC technicians too, though you’ll probably be doing other types of duties in addition to HVAC.
But no matter where you work, you can expect some days to include uncomfortable working conditions: HVAC technicians experience exposure to temperature changes on a regular basis.
If you show up to fix a furnace that's been out for a couple of days in the dead of winter, you're going to be working in the cold. The same goes for installing AC in a building that doesn't have it yet.
A Constant Focus On Safety
When you work as an HVAC technician, safety is something that will always be in the front of your mind, every day. No matter how fast or small the job is, your training will have taught you to take the necessary safety precautions as you work, such as locking out a device or shutting off a breaker.
You'll always keep safety equipment like gloves, eye protection, and respirators on hand. Mind your body: It’s your most important tool in this kind of work. Shortcuts or careless attitude could cause you a problem, or worse. Following all your safety protocols every day will help keep you, your fellow technicians, and others safe.
So, Is An HVAC Career Right For You?
HVAC technicians have an interesting career and play a vital role in the lives of many people. Now that you have a better idea of the workday, does this sound like the career for you? Find an HVAC program local to you.