Without 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 is physical, and the conditions you’re working in can be rough, but if you're looking for a career opportunity that lets you use your mind, is in-demand, and pays well, working as an HVAC tech might be a great option for you. So, what's the typical day of an HVAC technician like?
A Different Experience Every Day
First of all, there's really no such thing as a "typical day" when you work as an HVAC technician. In fact, most HVAC workers will tell you that no two days are alike—and that is what they like so much about the industry. You never have to worry about your work becoming monotonous or your schedule becoming too predictable.
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 want a predictable, 9-5 desk job, a career as an HVAC technician might not be for you. However, if you like a little variety, you'll definitely find it when you work in the HVAC industry.
Exposure To Temperature Extremes
HVAC technicians are either self-employed or hired by mechanical, heating, and cooling companies, schools, and hospitals, and even by big corporations like Coca-Cola. Places like apartment complexes or condo associations have their own HVAC technicians too, though you’ll probably be doing other types of duties as well, rather than straight HVAC work.
No matter where you work, you can expect some uncomfortable working conditions: HVAC technicians experience exposure to extreme temperatures 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 yet have it. Running ductwork through freezing basement crawl spaces and sweltering attics can feel pretty miserable, and your work may have you dealing with rooftop chillers and more in unfavorable weather. You'll need to learn to work in extreme conditions and get used to them.
A Serious Focus On Safety
Finally, 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 big or small the job, you'll learn to take safety precautions (such as locking out a device or shutting off a breaker) as you work.
Make use of safety equipment like gloves, eye protection, and even respirators when needed. Mind your body: It’s your most important tool in this kind of work. Shortcuts or careless attitude could cause a lasting problem, or worse. Following safety protocols will be imperative to keeping 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 "average" workday, does this sound like the career for you? Find an HVAC program local to you.