HVAC engineers use math and science to plan and design the systems that HVAC technicians install and repair. Just like techs, engineers have to learn all the intricate details of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
How to Become an Engineer
To be an HVAC engineer, you will usually need a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. The subjects you study will include math, science, and computer skills — all of which you will need to find success in the field. You will also study different HVAC structures and technologies.
After completing your program, you should feel confident in knowing the various HVAC structures required by different building codes, troubleshooting any potential issues, and in navigating problems as they arise.
In addition to your degree, you will need to earn your certification, and enroll in continuing education. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) provides several training courses in HVAC design and operations that you will want to take. You'll likely need an ASHRAE certification if you pursue a specialty — such as performance management — or if you plan to work in healthcare facilities.
Developing Other Skills
While knowledge is a necessity, it is equally important for engineers to maintain their skill set. Creativity will help you with planning, design, and problem solving. Every system layout will present different challenges, and you need to develop the most efficient solution. Accuracy when planning and implementing is also vital to the system working correctly.
Expand your management and decision making skills. As an HVAC engineer, you will be expected to be an expert in your field. Stay up-to-date in your knowledge and certifications, and polish your leadership abilities.
Choosing Your Specialty
There is a wide range of opportunities in the HVAC industry, and you can choose to focus your work on residential or commercial jobs. By gaining skill sets in both, you can become well-rounded, ensuring your eligibility to work on any project you are interested in.
Is This the Job for You?
HVAC engineers make comfortable salaries, and you’ll get to solve problems and develop better solutions at work daily. Get connected with an HVAC school/program near you—fill out our form to get started today.