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HVAC Engineer

What An HVAC Engineer Does

An HVAC engineer isn’t the person who shows up at a residence or commercial property to work on the equipment. That’s the HVAC tech. You may interact with a tech, but you’re the one doing some of the more involved things such as:

  • Designing and constructing HVAC systems
  • Instructing HVAC techs on the installation of your systems
  • Recommending solutions to system failures
  • Developing design prototypes and testing them
  • Meeting with clients to help determine the direction you need to go with HVAC systems
  • Solving problems with old HVAC system designs or completely revamping them
  • Preparing cost estimates for clients

You will find a job with a consulting firm, design firm, government body, or sales office. You should have soft skills like problem solving, communication skills, and computer skills, which are all conducive to a successful HVAC engineering career.

There are a few options when it comes to HVAC engineering jobs.

  • Control systems: Design the unit that controls the HVAC equipment.
  • Design engineering: Be in charge of the design and mechanics of the equipment.
  • Sales engineering: Network and build relationships with companies that would need the units being designed.

How To Become An HVAC Engineer

One of the cool things about being an HVAC engineer is you only need four years of college to break into this field. So it’s something that you can even decide to do later on in your HVAC career. Here’s what you’ll need to do to become an HVAC engineer:

  • Be really good at math, which is something to keep in mind if you’re going into any type of engineering field.
  • Get your bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, HVAC engineering, architectural engineering, or another closely related field.
  • Get your license, which many states require before you can call yourself an engineer of any kind.
  • Consider a professional certification, which you can receive through the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

In college, you’ll learn HVAC theory and application, computer aided design (CAD), HVAC systems and analysis, physics, advanced mathematics, mechanical engineering, and much more.

Salary And Job Outlook

According to Payscale, the national average of an HVAC engineer salary is $68,460. However, there is the potential to earn overtime if you put in more than 40 hours weekly. Like any profession, your salary can increase along with your experience and seniority. 

The closest employment outlook related to HVAC engineers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics available reported a steady increase of 5% growth by 2030 ⁠— this is about average for all national occupations. With the specialized skills HVAC engineers acquire, and the steady employment increase, becoming an HVAC engineer can lead to a promising career ahead. 

As an HVAC engineer, you may be behind the scenes when it comes to the creature comfort of climate control, but you can pat yourself on the back that it’s because of you people are working and living in comfortable atmospheres.