Are you interested in an HVAC career, but not sure what the day-to-day job looks like? If you enjoy working outside the office and use your hands to solve problems, then an HVAC career may be the right path for you. So, what does an HVAC technician do?
What Does an HVAC Technician Do?
An HVAC technician is a skilled professional that maintains, repairs, and installs heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. As an HVAC technician, you will spend most of your time working with complex mechanical equipment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers typically do the following:
- Install, troubleshoot, and maintain HVAC systems
- Install electrical components and wiring
- Inspect and test HVAC systems and components
- Repair or replace parts as needed
- Recommend maintenance to improve system performance
- Keep records of work performed
What Does a Day Look Like for an HVAC Technician?
Every day looks different, especially if you are a jack of all trades HVAC technician. If you specialize in residential or commercial HVAC, you may have less variety, but each day brings a different challenge.
Install an Air Conditioning System and Thermostat
On Monday, you may install an air conditioning system and thermostat at a residence, then report to calls from your franchise HVAC employer about air conditioning units that need maintenance or repair. You will meet with customers at their homes and businesses and manage HVAC systems, explain the services that they need and collect payment at the end of the appointment. You will also document the services rendered for the customer and next HVAC technician to reference
Educate customers on proper HVAC maintenance
Manage a Refrigeration Unit
On Tuesday, you may manage a refrigeration unit at a grocery store or convenience store. Making sure the unit is keeping groceries at the right temperature, that the fans and thermostats are working properly, and that the refrigerant is not leaking. This is a great time to utilize your EPA 608 certification in the safe handling and disposing of refrigerants and other hazardous materials.
Read Blueprints to Install a New HVAC System/
Wednesday may involve reading blueprints for a new HVAC system installation. You may have to cut holes in the building structure, install a heat pump, thermostats, humidistats, and timers. You will also connect the HVAC system to electrical and water sources within the building. Once installed, you will test the HVAC system and make sure it works properly.
Clean and Replace Air Filters
On Thursday, you may be called to clean and replace air filters at a homeowner’s association or apartment complex. You may even need to inspect, unclog, or clean ducts to keep residents safe so they get the best from their HVAC system.
Manage HVAC Systems at New Construction Sites
Friday might involve working with a team to retrofit a new home with HVAC systems, electrical, and other components that the new homeowner will need to live comfortably. Making sure it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Be On-Call To Help out with Emergencies
Although you may take time off on Saturday and Sunday, to make some additional money, you may decide to be on call for any residential or commercial emergencies that happen after hours and on the weekends. HVAC emergencies can happen on the weekend, so you can help out your community with their HVAC needs.
For those days that are either dedicated to training or days that you don’t have HVAC appointments, you may participate in training to keep your skills sharp and gain tips that will help you manage HVAC systems better.
How Do You Become an HVAC Technician?
Typically, the path to becoming an HVAC technician will involve completing a trade school program and earning your certifications. You may also decide to supplement your education with an apprenticeship for extra hands-on training and experience. During a trade school program, you’ll learn the ins and outs of being an HVAC technician. You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with a knowledgeable instructor and get real world experience working on actual HVAC equipment.
What Work Environment Will You Choose?
Once you’ve finished learning about the HVAC field, you’ll decide which type of environment you want to work in. You can become a self-employed independent contractor or work for a franchise company.
Working as an Independent Contractor
For those HVAC technicians that want to be self-employed, it can be more exciting being an independent contractor. You get to set your schedule and focus on a specialty. Although you will be your own boss, you will need to manage your clientele, customer service, business permits and light bookkeeping. Being self-employed has both pros and cons. Deciding which elements of the job are a priority will help you choose whether you want to be an independent contractor or not.
Working for a Franchise
If you only want to focus on HVAC systems, working for a franchise employer may be the right career path. Your employer finds the customers, deals with customer service, and sets up appointments for you to manage. You usually have a full day worth of work and can have a better work/life balance.
Now that you know what the day-to-day job of an HVAC technician looks like, it is time to learn more about Ohio Business College. We offer trade programs in HVAC, Electrical and Truck Driving. Get ready for a rewarding career with Ohio Business College on your side.
Want to Learn More?
If you have a passion for heating and cooling, working in the HVAC/R industry might just be for you. However, entering a career in a field as potentially rewarding as HVAC/R all starts with a trade school training program. At Ohio Business College, we can help you gain the skills and knowledge that can serve as the foundation of a rewarding career as an HVAC/R technician.
Contact us today to learn more about our HVAC/R technician program.