HVAC is an ever growing field that is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. Did you know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of HVAC tech’s will balloon by 21 percent through the year 2022? That’s pretty incredible, especially in our world of ever-increasing automation taking over labor jobs. Keep in mind that all the way back in 2012 their were over half a quarter million people working in the field, so it's not like you have a small sample sizes. It's also growing at a faster rate than average, given its size already that's pretty amazing. We pretty much only service the southern united states, and if you’ve lived in the south for any time, you know that the weather varies drastically and can be 20-30 degrees different from day to day at the most, so you need your heating and cooling systems ready to run year-round.
So what exactly do HVAC mechanics and installers do day to day? And what type of education and licensure is necessary to even do cooling and heating work? According to the Bureau ofLabor Statistics, these specialists perform a wide array of duties to ensure temperature and air quality control within commercial and residential structures, including installing HVAC systems; maintaining all components and records; testing equipment to determine if any repairs are needed or will be in the future (e.g., air ducts, electrical wiring, heating units); keeping up with evolving legislation and technological advancements in the field; ensuring that systems are energy efficient so they’re not costing more than they're worth to run; complying with annual renewal requirements of your state’s HVAC licensure; and educating homeowners and commercial property operators about the systems in their own homes. Technicians may specialize in a certain aspect of HVAC (e.g., solar panels, commercial refrigeration) or may have more general knowledge about HVAC as a whole.
Residential applications are one of the most common an HVAC tech is going to face. Residential work entails more than JUST your on the job skills. Residential services are a bit different than what you may expect based on your training, you’ll be surprised how much of the customer service is in your hands, often you’ll even be handling the billing process yourself! You need to be a decent salesman, look professional at all times, and just have good general people skills, be able to deduce a problem and once fixed, talk with the homeowners about what you did and what it means to the health of their overall system. You will be working with people more than any other path in HVAC, you’re in and out of private homes all day, of which you need to show the utmost respect and care. One bonus about residential is that since most units are small, modular, and less expensive, they can adapt faster to new technologies and integrate new high-tech gear far faster.
Commercial applications are very common too, with this you tend to be on staff and are going to be working more regular hours. You’re mostly just going to be working on and maintaining one big system all the time, making sure nothing will go wrong and if it does, you’re right there to get it fixed. Commercial HVAC work comes with a view. Most industrial HVAC units are mounted on rooftops, and that’s where you’ll be spending most of your time, in all seasons of the year and types of weather. These generally tend to be the most coveted jobs, the pay scale tends to be higher and it’s a more secure and regular job, you get to work a lot by yourself acting as your own boss, that’s hard to beat. You just get to focus on your work and doing that to the best of your ability. It does come with risk though, these systems are massive and complex, any mistake can cost you greatly. Technology is also ever changing and making things more autonomous and connected, making your job easier but also meaning you have more to learn about and keep current on to keep all of your systems running smoothly.
Guys that work more with the install of systems are at the mercy of the housing market and many other factors that they can't control. But HVAC systems are also going to break or need some sort of repair, service calls are never ever going to stop coming in, you’ll never be without work. Servicing work requires a lot of background knowledge and thinking on your feet. You’ll have to work with every different system and manufacturer out there, you really never know what you’re going to come across until you see if for yourself. This means you have to learn all the little nuances of different machines and just know what to look out for above other things, it all comes with experience. Part of working in maintenance is coming into a home on a 100+ degree day and cooling down the situation before you even lift a finger. Be tactful, but honest, talk to the homeowners and let them know what’s going on. These skills aren’t easy for everyone, and can take some serious practice.
The type of work an installer can do ranges drastically, it can be anything from replacing a pump in a house to full system install in a business complex. Installers need to be in great physical shape and comfortable with heavy gear, at times you may even have to use a crane to get pieces up to the roof. You’ll also be doubling as a designer, you’re the one in there hands on with the project so you have to make the choices about volume and choose pieces of equipment that you know will be able to stand up for years. Installation is a job you really can’t make mistaken with though; techs will be fast to blame the installer when anything goes wrong. You also have to decide if a part needs to be repaired or replaced, if it’s starting to run inefficiently then replacement could be a great option.
We’ve got over 70 years of technical experience that we want to share with the next generation of HVAC workers so they can avoid some of the pitfalls and common mistakes that we’ve made in our careers. We want to prepare everyone to capitalize on their talent and abilities so you can advance your career as fast as possible and find success. We try to impart a growth mindset on everyone we work with, meaning making yourself just a little bit better or more knowledgeable every day means massive impact in the long-term. You’ll learn the strategies and techniques to allow you to master every-day tasks, not just get them done.