- $15 to $25 per hour
- Around $43,000 average salary for full-time positions
- Requires formal training and/or apprenticeship
- Job opportunities are growing quickly
Your talents keep people warm and toasty in mid-winter, or comfortably cool in the hottest of summer heat waves. As if wielding this kind of power isn't reward enough on its own, you are well paid to keep grateful populace comfortable.
Sound like an egocentric pipedream? No way– for heating, ventilation and air conditioning professionals (HVAC) workers that's just the daily grind. From installing the machines and ducts that keep comfortable air flowing through buildings to maintaining those vital systems, HVAC professionals do the work that lets everyone else go about their day without sweating or freezing.
Job Skills & Requirements
Education: HVAC training is available at community colleges, trade schools and through some military positions. Paid apprenticeships are standard in the HVAC industry and apprentices are usually paid approximately half the rate of more experienced HVAC professionals in their area.
Mechanical skill: Whether you specialize in installation or repair, you'll need to be good with machines, comfortable with electrical work and handy with a variety of tools.
Endurance: Remember how you're providing comfort to the eager masses? Well, unfortunately that means that while you're working at a job site, it's often uncomfortably hot or cold. You'll frequently be working in cramped conditions installing and repairing duct work and related appliances. Safety gear will be needed for working around insulation and hazardous materials.
Hours: Most HVAC companies operate during normal business hours throughout the week, and you can expect to work about 40 hours per week on average. On-call availability may be required for emergencies on nights and weekends.
Dress the Part: Some employers distribute uniforms; others have a standard dress code. Either way you should plan ahead– wear layers and be prepared, no matter what temperatures you're dealing with that day.
“I'll just be fixing heat pumps all day.”
Most technicians are trained in both maintenance and installation, but even if you choose to pursue maintenance there are many different kinds of mechanical and electrical components involved in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. On the other hand, if you specialize in installation you'll be on construction and renovation sites installing new systems and running duct work.
- Home appliance repair (Averages $40,700/year)
- Sheet metal worker (Averages $51,000/year)
Electrician, Sheet metal worker, Home appliance repair
- Paid apprenticeship
- Never again panicking when your A.C. unit breaks down
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