Whether on brand-new construction or antique homes with aging heating systems, HVAC Techs can find work installing, maintaining, and repairing heating and air conditioning systems. They work on commercial and residential sites, in homes, hospitals, schools, and buildings of all kinds. If you want a career that allows you to work with your hands and your brain and gives you plenty of options about where you could work, check out a career as an HVAC Technician. Here are some places you might find work:
Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors
Most HVAC Techs work for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors. These companies install, maintain, troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair HVAC/R systems. As an employee, you might perform any one of the functions or all of them. Depending on where you live, you might work on residential or commercial worksites, inside or outside, with a big or small firm. For example, if you live in Lancaster, CA, you might interview at Artic Air and find work on their residential or commercial accounts. Or if you’re from Anchorage, you might find work at a firm like Diamond Heating, where you could provide service to Anchorage and Eagle River residential clients.
Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration
As an HVAC Tech, you don’t just have skills on heating and air conditioning. You also have the knowledge to make sure that refrigeration units at hospitals, hotels, stadiums, restaurants, and supermarkets all run effectively and efficiently. And those trucks that transport food need regular upkeep to keep running well. Imagine modern life with broken-down refrigeration? It’s not only inconvenient; it’s dangerous. Food and medications need to stay at recommended temps to be safe and effective.
HVAC Techs at Medical Facilities
Because the HVAC systems that maintain temperature and air quality at hospitals and other healthcare facilities are critical to patient care and safety, many of them have on-staff HVAC Techs. At these locations, you would maintain, test, troubleshoot, and repair systems. You would make sure ventilation is always working and that clean-room facilities are consistently monitored. And labs within hospitals, with their specialized systems and temperature requirements, would also need you to monitor and maintain them.
HVAC Techs at Schools
Another avenue you could take would be to work at a school or college. Universities with multiple buildings need qualified HVAC Techs to maintain and repair multiple systems. Older buildings may require special attention and a strategy for repair and replacement. Your HVAC skills could also be used at HVAC schools. Someone needs to teach the next generation of HVAC Technicians. Could that be you?
When you learn all about HVAC/R systems, you not only know how to work on them, you also learn which systems work well where and what parts are needed to maintain and fix them. With your knowledge of HVAC systems and equipment, you could find work with a wholesale supplier. Companies, like Gensco and Johnstone in Vancouver, sell heating and AC units, specialty equipment, and replacement parts to heating and air conditioning contractors. When a company needs inventory, you can use your expertise to walk them through the available options and make recommendations. You help them place the order and send it over to the warehouse for processing. You could also find a position that allows you to travel to contractors in the area to get more business instead of waiting for them to come to you.
Some HVAC distributors have storefronts to make it easier for local contractors to swing by and grab tools or equipment that they might need. With HVAC knowledge, you could work behind the counter to help them find the right parts or place an order for larger equipment or whole systems that might not be in stock.
Self-Employment for HVAC Techs
More than 30,000 HVAC Techs in the U.S. are self-employed. One you have training and experience in the industry, you may be able to go into business for yourself. As a self-employed HVAC/R contractor, you become your own boss. You set your work schedule, go on calls, and conduct maintenance and repairs. You also need to handle purchasing, invoicing, and marketing.
Are you interested in an HVAC career? Charter College offers a Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration at our Anchorage, Lacey, Pasco, and Vancouver locations. You can complete the program in as few as 10 months. Already have a certificate? Consider an A.A.S. in Applied Technology degree so you can learn the ins and outs of running your own HVAC business. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.