Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Career Video
Description: Install or repair heating, central air conditioning, HVAC, or refrigeration systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.
Whether at work or at home, we depend on heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers, called HVACR technicians, to keep indoor air clean and comfortable in all seasons. HVACR technicians install electrical wiring and connect fuel and water supply lines to create climate control systems. They also connect systems to air ducts, and install controls for customers to set temperature and humidity levels. Some HVACR technicians specialize in areas such as commercial refrigeration or solar panels. Following government regulations is critical for installation and repairs, including proper handling and disposal of fluids and pressurized gases, and recycling or conservation of refrigerants. HVACR technicians work, at times, in thorny conditions: they have one of the highest rates of injuries due to electrical shock, burns, muscle strains, and injuries from heavy equipment. They often work in cramped spaces, sometimes in high heat or deep cold. Most technicians work for construction contractors on systems in homes, schools, hospitals, stores, or office buildings. Working full time is typical, with occasional evening or weekend shifts. During peak seasons, they often work overtime or irregular hours. As systems become increasingly complex, employers generally prefer applicants with a certificate or related associate’s degree, or those who have completed an apprenticeship. Workers may need to pass a background check. Some locations require HVACR technicians to be licensed.