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What is a HVACR Technician?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), the U.S. Department of Labor’s principal fact- finding agency for the federal government in the field of labor, economics, and statistics that provides data on employment and wages, Heating and Air Conditioning mechanics and installers—often called HVACR technicians—work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the temperature and air quality in buildings.
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers typically do the following:
- Install, clean, and maintain HVACR systems
- Install electrical components and wiring
- Inspect and test HVACR systems and components
- Discuss system malfunctions with customers
- Repair or replace worn or defective parts
- Recommend maintenance to improve system performance
- Keep records of work performed
Heating and air conditioning systems control the temperature, humidity, and overall air quality in homes, businesses, and other buildings. By providing a climate-controlled environment, refrigeration systems make it possible to store and transport food, medicine, and other perishable items.
Some HVACR technicians specialize in one or more specific aspects of HVACR, such as radiant heating systems, solar panels, testing and balancing, or commercial refrigeration.
When installing or repairing air conditioning and refrigeration systems, technicians must follow government regulations regarding the conservation, recovery, and recycling of refrigerants. The regulations include those concerning the proper handling and disposal of fluids and pressurized gases.
Some HVACR technicians sell service contracts to their clients, providing periodic maintenance of heating and cooling systems. The service usually includes inspecting the system, cleaning ducts, replacing filters, and checking refrigerant levels.
Other workers sometimes help HVACR technicians install or repair cooling and heating systems. For example, on a large air conditioning installation job, especially one in which workers are covered by union contracts, ductwork may be installed by sheet metal workers, electrical work by electricians, and pipework by plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Boiler systems are sometimes installed by a boilermaker.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers,
How much does a HVACR Technician get paid?*
According to JobsEQ, a labor market data provider developed by economists and data scientists, HVACR Technicians made an annual average salary of $51,400 in 2019.
The top 25% of earners made an annual average salary of $62,100 and the bottom 25% of HVACR Technician earned $37,700 in 2019. Those who started out as an entry-level HVACR Technician in 2019 made $32,700 on average.
These numbers may vary based on geography and labor market.
|Entry Level||Mean||Bottom 25%||Top 25%|
*Source: JobsEQ®. Wage data are as of 2019 and represent the average for all Covered Employment
Best-paying states for HVACR Technicians**
According to BLS, Washington, D.C., Alaska, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and Hawaii bring the top-five paydays for HVAC technicians. On average, an HVACR Technician in Washington, D.C., will earn $70,770 per year — far above the national mean — with figures topping out around $97,470.
**Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”). Data as of May 2019
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HVACR Technician job outlook***
Job opportunities are currently growing at an above-average rate for HVAC technicians. In 2020, 380,390 Americans made a living as an HVAC technician, and that figure is expected to rise to 403,021 by 2025.
Experts project approximately 45,646 job openings annually for HVAC technicians, making this an appealing option as a career path over the next five years. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Commercial and residential building construction is expected to drive employment growth, and job opportunities for HVACR technicians are expected to be good.”
***Source: JobsEQ, Data as of 2020Q1, The shaded areas of the graph represent national recessions.
HVACR Technician job skills and knowledge
According to O*NET Resource Center, people in this career often have these skills:
- Troubleshooting – Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.
- Repairing – Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.
- Equipment Maintenance – Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.
- Operation Monitoring – Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
- Installation – Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.
- Quality Control Analysis – Testing how well a product or service works.
- Mechanical – Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Building and Construction – Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Source: O*NET Resource Center