Heating and Cooling Technicians

HVAC Technician at Work

Heating and cooling technicians work on systems that control the temperature, humidity, and air quality of enclosed environments. They help design, manufacture, install, and maintain climate-control equipment. They provide people with heating and air-conditioning in such structures as shops, hospitals, malls, theaters, factories, restaurants, offices, apartment buildings, and private homes. They may work to provide temperature-sensitive products such as computers, foods, medicines, and precision instruments with climate-controlled environments. They may also provide comfortable environments or refrigeration in such modes of transportation as ships, trucks, planes, and trains. There are approximately 274,680 heating and cooling technicians employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians, Air and Hydronic Balancing Technicians, Evaporative Cooler Installers, Furnace Installers, Gas-Appliance Servicers, Gas-Burner Mechanics, Geothermal Heating and Cooling Technicians, Heating-Equipment Installers, Hot-Air Furnace Installers-and-Repairers, Oil-Burner Mechanics, Solar-Energy System Installer and Helpers, Radiant Heating Installers, Window Air-Conditioning Unit Installers and Servicers
Duties Read blueprints to assemble and install heating and cooling components and systems; use various tools and equipment for soldering, welding, etc.; test equipment; troubleshoot heating or cooling problems; maintain and perform service on equipment; interact with customers
Salary Range $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but the highest concentrations are in Delaware, Florida, Maine, Iowa, and Virginia
Minimum Education Level
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Apprenticeship
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Six months to two years of postsecondary education; several years of on-the-job training or apprenticeship required
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Hands On
  • Technical
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Heating and Cooling Supervisor
  • Heating and Cooling Technician
  • Heating and Cooling Technician Trainee or Apprentice