A Career in HVAC
The need for controlled temperature in buildings and other enclosed spaces is increasing becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Climate control offers comfort and good health, and prevents mould formation and damage from harmful organisms. Facilities housing precious and antique artifacts have to be necessarily under climatic control to prevent damage and deterioration of the articles. This requires special technical equipment to be installed, which may vary in size, design and functionality to cater to specific needs. To ensure that the critical tasks of installing, monitoring, maintaining, repairing and trouble shooting of climate control systems are professionally managed, there is a demand for skilled and specially trained personnel, who are generally referred to HVAC technicians. HVAC is an abbreviation for heating ventilation air conditioning.
As the demand for trained people in the field is currently huge, the scope for a financially rewarding career is bright particularly for formally trained personnel. Formal training can be acquired by attending a technical school or by working as an apprentice. A license granted by the North American Technician Excellence is a prerequisite to work as a professional HVAC technician.
Technological advancements in the field have resulted in the equipment and machines becoming increasingly complex each day. If you are interested in a career as a HVAC technician, the importance of enrolling in one of the many technical schools in the country cannot be ignored. An HVAC course at a technical school provides greater exposure to the latest developments, theoretically and practically and creates enhanced opportunities for employment. However, on the job training is still considered a viable option by many who prefer to acquire knowledge and learn the skills by working under senior technicians as assistants.
Being formally trained as an HAVAC technician would require taking classes in the science stream in physics, chemistry, mechanical drawing, electronics and computers. A study of the details of design and construction of the various types of equipment is also necessary as are blue print reading and a basic understanding of plumbing. As most climate control systems make use of sophisticated control systems, a study in electronics is essential for becoming a qualified technician.
One of the most difficult tasks for a HVAC technician is the determination of the size of the unit required to provide the desired level of heating or cooling appropriate to the size of the building. To identify a unit of a fitting capacity that would be most efficient and would give optimum energy consumption is a difficult task. Quite often, a heating or air conditioning unit is simply replaced with a unit of similar capacity after the renovation of a house or building. This may turn out to be either inefficient or expensive depending on the physical changes effected during renovation. This can be best analyzed by a formally trained HVAC technician.
The duties of a HVAC technician include servicing and installation of equipment, at locations that are not easily accessible and therefore, might require climbing high above the ground. Robustness of health and the ability to withstand physical strain are essential attributes for a person working in this field.
The prospects for a skilled HVAC technician are bright from the perspective of securing employment as also setting up an own business. There is no sign of any slackening in the demand for professionals in this specialized area. On the contrary, the number of new constructions requiring new equipment to be installed is on the rise. In addition, all equipment already installed stand in need of maintenance, for which skilled and knowledgeable people are currently in short supply in the US.
The average hourly earnings for a HVAC technician as per available statistics based on a study conducted in 2002 is .78.There are opportunities for securing periodic maintenance contracts as an HVAC contractor.