What do Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Do?
If you are willing to learn about the finer points of heating and cooling systems, you may want to consider becoming a heating and air-conditioning installer. These workers remove and replace outdated and malfunctioning heating and cooling systems. They may also install and repair appliances such as water heaters. All of these household appliances are complex machines, and homeowners typically find themselves needing the help of a repairer or installer. The peak seasons for heating and cooling installers are summer and winter, with a lesser number of repairs in between. Some installers work for individual companies, while others opt to install on their own.
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Skills and Abilities
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers must possess a wide range of mechanical knowledge. They should understand the inner workings of these machines and be able to create a repair plan without outside assistance. Excellent interpersonal and communications skills are highly desirable in this industry, since mechanics will be interacting closely with homeowners and coworkers. Basic knowledge of buildings and construction is required when removing and installing large appliances such as air conditioning units, furnaces, and water heaters. A high degree of dexterity and hand-eye coordination will be necessary to make lasting repairs. Experienced mechanics should have basic reasoning and critical thinking skills in order to diagnose and repair mechanical issues.
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Duties
Heating and refrigeration mechanics address a wide range of issues plaguing household appliances. They repair heating and cooling units and inspect them to ensure proper functioning. These inspections are vital for the health of the unit, since it can cause safety hazards, such as fires, if not maintained properly. Mechanics are also responsible for removing these units and installing new ones at the request of homeowners. During inspections, electrical tests on circuits are performed to ensure that units are properly wired. Installers and mechanics may also:
- Tests pipes and tubing for leaks and breaks
- Discuss heating and cooling issues with individual manufacturers
- Install and adjust thermostats and humidifiers
- Connect heating and air conditioning units to refrigerants
- Install auxiliary components such as pipes, blowers, and valves
- Adjust system controls to fit homeowners’ specifications
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Tools and Technology
Heating and cooling mechanics utilize a wide range of tools during work hours. Basic repair tools, such as hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers, are commonly employed during repairs and are simply indispensible. Inspection equipments such as pressure gauges and voltage meters are used to ensure that units are correctly installed. Computer programs are oftentimes used to create blueprints and repair plans for clients. Everyday office electronics such as phones, printers, and scanners are utilized by most businesses.
Education and Training for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
Roughly 43% of workers in this industry held a high-school diploma only, and nearly 30% had some college level education. Most heating and cooling mechanics possess at least some form of postsecondary training, and many installers enroll in non-degree programs at vocational and trade colleges. Programs typically last 1-2 years, and require students to pass an examination. Workers in this field usually receive extensive on-the-job training before being allowed to install or repair on their own.
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Salary
The mean annual wage for heating and cooling installers is $46,880. The top 10% earned around $70,820 a year, and the lowest 10% earned $27,630 a year. There was a 0.5% wage increase in this field over the last year. Workers employed in the information services industry earned the most. Those working in the household goods repair industry reported the lowest earnings.
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Jobs by Geography
Florida, Texas, and California had the largest number of citizens employed in this field. Alaska paid the highest wages, followed by Washington, D.C. and New Jersey. There was a 1.3% increase in employment levels for heating and cooling mechanics last year. Nearly 261,390 Americans are currently working in this particular industry.