Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, commonly referred to as HVAC, involves the technology that keeps homes and other buildings comfortable for their inhabitants. There are a variety of HVAC jobs that are available to people who are interested in this field. Some of these jobs include installers, technicians, salespeople, and managers.
The starting position for most people interested in this field is HVAC installer. Usually an HVAC installer must be a high school graduate and have training in heating and air conditioning systems or related experience. He needs to have basic math skills and the ability to read and understand blueprints, as well as be able to understand HVAC and electrical codes and have a good mechanical aptitude. Considered a journeyman, the installer's job involves installing, altering, inspecting, and maintaining air conditioning and heating equipment.
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An HVAC installer may be responsible for the installation of heating and air conditioning equipment on both commercial sites and in residential properties. His general knowledge should include a fundamental understanding of wiring, forced air systems, and refrigeration systems. Additionally, he must identify any needed HVAC repairs and replace any parts or components as required. An installer should know how to track and fix mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and their associated controls.
As a result, the HVAC installer should know how a circuit breaker works so he can make the proper connections for any HVAC equipment being installed. This involves being able to determine the right size wires to run and knowing the appropriate breaker to use. In working with forced air systems, the HVAC installer may be required to identify and install the required sheet metal to use for the duct work. In working on refrigeration systems, part of the HVAC installer’s job is to establish the piping for the chilled and hot water systems. He should have a clear understanding of the piping that must be incorporated into the system.
Another HVAC job is the HVAC technician. Along with the installer position, this job requires a good overall knowledge of HVAC systems and processes in order to troubleshoot and make repairs. Not only does the technician need the basic mechanical and electrical skills associated with other HVAC jobs, he must also be able to interact with customers well.
Many people who put time into this career elect to move into HVAC jobs in sales and management. These jobs might include HVAC service manger, foreman, estimator, or contractor. With additional schooling and training, one might work toward HVAC jobs as a designer or engineer.