Nature of the Profession
Heating and air conditioning technicians install, service, and repair heating and air conditioning systems in both residences and commercial establishments. Duties include but are not limited to:
- installing and repairing units
- screwing, bolting, cutting, threading, welding, and brazing parts
- installing fuel and water supply lines
- working with air ducts, vents, pumps, and compressors
- connecting electrical wiring and control panels to power sources
- diagnosing causes of breakdowns
- using specialized testing equipment
- checking and charging refrigerant systems
Education and Training
Tyler Junior College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree and two Certificates of Proficiency. Students study theory of temperature control, equipment design and construction, and electronics. They also learn the basics of installation, maintenance, and repair.
Certification and Advancement
For HVACR technicians with relevant coursework and less than one year of experience, the industry has developed a series of “Entry-level” certification exams (ICE) to test basic competency in residential heating and cooling, light commercial heating and cooling, and commercial refrigeration, conducted at both secondary and post-secondary technical and trade schools. Technicians handling refrigerants must be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Technicians with more experience can take further certification tests offered through the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), HVAC Excellence, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Safety Coalition, and North American Technician Excellence, Inc., among others. Obtaining certification may increase advancement opportunities to positions in sales and marketing or such as supervisor or service manager, building superintendent, cost estimator, system test and balance specialist, teacher, or contracting business owner.
$25,400 - $60,000 per year
Retirements are expected to create excellent opportunities, particularly for those with training from an accredited technical school and familiar with computers and electronics. Many contractors have reported problems finding enough workers to meet the demand for service and installation of HVACR systems. Employment of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers in Texas is projected to increase 28% during the 2010-2020 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.