HVAC & Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers - also known as HVAC technicians - ensure the air quality in a building is high and proper temperatures are met. That can mean a variety of things based on the size and purpose of the facility. From the freezer section of a grocery store to hot yoga and dance studios, HVAC technicians are charged with maintaining air ducts, water supply lines, fuel systems and other components to ensure everything works reliably and efficiently.

With online HVAC technician schooling, you may learn what it takes to pursue a career installing, maintaining and improving HVAC systems to provide the most conducive climate-controlled environment. Furthermore, as some states begin requiring licenses and certifications for HVAC professionals, you can study what new guidelines must be met for employment at your own pace. Online schooling is often more convenient for students, as much of the work can be done remotely and at your leisure.

Are Online HVAC & Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer Programs for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online HVAC technician program:

  • The requirements to become an HVAC technician are becoming more rigorous with time, as HVAC systems become more complex, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[i]
  • Many entry-level technicians must have postsecondary schooling or experience at an apprenticeship to be considered by employers.
  • What's more, the Environmental Protection Agency requires that all technicians working with refrigerants become certified to do so, which requires passing an EPA exam.
  • There are other certifications hopeful HVAC technicians may choose to pursue to become more desirable job candidates, including exams distributed by the North American Technician Excellence, HVAC Excellence, the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.
  • Before signing up for online courses, research whether classes will adequately prepare you for specific certification exams.

HVAC & Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer Career Paths and Potential Salaries

There are many occupations similar to an HVAC technician. Many of them require the same amount of mechanical skill and mastery of a particular trade. The learning principles may be very alike, and the content of the work follows. Study which options may be available using statistics compiled by the BLS.

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers[i]
Pristine air quality, efficient energy systems and proper climate control are the goals of the HVAC technician, and this can require very complex work depending on the facility that is being improved. Technicians work in hospitals, factories, big office buildings, schools and residential homes. The goals are often various, and analyzing particular components and necessary repairs can be difficult based on the size and scope of the job.

  • 2012 median annual salary: $43,640
  • Job growth through 2022: 21 percent (faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Postsecondary non-degree award

Boilermakers[ii]
These professionals assemble and repair boilers and large closed vats that hold liquids or gas. They are proficient at analyzing blueprints and determining what parts are necessary for repair or installation of boilers. They often work with particular tools, such as robotic welders, a plethora of power tools and other equipment, to complete a job. They often live away from home at a job site for long periods.

  • 2012 median annual salary: $56,560
  • Job growth through 2022: 4 percent (slower than average)
  • Entry-level education: Apprenticeship

Electricians[iii]
Heating, cooling and ventilation is just as important as a reliable electrical system in a facility. Electricians are charged with maintaining a facility's electrical system, lighting and control systems in manufacturing facilities, businesses and homes.

  • 2012 median annual salary: $49,840
  • Job growth through 2022: 20 percent (faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Apprenticeship

[i] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm

[ii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/boilermakers.htm

[iii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/electricians.htm