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Career profile Hvac Mechanic

Also known as A/C Tech (Air Conditioning Technician); HVAC Installer (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Installer); HVAC Mechanic (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Mechanic); HVAC Specialist (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Specialist); Refrigeration Mechanic; Refrigeration Operator; Refrigeration Technician (Refrigeration Tech); Service Technician (Service Tech); Systems Mechanic; Transportation Refrigeration Technician (Transportation Refrigeration Tech)

Hvac Mechanic

Also known as A/C Tech (Air Conditioning Technician); HVAC Installer (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Installer); HVAC Mechanic (Heating

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$31,910 - $80,820 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Troubleshooting
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Repairing
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Building and Construction
Core tasks
  • Repair or service heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve efficiency, such as by changing filters, cleaning ducts, and refilling non-toxic refrigerants.
  • Test pipes, lines, components, and connections for leaks.
  • Test electrical circuits or components for continuity, using electrical test equipment.
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What does a Hvac Mechanic do?

Hvac Mechanics install or repair heating, central air conditioning, HVAC, or refrigeration systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.

What kind of tasks does a Hvac Mechanic perform regularly?

Hvac Mechanics are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Test electrical circuits or components for continuity, using electrical test equipment.
  • Repair or replace defective equipment, components, or wiring.
  • Discuss heating or cooling system malfunctions with users to isolate problems or to verify that repairs corrected malfunctions.
  • Connect heating or air conditioning equipment to fuel, water, or refrigerant source to form complete circuit.
  • Install, connect, or adjust thermostats, humidistats, or timers.
  • Study blueprints, design specifications, or manufacturers' recommendations to ascertain the configuration of heating or cooling equipment components and to ensure the proper installation of components.
  • Comply with all applicable standards, policies, or procedures, such as safety procedures or the maintenance of a clean work area.
  • Install auxiliary components to heating or cooling equipment, such as expansion or discharge valves, air ducts, pipes, blowers, dampers, flues, or stokers.
  • Inspect and test systems to verify system compliance with plans and specifications or to detect and locate malfunctions.
  • Record and report time, materials, faults, deficiencies, or other unusual occurrences on work orders.
  • Lay out and connect electrical wiring between controls and equipment, according to wiring diagrams, using electrician's hand tools.
  • Braze or solder parts to repair defective joints and leaks.
  • Install expansion and control valves, using acetylene torches and wrenches.
  • Perform mechanical overhauls and refrigerant reclaiming.
  • Adjust system controls to settings recommended by manufacturer to balance system.
  • Install dehumidifiers or related equipment for spaces that require cool, dry air to operate efficiently, such as computer rooms.
  • Recommend, develop, or perform preventive or general maintenance procedures, such as cleaning, power-washing, or vacuuming equipment, oiling parts, or changing filters.
  • Mount compressor, condenser, and other components in specified locations on frames, using hand tools and acetylene welding equipment.
  • Cut or drill holes in floors, walls, or roof to install equipment, using power saws or drills.
  • Measure, cut, thread, or bend pipe or tubing, using pipe fitter's tools.
  • Keep records of repairs and replacements made and causes of malfunctions.
  • Estimate, order, pick up, deliver, and install materials and supplies needed to maintain equipment in good working condition.
  • Install or repair air purification systems, such as specialized filters or ultraviolet (UV) light purification systems.
  • Schedule work with customers and initiate work orders, house requisitions, and orders from stock.
  • Supervise and instruct assistants.
  • Lay out reference points for installation of structural and functional components, using measuring instruments.
  • Lift and align components into position, using hoist or block and tackle.

The above responsibilities are specific to Hvac Mechanics. More generally, Hvac Mechanics are involved in several broader types of activities:

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is a Hvac Mechanic salary?

The median salary for a Hvac Mechanic is $50,590, and the average salary is $53,410. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Hvac Mechanic salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Hvac Mechanics earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Hvac Mechanics earn less than $31,910 per year, 25% earn less than $39,320, 75% earn less than $64,350, and 90% earn less than $80,820.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Hvac Mechanics is expected to change by 5.0%, and there should be roughly 38,500 open positions for Hvac Mechanics every year.

Median annual salary
$50,590
Typical salary range
$31,910 - $80,820
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.0%

What personality traits are common among Hvac Mechanics?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Hvac Mechanic are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Hvac Mechanics typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Hvac Mechanic tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Hvac Mechanics strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Hvac Mechanics strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Hvac Mechanics moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Hvac Mechanics must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Hvac Mechanics, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Hvac Mechanics need?

Hvac Mechanics often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Hvac Mechanics usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Hvac Mechanics

  • 10.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 40.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 29.1% completed some college coursework
  • 14.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 4.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Hvac Mechanics

Hvac Mechanics may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, customer and personal service, or building and construction knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Hvac Mechanics might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.

Important Abilities needed by Hvac Mechanics

Hvac Mechanics must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Hvac Mechanics need abilities such as problem sensitivity, near vision, and visualization in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Hvac Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Critical Skills needed by Hvac Mechanics

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Hvac Mechanics frequently use skills like troubleshooting, equipment maintenance, and repairing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Hvac Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.