When it comes to a satisfying, in-demand, and potentially lucrative career, Commercial HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) stands out as an excellent choice. HVAC technicians play a vital role in ensuring that our indoor environments remain comfortable, energy-efficient, and safe.
Here, we'll explore the benefits of a career in commercial HVAC, the requirements to become an HVAC technician, the necessary skills, and the steps to get started. Read on to understand the advantages of a career in commercial HVAC compared to residential HVAC, as well as how to make sure you end up with an employer that will help nurture your skills and professional growth in the field.
Benefits of a Career in Commercial HVAC Include:
Commercial HVAC systems are essential in various settings, including offices, retail spaces, hospitals, schools, and industrial facilities. This widespread need for climate control means there is a constant demand for skilled technicians.
HVAC is a recession-resistant field. People and businesses will always need climate control, to ensure job security in both good and bad economic times. Helping businesses stay comfortable will never go out of style!
With increasing demand and a shortage of skilled technicians, the HVAC field offers competitive salaries. Technicians can also earn more through overtime and specializations.
HVAC technicians can advance to higher-paying roles such as project managers, supervisors, or specialists in systems like refrigeration and automation. Commitment to your trade over the years can advance you to become a Senior Technician, garnering a higher level of responsibility supporting other technicians, higher pay, and independence in your role.
No two days are the same in the world of commercial HVAC. Technicians work on different systems and face unique challenges, making the job interesting and engaging. There is always something new to learn- new technology, types of units, industry trends, and more.
HVAC technicians often work independently, which can be rewarding for those who enjoy problem-solving and taking initiative.
Requirements to Become an HVAC Technician:
Becoming an HVAC technician involves several steps and requirements:
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum requirement. Many aspiring technicians opt for vocational training, where they learn the fundamentals of HVAC systems, refrigeration, and electrical systems.
Often, completing an apprenticeship is helpful in obtaining good employment as an HVAC technician. These programs provide hands-on experience, often working under the guidance of experienced HVAC technicians. Apprenticeships can last from 3 to 5 years.
Licensing requirements vary by state and locality. Some areas require HVAC technicians to pass an exam or obtain a specific license.
Although not always mandatory, obtaining certification from organizations like the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) can improve job prospects and earning potential.
Skills Needed for HVAC Technicians:
HVAC technicians should be proficient in diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining HVAC systems. They need to understand electrical systems, refrigeration, and airflow.
Troubleshooting is a significant part of the job. Technicians need to identify and fix issues efficiently and be able to critically think on their feet.
The job can be physically demanding, with technicians often working in tight spaces and dealing with heavy equipment.
Good communication and interpersonal skills are essential when dealing with clients and explaining complex issues in a clear, understandable manner. Often, technicians will need to complete diagnostic and repair write-ups for customers and office personnel in the company to communicate work performed.
Steps to Become an HVAC Technician:
Start by completing high school or obtaining a GED. Consider enrolling in a vocational or trade school with HVAC programs.
Look for an apprenticeship program in your area. This hands-on experience is crucial for your training.
Licensing and Certification
Research your state's licensing requirements and consider obtaining industry certifications.
Work as an entry-level technician to build your experience and reputation.
Stay updated with the latest HVAC technology and industry trends- keep looking for ways to improve and strengthen your skills.
Commercial vs. Residential HVAC: Why Choose Commercial?
While both commercial and residential HVAC careers offer rewarding opportunities, commercial HVAC has some distinct advantages. Commercial systems are often larger and more complex, meaning technicians work with a wider variety of equipment and face more challenging problems. The benefits of choosing commercial HVAC include:
Higher Earning Potential
Commercial HVAC technicians typically earn more due to the complexity of systems and the need for specialized skills.
Diverse Work Environments
Commercial HVAC technicians work in various settings, from skyscrapers to shopping centers, leading to a diverse and dynamic work experience.
More Opportunities for Advancement
Larger commercial projects offer a clear path for career advancement.
Commercial HVAC systems are intricate and varied, requiring technicians to constantly learn and adapt.
Cooper Oates: A Leading Employer in Commercial HVAC
When choosing a mechanical contractor as your employer to support your career in commercial HVAC, it’s important that you understand how the company can benefit your professional development. Look for a company with a strong reputation and high standards of work- factors to consider could be years in business, customers they service, and employee satisfaction. It’s also important to choose a company that invests back into their employees through specialized training and education that will help you become a better technician.
One company that stands out in the commercial HVAC field is Cooper Oates. With a core focus on continual learning and education, Cooper Oates invests in its employees to produce exceptional technicians who want to stay and grow with the company for the long term.
They understand that well-trained technicians are the backbone of their service success and offer:
- Comprehensive training programs to help employees stay updated with industry advancements.
- Opportunities for professional development and career growth.
- A commitment to safety, ensuring a secure working environment.
- A reputation for delivering high-quality services to a wide range of commercial clients.
If you’re considering a career in commercial HVAC, keep the above points in mind to reap the benefits of stability, good pay, career advancement opportunities, varied work, and independence. Commercial HVAC offers distinct advantages over residential, and Cooper Oates is an excellent choice for those looking to embark on a rewarding journey in the field, with its emphasis on continual learning and producing successful technicians.
So, if you're considering a career change, remember that a "cool" career in commercial HVAC may be just the opportunity you've been looking for!