A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician
There’s nothing worse than having your heating system having your cooling system kick the bucket at the height of the summer. Fortunately, there are people who specialize in repairing these everyday comforts of modern day life. These unmasked superheroes are known as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning technicians (HVAC) and, while you may not think about them much on a day-to-day basis, when you need one you’ll be happy they’re around.
New regulations are requiring homes to be more energy-efficient, and having the skills and training is becoming more important. With that in mind, you may be considering a job as an HVAC technician. Here are some things an HVAC technician can expect in a regular workday.
THE NO-ROUTINE ROUTINE
A big draw for many people who choose to work on HVAC equipment is the fact that each day presents a new set of challenges. Those who are easily bored by a standard 9-5 workday are likely to find the unpredictable schedule of an HVAC technician’s day exciting. You may be called to take care of a number of different small repairs one day, and then spend an entire day tackling a large project the next. In fact, many jobs will look different when you actually get to them than they look on paper at the beginning of the day. For this reason, good problem solving and a go-with-the-flow attitude are great assets for an HVAC technician to possess.
VARIETY OF HOURS
The hours that an HVAC technician is expected to work depend greatly on the type of company he/she works for. For instance, a technician working for a heating and cooling business may start at a set time each day, but won’t have a definitive end time because there is no telling how long each repair or installation will take. Also, workers may be scheduled for shifts at all times of the day or night (and weekends) because there needs to be someone available to fix systems when they go down. In addition, there is a strong possibility of being on-call. That said, not all HVAC tech positions have such unpredictable work schedules. Some people with HVAC training are hired to work for contractors. In these positions, HVAC technicians usually work a regular work week, spending their time installing heating and cooling systems in new buildings.
EMPLOYING A RANGE OF SKILLS
HVAC technicians can work on a variety of pieces of equipment and systems. Due to the broad scope of their training, some technicians choose to specialize in a certain type of system or piece of equipment. Others opt to concentrate just on installations and/or repairs. Even within each specialty there is often a lot of variety in what a technician will see from day to day. However, for those who choose to tackle a broad range of HVAC tasks, there is much to keep on top of. As a technician usually deals with complicated systems, each with many components, he/she must have a wide skill set and stay up-to-date on new parts and equipment.
HVAC technicians are regularly in and out of people’s houses and various businesses, so having good communication skills is very important. While much of the day will likely be spent working on your own or alongside another technician, HVAC techs need to be able to clearly communicate to customers as well. They must listen to the problems a customer is having with their equipment and assess his/her specific needs. The technician must then be able to clearly communicate back what is going on with the system or what a new set-up will be able to do for them. While there are some HVAC positions that don’t require much interaction, most require a certain amount of customer service.
If you enjoy doing technical work, working with people, and taking on new challenges, then becoming an HVAC technician may be the career path for you. Learn more about the HVAC training program.