HVAC systems are the networks of duct work, registers and equipment used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning in buildings of all types. HVAC systems specialists are trained to install, maintain and repair these systems.FeaturesWhen installing new systems, HVAC systems specialists must interpret blue prints and technical drawings. Specialists use a variety of tools to complete their work, such as voltage meters, hammers, pressure indicators and flow sensors, according to the rent Occupational Information Network.
EnvironmentHVAC systems specialists often work outdoors, exposed to the elements or indoors in areas that may be extremely hot or cold. Many specialists are on-call 24 hours a day to handle emergency repairs, particularly during the wintertime in areas with cold climates.
EducationHVAC systems specialists may attend certificate or associate's degree programs in HVAC repair at technical or community colleges. A number of organizations like the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America offer formal apprenticeship programs as an alternative to educational courses.
Other RequirementsMany states require HVAC systems specialists to obtain a license before working in the field, often by passing a written examination. Successful specialists possess physical strength to lift heavy system components. They also have the ability to work in a group and follow oral and written directions.
CompensationAs of May 2008, HVAC systems specialists averaged annual salaries of $42,240, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Source:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008
Occupational Information Network: Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers
Education Center Online: How to Become an HVAC Specialist