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Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Careers

photo of a technician at work

HVACR systems consist of many mechanical, electrical and electronic components such as motors, compressors, pumps, fans, ducts, pipes, thermostats and switches. Technicians must be able to maintain, diagnose and correct problems throughout the entire system.

Although they are trained to do both, technicians often specialize in either installation or maintenance and repair. Some specialize in one type of equipment — for example, oil burners, solar panels or commercial refrigerators. Technicians may work for large or small contracting companies or directly for a manufacturer or wholesaler. Those working for smaller operations tend to do both installation and servicing and work with heating, cooling and refrigeration equipment.

To be successful in this industry, you should be:

  • A problem solver willing to look at all angles of a problem and possible solutions
  • Mechanically inclined and enjoy working with your hands
  • Open to learning new ways and techniques of working
  • Able to get through long days of standing, lifting and working outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • Willing to work with a wide variety of people to provide customer and employer satisfaction
  • Knowledgeable about a wide variety of mechanical, design and engineering applications
  • Physically adept at bending, lifting and moving equipment, with good manual dexterity
  • Able to combine pieces of information to figure out what is wrong with the equipment you’re working on

Salaries and Job Outlook

According to U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increased complexity of HVACR systems will create more job opportunities for service. Environmental concerns and new governmental regulations have prompted the development of new systems that reduce ozone pollution and are more energy efficient — and will require replacement of older units no longer in compliance.

Salaries and Projected Job Growth

According to America’s Career Infonet, statistics for Texas show:

Job Title Hourly Rate Annual Salary Est. % Job Growth
Through 2018
HVAC mechanics and installers $18.73 $39,000 +31%