AIR-CONDITIONING/REFRIGERATION/HEATING TECHNICIANS install, maintain, and repair heating and air-conditioning systems that control temperature, humidity, and air quality in buildings of all kinds. They also install, maintain, and repair refrigeration systems that are used to store and transport food, medicines, and other perishable items. They use blueprints or other guidelines when installing systems. When systems malfunction, they look for the problem and repair or replace defective parts. After installation and repairs, they make sure equipment is working properly. They also perform routine maintenance on all equipment.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $46,000 average per year ($22.00 per hour)
- A large occupation (224,300 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.8% per year)
Employers prefer to hire AIR-CONDITIONING/REFRIGERATION/HEATING TECHNICIANS with technical school or apprenticeship training. Some technicians learn the trade informally on the job. Many secondary and post-secondary technical and trade schools, junior and community colleges, and the armed forces offer 6-month to 2-year programs. Courses in shop math, mechanical drawing, applied physics and chemistry, electronics, blueprint reading, and computer applications provide a good background.