Heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems consist of many mechanical, electrical, and electronic components, such as motors, compressors, pumps, fans, ducts, pipes, thermostats, and switches.
In central forced air heating systems a furnace heats air which is distributed via a system of metal or fiberglass ducts.
Technicians must be able to maintain, diagnose, and correct problems throughout the system. To do this, they adjust controls to recommended settings and test the performance of the system using specialized tools and equipment.
Common responsibilities include:
- Reading blueprints
- Evaluating systems for existing or potential problems
- Repairing or replacing broken components
- Routine maintenance
Many secondary and postsecondary technical and trade schools, junior and community colleges, and the U.S. Armed Forces offer 6-month to 2-year programs in heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration. Jon prospects are decent and the industry has a number of entry level openings. Salaries are based on experience and education levels.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor