After a year in which the only thing that was predictable was the unpredictable, 2021 offers a fresh start. However with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing and many changes to come after it is eventually overcome, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding the future of many businesses and industries.
For us and our students at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, that obviously begs the question, “what does the immediate future look like for HVAC?”
The global pandemic leading to lockdowns and calls to shelter in place across the country, people spent more time at home this past year. Because of this, the HVAC industry was fortunate enough to stay steady and serve the heating and cooling needs of folks in their homes in order to stay comfortable while they stayed safe.
But, will that continue to be a viable situation for the foreseeable future? After all, although a career in the trades equips you with a very special skill set, if the future for HVAC feels unsure, incoming HVAC professionals and technicians need to be aware of what is ahead of them.
While the pandemic will eventually be conquered and life returning to (somewhat) normality, it is still worth carefully considering the outlook of any professions you are in or currently exploring as we head into 2021 and the somewhat uncertain future that lies ahead.
When it comes to what the HVAC industry will look like in 2021, what better source to turn to than the leaders of the industry?
The Future Looks Strong
In a recent article, many of the HVAC industry’s most distinguished leaders were asked about what the outlook for the HVAC industry and HVAC technicians looked like in 2021. There was a common sentiment among every one of them: the future is looking strong!
Projecting the needs of customers and the outlook of an eventually returning economy, the leaders of the HVAC industry point to a multitude of factors that should contribute to a strong continuing need for HVAC services and technicians, as well as new opportunities that should begin to present themselves.
Our work is never done
The reality is that as the pandemic continues, and even after it is eventually past, folks will continue to rely heavily on the comfort provided by their heating and cooling systems. Many businesses and professionals will continue to work and operate remotely from their homes and drive the need for peak performance of their HVAC system.
The foreseeable increased reliance on home comfort systems by those working and learning from home, many of these experts predict, will drive the need for more regular equipment servicing and replacement over the next few years, providing no shortage of jobs and opportunities for HVAC service providers and technicians.
New growing interest in indoor air quality
Many of the industry’s experts noted that the airborne nature of the pandemic has also created an increased awareness of consumers on the need for improved air quality, especially in commercial spaces. Even following the conclusion of the pandemic, experts predict there will continue to be a demand for indoor air purification equipment for both homes and businesses – a need that will be filled by those in the HVAC industry.
As demand for air purification equipment increases, heating and cooling companies will see an increased opportunity for installation and servicing work surrounding these types of equipment. This will drive a need for HVAC technicians to thoroughly train and educate themselves with this type of equipment in order to better offer and market these services.
New regulations will create better practices
Normalcy will not return without changes to protocols for HVAC technicians to safely serve their customers. However, these changes, some experts predict, will ultimately prove to have positive effects on operations, particularly project management.
Brian Helm of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America Inc. in particular stated, “In 2021, I think contractors will use what we learned from working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic to simplify many aspects of project management. We will see the evolution of data management tools from the current desktop-centered format to a mobile-centric approach. This will make it easier than ever for our project managers to stay connected.”
So, should those considering a career in HVAC be concerned about the future of the industry? Quite the contrary! The 2021 HVAC outlook for technicians looks very promising. Here at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, we are continuing to educate and prepare our students for a HVAC career in a post-COVID world.
Learn more about our upcoming class schedule online.
Here at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, our students come from all walks of life, different backgrounds, and have different personalities. But, they all come with one single goal: they want to begin a rewarding HVAC career.
While everyone has the same goal when they first begin to pursue their interest in a career in our industry, not everyone has the same expectations or understanding of the career that lies ahead of them.
If you are beginning, or considering, a new career in HVAC, here are five important things you need to know before you start.
Training is required
One of the biggest appeals of a career in HVAC is its availability. You don’t need to go to graduate school. You don’t need a college degree. You don’t need any particular prerequisites skills outside of a hard-working attitude and a willingness to apply yourself. However, just because the level of entry for an HVAC career is low doesn’t mean anyone can just step in and do the job. Training is a requirement if you want to succeed in the industry.
While training for an HVAC career does not involve a four-year program as you’ll find at most universities, training courses offered by programs like ours at The Training Center of Heating and Air Conditioning will prepare you with the technical and professional skills needed to be successful in your new career. Graduating from a training course will also award you with various certifications that are necessary to practice in some states and will always help give you a leg up in the hiring process.
You will often work in harsh conditions
Life as an HVAC technician or installer isn’t always the most glamorous. You will be spending your days outdoors, usually on a roof for commercial service calls, in the elements. Here in Texas, the days you are busiest are usually the hottest days of the year. You’ll often be sweaty, hot, and tired.
What this means is that if you are looking for a career where you spend your time indoors all day cooped up in a cubicle or staring at a computer screen all day, HVAC isn’t it. The day-to-day of a technician requires hard work and endurance. While this isn’t meant to try and weed anyone out or scare people off from a rewarding career in this industry, it is important for anyone looking to pursue this kind of career to know what they are getting into.
People skills are just as important as technical skills
The HVAC world isn’t all about fixing air conditioners and tuning up furnaces. While the technical skills you’ll learn during training and apply every day during your work are obviously important and a big part of the job, there are other equally important skills to possess to be successful, such as customer service.
The reason a customer calls you is that they are having a bad day. Their air conditioner may have just busted on the hottest day of the year and they are looking at a large bill for a replacement or repair. Not everyone you deal with is going to be necessarily happy to see you. Being able to relate, communicate, and interact with your customers respectfully, fairly, and honestly is important for keeping tempers down, keeping customers happy, and building a positive reputation within your community.
The details are important
Just like any other career working on something intricate like rebuilding car engines in an auto shop, HVAC installations and repairs require finesse, focus, and an emphasis on attention to detail. Repairs and installations in the HVAC industry require dealing with often hazardous materials like electricity, fire, and refrigerant. A lack of care or attention can result in serious injury to yourself or those around you.
HVAC technicians also are responsible for very complex tasks like electrical wiring, brazing, and working with very small components of the units they service. One misstep, whether you skip a step in the process or are not thorough in your work can lead to not completing your job properly. This leaves your customers unsatisfied, unhappy, and you look unprofessional. Focus and attention to detail to do your job the right way the first time is a must.
There is a sea of opportunity waiting
The job can be difficult, but that shouldn’t deter anyone away interested in pursuing an HVAC career. Why? Well, the most important thing to know about the HVAC industry is it is an industry filled with opportunities. Right now, the world is facing a decline in available workers in many skilled trade industries including HVAC. That means for those who are willing to get their certification, there is almost a guarantee that you will be able to find a great job and pave your own way for professional growth, like starting your own company.
Not only are there plenty of available jobs in the industry, but there is also an especially large need and opportunity for women to succeed in the industry as well. Regardless of gender, in the wake of the coronavirus as well, the world needs hardworking and knowledgeable HVAC technicians now more than ever.
Ready to start? The Training Center for Heating and Air Conditioning has classes running throughout the year! Check out our schedule and find the next session that works best for you.
While some careers simply require one degree in order to become an eligible candidate in the eyes of potential employers, HVAC isn’t quite as simple. While all it takes to succeed as an HVAC technician is an aptitude and a desire to learn a rewarding and skilled trade, there are certain, and usually multiple boxes, that employers and the state will need to see before you are likely to land a job as a heating and cooling tech.
The world of HVAC is filled with all sorts of different HVAC certifications. Some are required, some are not but can provide a tremendous boost to your skillset and appeal as a job candidate. It can all become a little confusing and disorienting to know where to start.
Let’s simplify things a little bit for you! Yes, there is a whole world of different accreditations you can get, but today let’s just focus on four of the most important HVAC certifications that everyone pursuing a career in the industry needs to have, or at the very least know the importance of.
Every HVAC technician needs to start somewhere, and that somewhere is graduating from an HVAC training program. In some states HVAC technicians are not required to have certification, but here in Texas technicians are required to have one of either a Class A license or a Class B license in the field of heating and air conditioning.
Even if you are considering a career in HVAC in a state that doesn’t require certification, it is strongly recommended that you get this level of certification. Not only will it better prepare you for working in the field, but it will give you an enormous advantage during your job application process. Although not always required, most heating and cooling companies won’t employ you without certification.
EPA 608 Certification
EPA 608 Certification is a required certification for HVAC technicians as part of the Clean Air Act because of the position’s requirements of dealing with equipment that has the potential to release refrigerant into the atmosphere. Refrigerants have been shown to contribute to buildup of Greenhouse gases and can have negative impacts on the environment. Not to mention, refrigerants can have adverse effects on human health too.
Depending on the equipment you will be handling, there are four different levels of certification you will need to obtain. As an HVAC technician, passing these tests and obtaining these levels of certification shows that you are proficient in safely and responsibly working with equipment that contains this potentially harmful substance.
NATE Certification is one of the most highly-recognized and respected certifications in the HVAC industry. While not required to begin work in the HVAC industry, those who take the time to obtain NATE certification can further separate themselves from the crowd and are more likely to have a longer and more successful career.
There are four levels of NATE Certification one can achieve at different stages throughout the course of their HVAC career, from the entry-level Ready-To-Work Certificate to Senior Level Efficiency Analyst Certification that requires multiple years experience and multiple previous NATE Certifications. Each certification covers different levels of fundamental and specialty skills within the HVAC industry.
HVAC Excellence Certification
HVAC Excellence Certification is a level of certification that is of use to HVAC technicians who may potentially be moving to different states and are unsure of the necessary qualification levels to practice in their new home state. This certification provides national recognition of one’s HVAC technical skills.
However, this doesn’t replace state certification for those that require it. HVAC Excellence can simply help give you a leg up when dealing with potential employers as you round out your necessary certification.
Graduation from the Training Center of Heating and Air Conditioning guarantees you your HVAC certification as well as certification for EPA 608. Our program will also help prepare you for other important HVAC certifications. Like NATE and HVAC Excellence, and give you advice and guidance on how to obtain them.
Begin a rewarding and fulfilling career as an HVAC technician in Houston, Texas by learning more about our program and our upcoming schedule of HVAC classes today.