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HVAC Technician Career Paths

HVAC Technician Career Paths

HVAC Technician Career Paths

HVAC technicians are the backbone of the industry. They are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing heating and cooling systems in residential and commercial buildings. However, there are a number of different paths that a person can take after entering the HVAC field. This article will cover some of these paths, as well as the expected salaries.

HVAC technicians are in high demand and the job market is booming. With the growing population and the ever-increasing demand for heating and cooling systems, HVAC technicians are needed in every corner of the world. At the time of this writing, there are thousands of openings for HVAC Techs in Texas and the national estimate is 161,488 HVAC Mechanic Jobs available. Some of the best-paying HVAC-related jobs can pay up to $145,500 per year.

There are all types of positions and opportunities in this industry that can match a person’s strengths and personality.  For instance, HVAC-related jobs can be in Sales, Communications, Technical, Mechanical, Parts plus Engineering, Marketing, and R&D.

What HVAC Jobs Exist and What are the Expected Salaries?

HVAC Technician
Salary – up to $56,500 per year

HVAC Mechanic
Salary – up to $84,000 per year

HVAC Estimator Salary
Salary – up to $81,000 per year

Air Conditioning Mechanic
Salary – up to $84,000 per year

Commercial HVAC Service Tech
Salary – up to $66,000 per year

HVAC Residential Tech 
Salary – up to $66,000 per year

Heating Tech
Salary – up to $54,000 per year

HVAC Maintenance Tech
Salary – up to $47,000 per year

HVAC Sales Rep. 
Salary – up to $81,000 per year

Salary Source – ZipRecruiter
Salaries will vary by location

This is just a sampling of the HVAC related job categories

Getting Started as a HVAC Technician

Becoming an HVAC technician is a great career choice for people who like to work with their hands, enjoy working with people, and want to make a living in the field of heating and cooling.  The pay and job security are also excellent.

The first step is to start your education in the field of HVAC.  The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating offer the fastest and most comprehensive classroom and hands on training available using the Chris Walters’ Method.  The program is 10 weeks covering 16 subjects that are taught in small class settings to allow for more interaction and one-on-one instructor time.   View out FAQ for more detailed information. Please see our upcoming classes for class schedules, holidays, and a breakdown of class content. For more information, please contact us.  We will be happy to answer all of your questions.

 

 

 

 

6 Tips for Finding a Great First HVAC Job

6 Tips for Finding a Great First HVAC Job

Graduating from the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating is an exciting time! You’ve just completed the first major step on your path to beginning a successful and fulfilling HVAC career, but what’s next? Now comes the time to find your first HVAC job.

Job hunting can be intimidating, but with the training and expertise you’ve received at the Training Center, you should have the competence to take on any new challenges, even at the beginning of your career. 

As important as it is to land your first HVAC job and start putting your education into practice, it is just as important to find the right fit. Getting the right job starts your career on the right foot in an environment where you don’t just have the potential to succeed in but that you also enjoy!

As you begin your job search, use these 6 simple tips to help you find the right environment for your first successful job in HVAC.

START WITH A GREAT EDUCATION 

If you haven’t done so already, your search for a job in the HVAC industry should start with a solid foundation of knowledge gained through a training course. And what better place to look than the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating?

When you enroll in our training course in Houston, Texas, you can expect to learn the skills and techniques required for entry-level employment in the residential and light commercial HVAC field. Upon completion of this program, you’ll be able to install, service, and maintain typical air conditioning and heating systems found in the southern environment of the United States.

To learn more about our comprehensive HVAC training program, just visit our FAQ page here!

BUILD YOUR NETWORK

In addition to furthering your education, building your professional network can be another great step to take before you even start applying for open positions! There are many ways of going about this.

Many resources such as this can guide you towards HVAC associations to join. These associations are a great way to connect with other professionals in the industry, stay on top of trends, and continue building your references for that big opportunity that’ll eventually come along.

Additionally, the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating also has a Facebook page dedicated to keeping our community informed about everything happening in our world. Students and Alumni of our training program are also invited to join an exclusive Facebook group where we stay in touch and share industry knowledge.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE PICKY

While it’s certainly important to get your first job under your belt, that doesn’t mean you have to rush into the first opportunity that presents itself. HVAC technicians and many other careers in skilled trades are in extremely high demand as businesses fill their job openings with a limited pool of qualified professionals.

That high demand means that you’ll likely have very little trouble finding available work, so you can take your time and be a little picky about the company you choose. You can take the time to ensure that your career is getting started in the right environment. Don’t be afraid to take on multiple interviews and weigh your options as you narrow in on the right choice.

CHECK THEIR REVIEWS

When you join a company, their reputation becomes your reputation. As you’re researching potential companies to join, it’s essential to know in advance how they do business and make sure they do things the right way. 

One of the best ways to get an idea of the quality of work an HVAC company does and how it treats its customers is to check its online reviews. Check out their social media sites and their profile on Google to read what their customers are saying about their experience working with the company.

Obviously, not every review for every business will provide a glowing assessment, but look for trends in the comments on the quality of their work and the work ethic of their technicians. 

If there is a consistent pattern of less than stellar work, that is a sign of a company lacking accountability. However, if the opposite is true, that is a sign that the company has a deep passion for its work and would likely make a great first HVAC employer.

VISIT THEIR LOCATION

As you’re submitting resumes, remember that HVAC remains a very nuts and bolts kind of business even in the very digital world we live in. Showing up to a business’ location to hand-deliver your resume, shake hands with your potential employer, and introduce yourself in person can make a great first impression on a prospective employer. 

However, visiting an HVAC business is a great way to give you a leg up on the competition as they are making their hiring decisions, but it is also a great opportunity for you to get a lay of the land. 

You can use this opportunity to impress and get an evaluation of the office environment, potential coworkers, and culture to determine if it is indeed a company you would like to work for.

ASK YOUR TRAINING INSTRUCTOR

Not sure where to begin your search? Unsure of which companies in your area may be the best fit for you to start your HVAC career? 

Your training instructor can be a fantastic resource! Their experience in the field and in the local community should make them a wealth of information as to what you’re looking for in a great first HVAC job, and which companies in your area may be best to apply to.

Your instructor can also be a valuable resource in the application process. You may consider asking them to write you a letter of recommendation as you narrow down your choices and go in for interviews.

Chris Walters of the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating has 38 years of experience in the HVAC industry and is a state subject matter expert on heating and cooling in the Texas and Houston area. 

The education you receive here and the advice Chris can pass along from his vast experiences will give you a huge leg up on the competition as you begin the search for your first HVAC job. 

Additionally, we’re always sure to provide our students with a list of contractors who are currently hiring, and many contractors show up in the last week of class to pitch their company! We are very proactive in helping our students find the right places to interview.

Learn more about beginning your HVAC career at the Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating! And – once you land your first interview, be sure to use these tips to make sure you land your dream job!

Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC

Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC

When it’s time to perform maintenance on your HVAC system, it can be tempting to look at residential unit solutions; they’re often less expensive and more simple to perform.

However, this could be a drastic mistake. If this maintenance is under-performed, you could end up paying more money in the long run, while also feeling the heat of frustration. That’s why it’s important to understand the differences between both of these systems.

Residential and commercial HVAC systems both ultimately serve the same purpose: to control the temperature of the environment they’re in. However, they also have many key differences.

For instance, they require different levels of power to operate. They also have varying levels of size, location, complexity, drainage, and more. We invite you to read further to compare these systems, and how they uniquely function in their respective settings.

Location

Residential HVAC systems are commonly located on the side of a house, or in the backyard. This makes them easy to access by a technician while also staying out of sight for aesthetic reasons.

Commercial HVAC systems, on the other hand, are typically located on the roof of their building. This is to accommodate their larger size, prevent noise disturbances, minimize any tampering with the unit, and provide technicians with a safe and non-obtrusive location to perform maintenance on the system.

Size & Complexity

Commercial HVAC systems are notably larger than residential systems. This is because they are expected to maintain the temperature of a much larger area than residential units are.

They’re also more complex than residential systems! In a large commercial building, you may want to have control over partitioned areas of the building. This requires more complex design and functionality, and will certainly require a more elaborate draining system than most residential units would need.

Maintenance Requirements & Cost

A more complex system requires a deeper knowledge of unit maintenance. In many cases, home HVAC systems can be maintained by the homeowner, or via a quick visit by a technician.

This is not the case for commercial systems. For these systems, it is necessary to hire an experienced technician who is familiar with a unit’s functionality and build in order to provide proper care. This means, of course, that the cost of maintaining a commercial HVAC system will be much higher.

Mechanism

The mechanism of a commercial HVAC system can vary depending on the structure of the building it’s meant to serve. These units are often given a modular design, whereas residential systems typically exist as a standalone unit that’s split between the inside and outside of a home.

Because a commercial system has a modular design housed in a single unit, the different components can be easily found and tended to in one place. This is also a more conducive design for expanding or modifying the unit in some way, which a residential unit would not be capable of.

Drainage

Just about every part of a commercial HVAC system is larger than what you would find in a residential system, including the draining system. Because residential units are smaller, they usually only require one drain pan that’s located outside of the house.

A commercial system though, will require a much more intensive drainage system with multiple pipes and pans that ensure 100% evaporation, and reduce the chance that it might overflow.

At the End of the Day

Residential and commercial HVAC systems will both provide their respective settings with the temperature control that is expected of them, granted in very different levels of scope! So long as you’re happy and comfortable where you are, you can be rest assured that your unit is achieving the goal it sets out for.

Contact us to learn how you can find a qualified residential or commercial HVAC technician!

At the Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating in Houston, TX students have the opportunity to learn true-to-life skills that will immediately transfer into a career in air conditioning and heating! Are you interested in becoming a certified HVAC technician?

We offer flexible classes, financing options, and hands-on experience that’ll prepare you for work opportunities after graduation.

Common Air Conditioning Installation Violations and How to Avoid Them

Common Air Conditioning Installation Violations and How to Avoid Them

HVAC installers provide an extremely valuable service: keeping them safe from the extreme heat and extreme cold of the seasons and helping them feel comfortable in their home or office. This job is especially important to the good people here in Texas who face indescribably hot conditions during the summer.

Not many people have the skills that heating and air conditioning installers have, making them a valuable member of the community they work in. As an HVAC professional, people will depend on you and the skills and expertise you possess to get them through the season. 

It is for this reason that knowing 90% of air conditioning installations are done incorrectly is such a disheartening statistic. Even with all respect and expectations customers hold for the profession, almost every installation is not completed to the high standards that HVAC professionals were trained for and should hold themselves accountable to. To be frank, it is shameful.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. As an incoming HVAC student, a recent graduate of The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, or just someone who is interested in the profession, you have the power to buck this trend and learn from the mistakes of those that have come before you. 

Here are six of the most common air conditioning violations that occur in the field so you can learn to avoid them. 

No Installation Permit

Acquiring the proper permits prior to air conditioning should be one of the very first steps in the process, yet it is often overlooked by both parties involved in the installation: the customer and the contractor. Most homeowners will know they need permits for major home renovations, but many don’t realize that they need one for air conditioning installation as well.

Permits are important for a number of reasons. They not only ensure the safety of those working on the equipment, but they also ensure that the equipment being installed is up to energy and environmental standards. Contractors can obtain the necessary permits on behalf of the homeowner and they can also be obtained by the homeowner themselves.

Installing without permits is often overlooked by homeowners who don’t know and contractors who don’t care – but both should concern themselves about it. Installing an air conditioner without the proper permits isn’t just dangerous but can result in serious fines. As a HVAC contractor, never take an air conditioning installation job without the proper documentation first.

Failure to Perform Manual J, Manual S, or Manual D

No two air conditioning system installations are the same. Each and every system requires very precise calculations and adjustments to ensure they are working properly and efficiently for the environment they are being installed in. Three calculations of particular importance that need to be done with every single installation are Manual J, Manual S, and Manual D calculations. However, these calculations are not consistently done, or done correctly, during many air conditioner installations.

Manual J is a calculation that needs to be done to properly size the system to provide optimal cooling based on the size of the home it is being installed in along with other factors. An air conditioner installed in a larger home will need to be adjusted differently than one in a smaller house in order to keep every room and every person cool. 

Manual S then considers the geographical location of the system and the average temperature highs it will have to perform in. Also known as design temperature, an air conditioner needs to be calibrated to effectively and efficiently work under the conditions it will experience 99% of the season. 

Manual D builds off the previous calculations by determining the proper sizing of the ducts needed to properly distribute air without underworking or overperforming.

Not performing these calculations causes air conditioners to not perform efficiently. If the system is oversized it distributes too much air during each cycle which can spike energy usage and inflate monthly energy bills for the customer in addition to ineffectively controlling humidity. Undersized air conditioners will not be able to keep the customer cool. Both instances make for unhappy customers and the need for unnecessary service calls to correct the system’s settings.

Furnace flue pipe touching combustibles

It is a shame that this needs to be said time and again, but because this is one of the most common air conditioning installation violations done here it goes: never put something very hot in contact with something flammable or combustible!

Every HVAC system has a flue pipe that vents hot exhaust air outside of the home it is installed in. Not only is this air warm, it can also contain carbon monoxide, an odorless and tasteless gas that can be deadly if it is allowed to circulate into a home’s air supply. Proper ventilation of the flue is an important part of HVAC installation, but so is the proper installation and accounting for the surrounding area.

When installed in homes, flues are often installed around wood from the subfloor or the home’s frame, which can be inflamed by the warm air and hot metal duct if the proper clearances are not accounted for. Suficit to say this isn’t just a mistake that costs money to fix, it is a potentially deadly one.

Heating equipment is the number one cause of house fires in the U.S and accounted for 19% of house fire deaths from 2014 to 2018. When installing a flue pipe or servicing a piece of equipment that may cause you to move or adjust the pipe, make sure the proper safety measures are taken before you leave.

Service access to equipment not accessible

Air conditioners need regular care, attention, and servicing to ensure they run properly for as long as possible. However, servicing the system properly can be made much more difficult (both for you and anyone else who might work on it in the future) if it has not been installed with the proper accessibility. 

Here is the long and short of the situation: if it is hard to get to the system it is going to be hard to service it. This means that minor, easy-to-fix issues can get overlooked and become serious ones, cleaning is harder to do thoroughly, and the healthy lifespan of the system can be drastically shortened.

When you are installing an air conditioning system, make sure you are following the proper NEC guidelines for working space of three feet on each side of the equipment. This will allow that yourself and anyone else who needs to work on it has proper access.

Air conditioning installation isn’t always done right. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Understanding where other installers fall short is the first step in training a new generation of air conditioning installers who are hard working, thorough, and masters of the trade. 

That is our mission here at the Training Center of Heating and Air Conditioning. We are based in Houston, Texas and our founder Chris Walters spent his HVAC career practicing in Texas. Through our experiences working in this industry in this state, we know exactly what our students need to know in order to have a successful career upon graduation. 

If you are interested in beginning your HVAC career with the best training available, learn more about our upcoming classes and get started today!

3 Reasons Why Texas is a Great Place to Start Your Heating and Cooling Career

3 Reasons Why Texas is a Great Place to Start Your Heating and Cooling Career

A career in HVAC repair and installation is a great career path for any person who is looking for a rewarding, challenging, and valuable career with an education that can be achieved in a fraction of the time and cost of a traditional four-year college. Not only that but there is no better place in the United States to start your HVAC career than right here in Texas.

It’s not just our Texas pride showing, a Texas HVAC career is truthfully one of the best paths you can take. Working in the HVAC industry in Texas requires you to be at your best, be the most knowledgeable about your craft, and gives you an opportunity to not just provide a valuable service but to be so much more than just that.

If you have thought about starting your career as a heating and cooling technician or installer but aren’t sure if it is right for you, let us help inspire you by telling you exactly why starting your career in Texas is the best way to start your career.

There is a demand for HVAC professionals

A combination of a long-standing labor shortage in the skilled trades workforce along with the labor shortage created in part by the coronavirus pandemic means there is a need for HVAC professionals across the United States now more than ever. 

That demand is particularly being felt right here in Texas especially as we hit the peak of summer. Folks in Texas need their cooling equipment cared for, but there is a lack of skilled labor to serve them.

Coupled with the large amounts of job opportunities, the demand for labor in Texas means that once you complete your necessary training you have a good chance of securing a good-paying job right out of the gate. There are jobs available in Texas, and heating and cooling companies are willing to pay. Enough said!

Cooling is particularly valuable in Texas

Don’t get us wrong: properly working cooling systems are greatly appreciated all across the country. However, no one appreciates them quite as much as Texans. During summers in Texas, we can average highs in the upper 90’s every single day for months at a time. It gets so hot in Texas that the design temperature of HVAC systems has to be set for the 100’s in many of our state’s counties.

In some parts of the country, HVAC companies are at the mercy of the weather. Mild summers mean people can get by with what they have, which can affect their bottom lines significantly. Not here in Texas. Even a mild Texas summer can be brutally hot, meaning there will be plenty of work available each year.

We love Texas, but boy can it get hot! However, that means that Texans are especially appreciative of their HVAC service professionals. When it gets really, really hot lives are literally at stake. People won’t overlook the value of the service you provide to them.

Expert training available

Because of how important HVAC professionals are here in Texas, getting the proper training is of the utmost importance. This is why here at The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating we are proud to provide the best HVAC training in Texas to best prepare students for the demands they will face.

Our school’s founder, Chris Walters, has been in the heating and cooling industry right here in Texas for over 30 years. He understands the importance of the servicemen and women in the industry provide and has dedicated his career as an educator to sharing everything he has learned over the course of his career.

When you start your career by getting your education here at The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating, you know you are taking the best first step towards a Texas HVAC career.

Want to learn more about Chris Walters’ method or about opportunities to join our next session of classes? Click here to learn more.

The Importance of HVAC Soft Skills

The Importance of HVAC Soft Skills

HVAC is an incredibly technical field. Becoming a licensed technician or installer takes extensive training and hands on experience, making the “know-how” of the job and every little in and out of the equipment you work on crucial. You cannot understate the value of technical skills in the HVAC field.

That being said, success in the industry is not entirely dependent on how skilled you are at navigating HVAC equipment. A successful HVAC technician or installer must also be adept at soft skills as well.

Soft skills are skills such as creative thinking, conflict resolution, time management, teamwork, networking, and other social skills that can help you succeed in your career. Basically, the opposite of the technical skills you learn throughout your training at The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating.

But, for a technical career like this one, why are these soft skills so important. In short, technical skills will help you do your job; soft skills help you do your job better and open avenues and opportunities for you to excel within your career.

Here are just a few ways that developing soft skills can help your HVAC career.

Represent you and your company proudly

For employers, soft skills are important for one major reason: how you conduct yourself, interact with customers, and what kind of impression you make. See, when you arrive at a customer’s home to perform your inspection, maintenance, or repairs you aren’t just there as yourself, you are there as a representation of your company, who wants you to perform your job effectively, make the customer happy, and leave a good impression. 

A technician that lacks desirable soft skills or social skills isn’t likely to meet those expectations. Say a technician shows up to a customer’s home late, smelling like cigarettes, grumbles a curt greeting before demanding to see the system, before stomping their dirty boots through the customer’s home. This isn’t just a bad impression on yourself, but the company they are there representing.

A technician who has developed their soft skills will be self-aware enough to realize just how important their professionalism and conduct is as their company’s reputation is on the line with every interaction. Your poor performance can have a serious impact on your company.

Become a more desirable technician

An HVAC technician who is well-spoken, communicates well, and exhibits traits like good work ethic, creative thinking, and strong teamwork is going to be much more desirable than the alternative in several different ways. 

The first, and most useful for someone currently going through career training or preparing to begin their training, is obviously landing a job. The technical skills on your resume will obviously be important for getting you an interview, but displaying your soft skills during the interview will help you make the best impression possible and stand out among other candidates.

Once you are on the job, however, being a desirable technician also has its perks. A technician who is charming, well-spoken, and always leaves their customers happy and satisfied can develop a loyal customer base who prefers your services, keeping you busy and well compensated. 

Exhibiting a strong work ethic, initiative, leadership, and teamwork skills can also help put you at the front of the pack for promotions and other advancement opportunities.

Better communicate with customers

Communication is a big deal for those working in the HVAC industry. When you have to have conversations with your customer about what is wrong with their system, what it will take to fix it, and, most painfully, how much it is going to cost, tempers are likely to flare. 

Soft skills in communication, conflict resolution, and empathy play a big role in customer relations. The ability to not lose your head, remain calm, and truly understand their perspective when someone is upset will help you be able to diffuse any high-tempered situations and calm customers.

The issues you encounter will also likely be very technical and beyond the knowledge of the average customer. Communication skills can help you better breakdown and explain the problem in a way that doesn’t make you sound superior or condescending, while being reassuring and comforting to customers.

How to develop your HVAC soft skills

Learning technical skills is easy enough. They can be learned through classes and hands-on learning, like the one here at The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating. Soft skills, however, aren’t so straightforward.

While learning soft skills is an important aspect of the HVAC industry, they aren’t always taught in the classroom. Instead, they are developed in the world outside the classroom. If you want to strive to be a better professional, getting real-world experience interacting with employers, customers, and coworkers is the best resource. Always open yourself up to feedback from others, actively listen to what they have to say, and think of how their feedback can be applied to your work habits. You can also research different courses, classes, or reading material outside of your HVAC classroom that can help you solidify these skills as well.

Looking for a place in the Houston area to hone the technical HVAC skills you will need alongside the HVAC soft skills you require? Classes are in session at The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating. Call 281.580.4239 to learn more or reserve your spot online today.