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HVAC technicians are needed to meet increasing demand to install and maintain equipment, especially new energy efficient products.
You often travel to job sites, particularly if you’re a contractor or sub-contractor. Though you may also find job opportunities in manufacturing plants and other commercial buildings as a part of the permanent maintenance team.
You can work in industrial, commercial, or residential settings. Often HVAC technicians choose to specialize in one of these areas. If you work in the residential field, you will likely travel to customers' homes. If you work in an industrial or commercial setting, you will likely work on and maintain equipment at one location, though you may be required to travel to other locations as your expertise is required.
HVAC technician salaries vary depending on your skill and experience level. Typically HVAC technicians are paid an hourly rate ranging from about $15 for new technicians to as high as $37 for highly experienced technicians. An average HVAC technician salary hovers around $22 per hour, which would work out to just over $45,000 for a full-time 40 hour work week.
The more skill and experience you bring to the table, the higher you can expect your salary to be. If you have an HVAC engineer certification or other mechanical engineering skills, you will find additional opportunities to advance your career and your salary.
As an HVAC technician some of your daily tasks will include:
As an HVAC technician, you can work in residential, industrial or commercial settings. If you work in the residential sector, you will be installing and repairing HVAC equipment in individuals' homes. If you work in the industrial or commercial sectors, you will be repairing industrial grade systems and equipment.
With the boom in energy-friendly alternatives to outdated and inefficient equipment, as well as the ongoing wear-and-tear all HVAC systems endure, there is a strong need for HVAC technicians all across Canada, particularly in areas with a strong industrial presence.
To be a successful HVAC technician, you must be able to analyze and troubleshoot problems. Being able to communicate successfully with customers is also a valuable skill that will make your job easier. In addition to your technical competencies with HVAC installation and repair, employers will also be looking for:
To find an HVAC technician job, you'll need to complete formal training in mechanical engineering technology at a college or trade school. Typically, employers look for successful completion of a 3-5 year apprenticeship program. While employers prefer experienced workers, opportunities exist for entry-level workers with training.
HVAC technicians can be licensed through provincial associations after working under supervision for two years. Many employers require certification. The ability to speak both French and English is an asset as it allows you to work with more a diverse customer base.
As new, more energy efficient products are designed, HVAC technicians are needed to install and test these systems. With the right training and experience, HVAC technicians can aspire to other jobs in the mechanical engineering field such as HVAC engineer, mechanical drafter, and mechanical engineer. You can also move into supervisory and management positions.
Another option to consider is self-employment. Some HVAC technicians find they can increase their salary and enjoy more freedom and flexibility by becoming an independent HVAC contractor.