For people with a skill at creating and building mechanical systems, a career as a HVAC engineer may be the right choice. These engineers work with a range of industrial and private buildings to design a climate control system that works for each.
The career field often requires anything from an associate to a master degree in the subject matter and pays accordingly. An HVAC engineer does vital work and provides their customers with the design product and testing services they need.
The first step towards getting work as an HVAC technician, potential workers can plan on earning a degree at least at the community college level. Programs at this level train HVAC technicians in the implementation and design of HVAC systems in buildings. Using blueprints, drafting and computer designs, students learn how to develop working systems.
To get a step ahead of the competition, consider getting a four-year degree in mechanical engineering or pursue graduate level studies. The certification process for an HVAC engineer requires more than the community college education required of just an HVAC technician. Although becoming an engineer takes a significantly greater amount of effort, the rewards and benefits are far greater.
The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society is the governing body of certified HVAC workers. Before becoming an HVAC technician or HVAC engineer, potential prospects will have to undergo the certification process. Provided they have the necessary degree level, getting a certification is an easy, painless procedure.
HVAC Engineer Training
Many engineers start out as just HVAC technicians. They receive a significant amount of their professional training through apprenticeships and learn the career through experience. Generally, a set time period is established for the apprenticeship to take place before they are officially considered an HVAC technician.
For technicians who know this is their career field, this can be an excellent option and lasts for 2 to 5 years. If they are not quite set on their professional career path, choosing to get a degree as a fall back plan can be a better choice.
To get an apprenticeship, an applicant should go through one of the industry organizations like the United Association of Journeymen, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association. An individual should be good at math and possess a high school diploma or GED. The apprenticeship gives an HVAC technician a real world edge on other applicants. After they graduate, they are considered skilled trade workers immediately.
Life as an HVAC Engineer
A career as an HVAC engineer gives a prospective employee the chance to be outside throughout the day and work with mechanical equipment. Since early heating and cooling systems appeared in the 11th century, people who installed systems like this have played a vital role in society. The complex machines used today require a far greater level of education to be regularly maintained. A technician conducts installation of air conditioners, ventilation machines or air conditioners.
Companies in today’s economy are trying to constantly become more environmentally friendly. This struggle to become green requires ever more complex heating and cooling systems. More complex designs are good news for an HVAC technician because it creates a greater need for their skill set.
An engineer or technician will spend time working in residential or commercial buildings providing repair and upkeep services. HVAC engineers use a number of tools to complete their work. They take advantage of voltage meters, flow sensors, water pressure gauges, thermocouples and pressure indicators to carry out their task. From simple hammers to pneumatic air gauges, HVAC professionals make use of the tools they need to complete their job.
HVAC engineers can expect to make an average of $72,214 a year. Although this is the average, the amount of experience and location can impact the level of pay.
In other areas, engineers can earn anywhere from $49,268 to $95,159. As an extremely skilled work, an engineer can expect to have a host of health insurance and other benefits along with their job offer.
At the other end of the spectrum, HVAC technicians earn far less. Depending on the job requirements, they can earn anywhere from $22,000 to @25,000 a year. The industry as a whole typically pays more for greater experience and education. A technician who wants to earn a higher income should seek out additional certification or a higher degree level. At the highest end of the field, HVAC professionals earn a respectable salary—far more than the technicians in the field. Getting a graduate degree in engineering can be the first step towards a high salary and great career prospects.
As numerous engineers reach retirement age, this career field is constantly growing. Businesses need trained professionals to continuously update and repair their HVAC systems making a career in HVAC engineering a very bright future.