4 HVAC Career Paths

hvac career paths

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Completing an HVAC program is often the first step toward working in the field as a heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanic and installer (49-9021). 1 Once active in the HVAC industry, there are multiple career paths to choose from. Each individual’s work preferences, experience, and credentials can have an impact on which direction to go. Here is an overview of four common HVAC careers.

1. Work for an HVAC Company

hvac company work

When you’re finished with your HVAC training, you could start out in an entry-level position at a company that offers heating, air conditioning, ventilation, or refrigeration products or services. Working for an HVAC company could come with employee benefits, room for advancement, health insurance, paid sick leave, vacation time, and bonuses.

Moving from an entry-level job to a management position is one example of the career advancement that is possible when working for an HVAC company. Management job options in the HVAC field include operation manager, distribution manager, product manager, regional manager, and store manager. 2

2. Work for the Government

hvac government work

Working for the federal government is another option for HVAC school graduates. USA Jobs, the official job search website of the U.S. government, lists several positions that require HVAC skills, including Maintenance Mechanic, Facility Operations Specialist, and Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic. 3

Government employees often receive defined-benefit pensions, and a recent Gallop survey found high rates of satisfaction with retirement packages, health insurance, and vacation time among them. 4

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3. Become an Independent Contractor

hvac independent contractor

While the majority of HVAC technicians are employees at construction contracting companies, about 1 in 10 are independent contractors, notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the title suggests, these technicians work for themselves and have the ability to make their own schedules. 5 However, with greater freedom comes more responsibility. Self-employed workers are legally obligated to carry health insurance, and they must cover the cost of this coverage or face fines. 6 This is not usually the case with employees, who often receive health benefits from their employer.  Some Independent Contractors may transition into starting their own HVAC company.

4. Start an HVAC Business

hvac business

For many, starting a business is part of the American Dream. 7 Fortunately, in the HVAC industry, it is possible to start a business with a small investment of time and resources and grow as demand for your services increases. 8 HVAC small business owners who are prospering agree that one of the keys to success is to be considerate of the people who work for you. This means hiring employees who are a good fit for the company, fostering a supportive work environment, and nurturing relationships with customers.

Strong Demand for HVAC Services

Demand for HVAC services and products will likely increase in the coming years as customers replace or upgrade old equipment. 9 This is good news for individuals pursuing any one of the number of HVAC career paths the industry has to offer. To learn more about training for this line of work, contact The Refrigeration School.

Additional Sources

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