Types of Industrial HVAC Jobs

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HVAC professionals may choose to work in different sectors of the industry:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Industrial

If you are thinking about what might be next after electro-mechanical technologies training, you may be interested in learning about jobs in industrial HVAC.

Residential Vs. Commercial Vs. Industrial HVAC

What’s the difference between these three sectors of the HVAC industry?

Residential HVAC

The residential HVAC sector is mostly focused on servicing the HVAC units in customers’ homes. An HVAC technician may work on small, individual projects, including traveling to a customer’s residence to troubleshoot a problem with their heating or cooling system.

Usually only one person is required, and there are often peak seasons when AC units or heating systems need installation or repair.1

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Commercial HVAC

This segment of the industry involves doing larger projects for businesses and commercial properties, such as office buildings, condos and restaurants.2 The HVAC systems used in commercial buildings are larger and more complex than residential systems, so a team of commercial refrigeration technicians and HVAC professionals may be tasked with working on one commercial HVAC project, such as:

  • Installing heating or cooling systems
  • Conducting maintenance
  • Renovating a project1

Industrial HVAC

Similar to commercial HVAC, industrial HVAC refers to HVAC systems in large buildings, specifically industrial environments. Industrial electro-mechanical technicians service industrial warehouses, factories or facilities that produce their own products.3

In these large warehouses, an industrial HVAC professional may be tasked to work with custom-made HVAC systems. These HVAC systems may be specifically designed for the product being manufactured, such as a custom refrigeration unit.3

The nature of industrial HVAC work can be unique to each facility, and the HVAC systems are large and complex. Working in an industrial HVAC job could be exciting and fulfilling for someone who loves a unique challenge and the satisfaction of keeping an industrial facility running.3

4 Types of Industrial HVAC Jobs

While there are many different specific job positions out there within the field of industrial HVAC, here are a few examples of types of industrial HVAC jobs:

1. Industrial HVAC Installer

Industrial HVAC installers may work in teams to get a job done. An HVAC installer’s job duties may include installing and commissioning HVAC projects, retrofitting or remodeling.4

Types of HVAC systems to be installed and replaced may include:

  • Rooftop AC units
  • Split systems
  • HVAC chillers
  • Humidifiers
  • Economizers
  • Heaters and boilers
  • More5

Installing HVAC systems may involve:

  • Laying out ductwork
  • Installing insulation
  • Installing pipe supports and threading
  • Constructing frames
  • Other duties to make sure a heating or cooling unit is installed properly5

2. Industrial HVAC Technician

An industrial HVAC technician performs skilled maintenance on industrial HVAC and refrigeration systems. This could involve installing, repairing and inspecting complex HVAC equipment.

Industrial HVAC technicians must be able to troubleshoot HVAC systems of all sizes and types.6 This job requires an understanding of large-scale commercial and industrial HVAC systems to diagnose, repair and replace components as needed.7

3. HVAC Chiller Mechanic

An HVAC chiller mechanic works specifically on chiller systems. This job entails repairing, installing, maintaining, retrofitting and starting up industrial HVAC chiller systems.8

Some of the work duties may include performing compressor and motor change-outs, troubleshooting package units and working with split systems and heat pumps. A chiller mechanic may be responsible for wiring a thermostat, relay, contractor or other components of the system.8

4. Industrial HVAC Superintendent

An industrial HVAC superintendent is responsible for overseeing the commercial, industrial or municipal HVAC projects for a company.9

This is a high-level management position that may require many years of experience. Generally, an HVAC superintendent in the industrial field may plan, direct and supervise crews of HVAC professionals on a daily basis, manage work schedules and supervise the execution of work.9

Other job duties may include:

  • Ensuring compliance
  • Coaching foremen
  • Following all company policies and procedures
  • Holding safety meetings
  • Inspecting work areas
  • Determining equipment to be used
  • Setting up a job site
  • Resolving any issues that may arise9

This type of job requires expert knowledge in order to direct and supervise industrial HVAC projects of all types.9

More Careers to Consider after Electro-Mechanical Technologies Training

The industrial HVAC sector is just one area you could work in after finishing your vocational training program.

Where else could you work? Consider these 4 career possibilities after electro-mechanical technologies training.

Additional Sources

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