If you like working with your hands, have a mechanical aptitude and are looking for an in-demand career, you may want to consider becoming a heating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC) technician. Do you have the skills employers are looking for?

Attending an HVAC trade program at a respected school is essential. You’ll learn specifics of the industry, and you will build a skillset and foundation to get started in your career and remain competitive. Participating in an HVAC apprenticeship – often required for graduation – will give you hands-on learning and the confidence to find your first job. Once you graduate and obtain your license, you will be qualified to install, service and repair HVAC systems.

During your training and beyond, develop a multitude of skills that are expected by employers in the HVAC-R industry.

•  Read and comprehend schematics, specifications, blueprints and other technical data
•  Understand how HVAC systems and controls work and be able to properly connect them to supply lines
•  Use testing equipment (airflow meters, humidity recorders, voltmeters and ohmmeters) and everyday tools (hammers, wrenches,       screwdrivers, etc.) to repair and install systems
•  Follow government regulations regarding the recycling of refrigerants and the disposal of fluids and gases
•  Evaluate safety standards and hazards on the job to prevent accidents
•  Troubleshoot malfunctioning systems quickly, identify possible problems, consider solutions and perform diagnostic tests
•  Look for continuing education opportunities to stay on top of new technology and trends relevant to the HVAC-R industry – especially those focused on energy efficiency and green trends

In addition to the technical skills mentioned above, an HVAC technician should possess some interpersonal skills that are vitally important to the way you do business:

•  Communicate effectively, paying attention to clients’ explanation of the problem, clearly explaining procedures and answering questions so that they feel comfortable and are confident in your abilities
•  Display good customer service skills by getting back to clients in a timely fashion, arriving on time for appointments, respecting clients’ property, being considerate and generally making a good impression
•  Manage your time well to solve the problem at hand and be able to get to the next appointment on time

The job market for HVAC technicians is very good right now. According to O*NET Online, the projected growth of HVAC jobs through 2026 is much higher than average. Now, more than ever before, women are needed in the industry to fill a job shortage caused by an increase in business and a decrease in the workforce. Many baby boomers are reaching the ends of their careers, and even more will retire within the next 10 years. To fill their vacant jobs and meet the demands of the newly created ones, employers will need women for the field to survive.

Tasked with bringing awareness of the HVAC industry to women, Women of HVAC is giving them the necessary tools to begin a successful career in the trades. With steady work, a promising job outlook, high wages and flexible opportunities, HVAC offers appealing career opportunities for women.

Visit Women of HVAC to find schools that will train you to work as an HVAC technician, as well as resources, opportunities and support for those already in the field.