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The heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) program is designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in an essential industry.

HVACR Career Outlook Information

Wherever there’s air conditioning, ventilation, heating or refrigeration, there are technicians who have installed those systems and who maintain and repair them. The HVACR and HVAC industries represent these types of systems and the machinery that powers them. Those who have an HVAC technician career work with their hands and use problem-solving skills to find HVACR solutions for their clients.

If you’re considering where to take your career path, you may be interested in a career as an HVAC technician. This industry is full of essential workers who are needed throughout the country to work on important machines and systems. Learn about potential HVAC technician career path opportunities to see if an HVAC career path might be for you.1

What Is HVACR? What Do HVACR Technicians Do?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Sometimes refrigeration is grouped with these categories to form HVACR.

HVACR technicians install, clean, maintain and repair HVACR systems that control the humidity, temperature and air quality in a building. HVACR technicians inspect and test various components. They communicate malfunctions to customers. They replace or repair defective or worn parts.

HVACR techs provide maintenance recommendations to keep HVACR systems in top working condition. They also need to keep detailed records of the work they’ve performed.

Many people find they enjoy being in an HVAC technician career because they get to move around, solve problems and offer solutions to keep customers happy.

What Does a Career in HVAC Industry Look Like?

There are diverse HVACR career paths available, depending on the types of systems you’re interested in and how you’d like to shape your daily work schedule. Some HVACR technicians work their way up the ladder with a single employer, eventually pursuing leadership positions in management and other higher roles.

The following are some of the typical aspects that can be expected from an HVACR career.


Needed HVACR Education & Certifications

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers usually prefer that entry-level HVACR technicians have completed postsecondary education or an apprenticeship, since HVACR systems are becoming increasingly complex.

You can complete our HVACR technician program in less than a year. Our HVACR program, which is coming to UTI, is designed to include courses on:

  • HVACR Core and Basic Electricity
  • Heating Systems
  • Basic Refrigeration Systems
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Indoor Air Fundamentals and Duct Fabrication
  • Air Conditioning Systems
  • Construction Codes and EPA 608
  • NATE Core and Building Management

Students in our program learn safety procedures, how to use industry tools, how to perform a variety of manual skills, customer relations skills, mechanical and electronic controls, troubleshooting, and more.

In addition to postsecondary education, some employers hire candidates based on their certifications. Any HVACR technician who services, repairs, maintains or disposes of equipment dealing with refrigerants must be certified with the Section 608 Technician Certification from the Environmental Protection Agency. There’s also an R-410A Certification available, which demonstrates a technician has passed the competency requirements to handle Refrigerant 410A.

The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification is another HVACR certification that confirms HVACR skills competency. Upon graduation, students in our program are prepared to test for all these certifications, in addition to having taken OSHA 10-Hour Training that focuses on general construction safety, as well as U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Respect in the Workplace training.

HVAC Career Paths

There are different potential HVACR career paths available, depending on your interests, expertise, education and work skills. Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able to advance in your career with hard work. Some entry-level and advanced roles could include:77


  • HVACR technicians: HVACR technicians install, repair and maintain heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. They might specialize in a specific HVACR area, such as commercial refrigeration, solar panels, radiant heating systems, or testing and balancing.


  • HVACR engineers: HVACR engineers work for HVACR firms, equipment manufacturers and engineering firms. They help design systems and collaborate with HVACR technicians in their work.
  • HVACR managers and executives: Many leaders in the HVACR industry have experience working as HVACR technicians or in other fieldwork. HVACR leaders may work as project managers or lead teams of HVACR technicians who work in the field.
  • HVACR business owners: Some HVACR technicians open their own businesses and sell service contracts to clients.

As you can see, the career potential in the HVACR industry is diverse. Whichever area you may be interested in, there are opportunities to get there.

HVAC Career Salary

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for HVACR technicians in the U.S. was $51,390 in May 2022.58 This means half earned more and half earned less.

Also according to the BLS, the top states based on median annual salary for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers in May 2021 were:

  1. District of Columbia: $75,050
  2. New Jersey: $62,390
  3. Hawaii: $62,150
  4. Alaska: $61,400
  5. Massachusetts: $61,390

Keep in mind that these salaries are not entry level and depend on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

HVACR Industry Demand

The BLS reports there were 394,100 heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic and installer jobs in the U.S. in 2021. There’s a demand for skilled HVACR technicians. In fact, total HVACR technician employment is expected to exceed 414,000 by 2031.72


  • Is HVAC in high demand?

    While some employment opportunities are more in-demand depending on local resources, HVACR technician work is in demand throughout the U.S. Anywhere that has heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration relies on HVACR technicians.

  • Is HVACR a good career for the future?

    HVACR career satisfaction depends on your career goals. You have the potential to advance an HVACR career depending on the opportunities in your geographic location, the positions your employer offers and the education and certifications you obtain.

  • Is HVAC a hard career?

    HVACR career success usually requires customer service skills, mechanical skills, physical strength and stamina, troubleshooting skills, and time management skills. If you’re willing to develop these skills, and you pursue the required education and certifications needed for the role, you may find that you thrive in an HVACR career environment.

  • Does HVAC work require a lot of math?

    An HVAC career doesn’t typically require advanced math skills. HVACR technicians do need basic math skills, like the ability to read a tape measure, calculate basic load requirements and use fractions. Those are covered in HVACR technician training, so you’re prepared to enter the field.


If you’re interested in learning more about HVACR training that can help prepare you for an entry-level career in the industry, contact us. We’ll be in touch with information on HVACR technician school.