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HVAC technician training in Springfield, MO, HVAC technician certification in Springfield, MO

HVAC Mechanic Career Profile in Springfield, MO

HVAC mechanics maintain, repair and install heating, cooling and ventilation systems to regulate temperature, humidity and air quality within buildings. They also install and service refrigeration systems needed to store and transport perishable goods. HVAC mechanics are required to read and understand blueprints and other specifications needed to install and repair HVACR systems. Their responsibilities include connecting HVACR systems to air ducts and fuel and water supply lines as well as installing electrical wiring and controls. The position frequently involves inspection and test of HVACR systems and replacing worn or defective components.

Approximately 9 percent of HVAC mechanics are self-employed. Most travel to various locations to make service calls. HVAC mechanics frequently interface with customers and should possess good customer service skills. They are required to record the work performed and any parts replaced; therefore, the profession requires that they are detail oriented. Troubleshooting skills are needed to assess faults and make repairs while assembling and disassembling equipment necessitates good mechanical ability.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of HVAC mechanics is projected to increase by 21 percent between 2012 and 2022. It is one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation. Several factors are involved in the increased demand for HVAC mechanics. The recovering construction industry will require climate control systems to be installed in newly built residential and commercial buildings. In addition, HVAC systems have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Many systems will need to be replaced. The drive toward more energy efficient climate control systems is expected to create further demand for HVAC mechanics.

The Springfield, MO unemployment rate fell from 5.6 to 4.8 percent between 2013 and 2014. Employment in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities industries has remained stable over the last year.

HVAC Mechanic Salary Potential

In May of 2012, the median wage for HVAC mechanics was $43,640. The bottom 10 percent of wages were below $27,330 and the upper 10 percent was above $68,990. Apprentices' salaries are typically around half that of experienced HVAC mechanics.

Education and Training

There are several on the job training programs and colleges that provide HVAC training in the Springfield area. Some HVAC technicians participate in an apprenticeship under the guidance of more experienced HVAC mechanics. Community and technical colleges also offer both Associate in Applied Science degree programs in Heating, AC and Refrigeration Technology and diploma programs. Students are provided classroom and laboratory instruction to learn the theory of HVACR systems and skills for installation and repair.

HVAC Mechanic Career Paths

HVAC mechanics with a minimum of one year experience in installation and 2 years in maintenance and repair are eligible to take a variety of tests for certification from specific organizations. North American Technician Excellence offers an examination for industry competency. HVAC Excellence offers an employment readiness exam and two heating exams. The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society offers HVAC mechanics two levels of certification, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires anyone buying or working with refrigerants to be certified in proper handling. The certifications are valuable in that they show a certain level of competency in industry specializations that can enhance the HVAC mechanic's career.

HVAC mechanics have a number of specialty fields they may choose as a career path including:

* Solar Energy Installation Managers
* Solar Photovoltaic Installers
* Solar Thermal Installers and Technicians
* Weatherization Installers and Technicians
* Heating and AC Mechanics and Installers
* Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Resources for HVAC Mechanics

Entry level HVAC mechanics may often find employment assistance by working with local training centers or unions

HVAC mechanics in Springfield may find career development support through the Springfield Chamber of Commerce's Business Education Partnership. They work with industry leaders to provide skilled and qualified employees. In addition, there is a number of national resources available including:

* Air Conditioning Contractors of America
* Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute
* HVAC Excellence
* North American Technician Excellence
* Radiant Professionals Alliance
* Refrigeration Service Engineers Society