Heating and cooling mechanics sometimes simply called "technicians" or "HVAC technicians" install maintain and repair the heating and cooling systems that are in most residential and commercial and industrial buildings to control the temperature humidity and air quality.
Even though they are usually trained to do all three jobs most heating and cooling mechanics usually specialize in installation maintenance or repair. As well they almost always specialize in either heating or air-conditioning work. In the summer heating technicians perform maintenance tasks such as replacing filters cleaning ducts and checking mechanical and electrical parts.
Conversely in the winter air conditioning technicians inspect cooling systems testing compressors using special equipment to insure they will be efficient when the weather turns warm. Both types of technicians sell service contracts to clients that will both incentivize them to maintain their systems and also will help the technicians maintain their level of their work throughout the year.
Both heating and cooling mechanics have to work outdoors as well as indoors and they must take care to avoid electrical shocks and burns. Those working with refrigerants need to observe special handling procedures to avoid skin damage and other injuries. With regard to job qualifications the website Bls.gov reports that employers usually give preference to applicants who have completed training at a technical or trade school which can take between six months and two years. However some enter the profession right after high school by serving in apprenticeships for three to five years. Some states require heating and air-conditioning mechanics to pass a test to become licensed.
The websites Careers.stateuniversity.com and www.bls.gov both state that employment opportunities for heating and cooling mechanics are good and expected to get even better in the coming years. The median rate of pay is approximately $19.00 per hour.