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What Are the Pros and Cons of An HVAC Career

Do you want a career where you can work with your hands and your head? If you like hard work that requires you to solve puzzles too, a career in the HVAC/R industry — Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration — might be right for you.


The Charter College HVAC/R program will help prepare you to seek an entry-level position as a heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic or installer in as little as 10 months. But before you get started on the path to a new career, here are the pros and cons of an HVAC career you should consider:




You can work in different settings. You might choose a position in residential or commercial HVAC. Which would you prefer? If you like to work with the public and enjoy variety to your workday, that’s residential. You’d respond to customers through appointments and work in their homes, going to different towns and neighborhoods and working on a variety of day-to-day projects. If you like the idea of being a member of an HVAC team, with the opportunity to work on bigger projects with less client interface, maybe commercial HVAC is more your speed. As a commercial HVAC mechanic, you might work on a new skyscraper or help maintain a huge sports arena. Single projects might take months and maintenance is ongoing.

It’s not outsourced. When heating and cooling systems need to be installed or repaired, a trained professional needs to be on site. This isn’t a career in fear of outsourcing to India. Also, as new, energy efficient technologies are created, heating and air conditioning systems continue to evolve. Not just anyone has what it takes to work on them. When you’re well-trained to do the job, you’re more apt to get the job.

It’s about problem-solving. If you enjoy troubleshooting, you might have what it takes to be an HVAC hero. As an HVAC technician, you’ll regularly face new situations and have the opportunity to think through problems to solve them. It’s hard to get bored when you can encounter new challenges that will keep you on your toes every day. You can also feel good about the work you do. Whether you get the heat fired up on a cold winter morning, or fix the AC on a sweltering summer night, you’ll know that what you do is needed and appreciated.




You may be on-call. Speaking of early mornings and late nights—if you’re an HVAC hero, you may work off-hours. Depending on where you are employed, you could have days that are not the typical 9 to 5 office hours. You may even find yourself pulling long shifts and doing weekend work. If that sounds like all bad news, consider that all those extra hours could also add up to some sweet overtime pay. The harder you work, the more you could earn.

It’s physically demanding. If you choose an HVAC career, expect to be busy! The job can be physically demanding. You will be on your feet most of the time and you may find yourself in tight spots like attics and crawl spaces. It’s important to stay in shape and take precautions like wearing protective clothing and kneepads to prevent injuries.

It takes time to become an expert. While the Certificate in HVAC/R program at Charter will prepare you for an entry-level HVAC position, it takes a lot of on-the-job experience to become an expert. You’ll want to pay close attention as you learn all the different types of systems and the issues they might have. It can be exciting to encounter new problems every day, but you’ll want to be patient to learn everything you need to find success in your career.


As with any career, there may be ups and downs to working in HVAC. But if you weigh the pros and cons and decide it might be right for you, Charter College’s HVAC/R program will teach you what you need to know to get a start in this exciting industry.