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Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to increase 28 percent during the 2008-18 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Median hourly wages of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers were $19.08 in May 2008.
HVACR technicians often specialize in either installation or maintenance and repair, although they are trained to do both. They also may specialize in doing heating work or air conditioning or refrigeration work. Some specialize in one type of equipment—for example, hydronics (water-based heating systems), solar panels, or commercial refrigeration.
Technicians follow blueprints or other specifications to install oil, gas, electric, solid-fuel, and multiple-fuel heating systems and air-conditioning systems. After putting the equipment in place, they install fuel and water supply lines, air ducts and vents, pumps, and other components. They may connect electrical wiring and controls and check the unit for proper operation. After a furnace or air conditioning unit has been installed, technicians often perform routine maintenance and repair work to keep the systems operating efficiently.
Completers of this program should be able to obtain an entry-level position in the HVACR industry. They will also sit for the EPA's Refrigeration Transition and Recovery Certification test. The program takes six to nine months to complete and courses are offered year-round. There are day and/or evening and weekend classes.
2012 total approximate cost is $2,430. Total instructional hours are 210.
Occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos192.htm
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