Are you mentally prepared to be a good HVAC Tech
The Heating, ventilation, Air Conditioning or an HVAC technician is a career option that is at an all time high, for all the right reasons. This industry is adding as many as 10,000 jobs annually which proves the prosperity of this sector. Many graduates are looking in the HVAC direction with gleaming eyes of hope for the money and security that this job offers. However, before you can get started, you need to know what is required of you and how can you meet the basic expectations of your employers-to-be in order to score that job. It will help you greatly to know already what is expected of you!
It is exciting to choose a new career that fills your life with opportunities and new learnings at every step along the way. However, before you rush into things, you need to know your trade, what it entails in terms of job responsibilities, how to prepare for it, what is the career growth prospect and things like that.
As promising as HVAC seems to the ambitious out there, it does involve intense dedication from a technician. You may not have the boredom of a cubicle but you may have to work in tight, uncomfortable and sometimes even risky spaces. Here are some things that can help you prepare mentally about the job that looks glorious at the face of it, but doesn’t hesitate in asking you to go beyond your call of duty every once in a while.
You may have to work for long hours
Just as the peak summer or winter seasons are approaching, you will have to prepare for all the work that is about to come your way. This involves working long, grueling hours as these are the times when heating and air conditioning systems break down more often. The usage around these months are high,causing the systems to crash and thus increasing the work hours that you would be required to put in. Sometimes your customers will be understanding and be more patient. However, there will also be times when you have to deal with unpleasant customers who want you to fix their problems at the drop of a hat!
Every time you receive a service call, your clients are either looking for a replacement or repair service. In peak seasons, you may be expected to work as much as 16-20 hours in a day. Sometimes the conditions will not be to your liking but that comes with the territory!
The Technology Never stops Evolving
Working as an HVAC technician gives you tremendous opportunity to learn as the technology that fuels the HVAC never stops growing. Your education and training will be an ongoing process and you are required to educate yourself about the new systems that are hitting the market every now and then. You always have to stay up to speed with the latest models and how they work.
While there can never be a downside to learning new things, the job of a technician can become quite challenging when you have to manage your work and on-going coaching simultaneously. It can be physically taxing to juggle between work schedules and training. You have to take both with utmost alacrity as you cannot let one suffer because it affects your future growth and advancement in your career.
You must be able to handle stress
In the life of an HVAC technician, stress comes in all shapes and sizes! There is stress of working in hard conditions and then there is stress of dealing with tough customers. Sometimes you need to work odd hours and sometimes you are required to fix a problem in no time. You may find yourself in physical stress and sometimes you will feel emotional anxiety due to excessive work load in peak seasons. It can get to some people but mostly the technicians know what they are getting into so they are able to breeze through. You would really need to hold it together even if it gets a little hard-hitting at times. This is one of the most important things that an HVAC technician is required to have, performing well even in the most stressful conditions.
Working Weekends, sometimes evenings as well
You will love your job and the challenges that propel you out of your comfort zone but sometimes it tests you at another level altogether. You may be required to work weekends and evenings too that can be especially demanding. If you are working for a contractor, then you may get even less flexibility. However, if you own the business independently, you may have the freedom to choose your own work hours!
At times it can be hazardous too!
An HVAC technician is prone to risky burns, electrical shock or even muscle strain due to working in cramped spaces and handling heavy equipment. There are also times that you work in extreme temperatures that are not ideal for the human body. Imagine maneuvering your way through spaces that have loose wiring, extremely hot equipment that can cause burns or working around material that is dangerous!
Another danger for an HVAC professional also includes inhaling toxic fumes when they work with the refrigerants. Direct contact with these toxins can cause skin damage, blindness and even frost bite! Imagine sucking all the toxic fumes while working in tight, crummy spaces.
Working in uncomfortable spaces
This may end up being one of those times when you questioned your choice of giving up a desk job. So you like challenge and enjoy working in tough conditions, but this, it takes discomfort to an all new level.
While it may not happen all the time, but sometimes job of an HVAC technician entails that they work in uncomfortable temperature conditions. Although mostly they work inside but you may be required to tackle the heat pumps and other outdoor fitting in poor weather conditions.
Don’t forget when you have to work in awkward spaces that cramped or may have to work in too hot or to cold buildings because their air conditioning/heating system is acting up. You may be servicing a home one day and a school on another day. Your job is dynamic, just the way you wanted but uncomfortable work spaces is something you have to prepare yourself for.
The job is rewarding, no doubt,but it is also demanding. In the dead of summer or cold of winter, you may be called upon to check if the heating or air conditioning fails. HVAC technicians are required to respond to these calls, regardless of a weekend or odd timings of the day.