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Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers – economic projections

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program states that employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Commercial and residential building construction will drive employment growth as the construction industry continues to recover from the recent recession. The growing number of sophisticated climate-control systems is also expected to increase demand for qualified HVAC/R technicians.

Climate-control systems generally need replacement after 10 to 15 years. As a result, many homes and commercial buildings that were constructed between 2002 and 2009 will need replacement climate-control systems, further spurring demand for technicians.

The growing emphasis on energy efficiency and pollution reduction will also require more HVACR technicians as climate-control systems are retrofitted, upgraded, or replaced entirely. In addition, regulations prohibiting the discharge and production of older types of refrigerant pollutants will result in the need to modify or replace many existing air conditioning systems.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities for HVAC/R technicians are expected to be excellent, particularly for those who have completed training at an accredited technical school or through an apprenticeship. Candidates familiar with computers and electronics, as well as those who have developed troubleshooting skills, will have the best job opportunities as employers continue to have difficulty finding qualified technicians to work on complex new systems.

Technicians who specialize in installation work may experience periods of unemployment when the level of new construction activity declines. Maintenance and repair work, however, usually remains relatively stable. Businesses and homeowners depend on their climate-control or refrigeration systems year round, and must keep them in good working order, regardless of economic conditions.