The HVAC/R industry is exploding with jobs and opportunities; this map explores 40 of them. An ambitious worker could progress within any of these occupations, or seek the skills and credentials to advance between them. Click any dot to find out more.

There are many ways to pursue evolving interests or new opportunities in the HVAC/R industry. These wide-ranging sample career routes are intended to suggest affinity and possibility; each would entail significant intermediate sequences of work and learning. Click a path on the right to explore sample advancement sequence.

Green Jobs Icon

There is no universal agreement on what constitutes a green job; it is an ever-evolving concept. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a green career can be any occupation that is affected by activities such as conserving energy, developing alternative energy, reducing pollution, or recycling. Many occupations in the world of HVAC/R touch on these activities, some HVAC/R occupations are more obvious than others. The HVAC/R experts involved with the development of the Careers in Climate Control Technology Map chose occupations that could be easily recognized as applying “green” practices on a regular basis.

Mechanical Engineer w/HVAC Expertise
Mechanical Engineer w/HVAC Expertise

Mechanical Engineers with HVAC expertise are professionals who specialize in the design of heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems for all types of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

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Project Manager
Project Manager

HVAC Project Managers are professionals who oversee the design, planning, and installation of heating, ventiliation, and air conditioning systems in new construction or existing buildings.

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HVAC Instructor
HVAC Instructor

Instructor in HVAC/R Technology are subject matter experts that provide classroom and laboratory instruction in various HVAC/R courses as part of an approved training and education curriculum, providing a talent pipeline of individuals seeking to work in the HVAC/R Industry.

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Energy Engineer
Energy Engineer

Energy Engineers provide technical expertise, energy advice, recommendations and coordination services for companies seeking energy efficiency programs that include: lighting, controls, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for energy efficiency and comfort.

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Code Inspector
Code Inspector

HVAC/R Code Inspectors conduct a complete review of electrical and mechanical drawings, document applicable codes, and perform inspections on HVAC/R installations to ensure the systems match all drawings and are installed in a safe and workman-like manner.

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Commissioning Specialist
Commissioning Specialist

Commissioning Specialists test and evaluate the mechanical and/or building automation systems of commercial buildings to ensure these systems operate as designed and constructed, and make recommendations to improve efficiency and system performance.

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Building Automation Systems Manager
Building Automation Systems Manager

Building Automation Systems Managers have the overall responsibility of operating and managing a building’s automation system. They work alongside system engineers, programmers, field technicians, subcontractors and other building personnel.

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CAD Assistant
CAD Assistant

CAD Assistants use computer-aided design software and work with Lead Drafters to create designs and schematics used to manufacture products or construct buildings. Cad Assistants may specialize in many areas including mechanical, electrical and civil drafting.

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Test & Balance Technician
Test & Balance Technician

Test and Balance Technicians use specialized tools and test equipment to inspect, test, adjust, and balance heating, cooling, and ventilating systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings to achieve performance standards specified in the design of the system.

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Energy Analyst
Energy Analyst

Energy Analysts develop and maintain a high-level understanding of energy markets by locating, gathering, and analyzing energy data, and they work in a variety of positions including at engineering firms specializing in building efficiency.

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Building Automation Systems Engineer
Building Automation Systems Engineer

Building Automation Systems Engineers supervise the installation and maintenance of building automation systems that create centralized controls for such features as a building’s lighting system, heating and cooling system, and water heating system.

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Senior Operations Systems Analyst
Senior Operations Systems Analyst

Senior Operations Systems Analysts play a key role in the design, installation, and implementation of all technical aspects of Building Automation Systems and are responsible for assessment and analysis of a building’s control system to ensure system optimization.

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Building Automation Systems Technician
Building Automation Systems Technician

Building Automation Systems Technicians install, repair, and maintain computer-based control systems that control and monitor a building's mechanical and electrical equipment including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and energy management systems.

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Building Automation Systems Trainee
Building Automation Systems Trainee

Working under the supervision of a Building Automations Systems Technician, the Trainee utilizes their previous knowledge and experience of HVAC/R and electrical systems of buildings, to install, troubleshoot, and commission Building Automation Systems.

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Controls Installer
Controls Installer

Controls Installers assist with the installation of conduit, wire, cable, equipment, components and devices associated with energy management systems including electric/electronic controls, devices, panels, sensors, and components.

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Sales & Marketing Manager
Sales & Marketing Manager

Sales & Marketing Managers manage a team of sales representatives with the goal of increasing sales in their assigned territory through growth and development of existing customers and developing relationships with new customers.

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Equipment Manufacturer Representative
Equipment Manufacturer Representative

As a manufacturer’s representative that specializes in HVAC related products, these individuals become an expert in a specific product line and provides product, equipment and solutions based on customer needs.

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Wholesale Counter Sales
Wholesale Counter Sales

Wholesale Counter Sales Associates provide quality customer service at the counter level, including writing and processing orders, answering questions on products, relaying pertinent order information to customers, and coordinating with other departments and manufacturers when necessary.

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Customer Sales Representative and Estimator
Customer Sales Representative and Estimator

Customer Sales Representatives & Estimators build strong relationships with potential and existing customers in order to sell product. They visit job sites and prepare quotes based on customers' needs.

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Sales & Marketing Associate
Sales & Marketing Associate

Mostly an inside sales position, Sales & Marketing Associates support current customer accounts, ensure purchase orders are shipped and received, develop a new customer base, and analyze sales trends on current and new customers while providing excellent customer service.

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Warehouse Associate
Warehouse Associate

Warehouse Associates receive and verify incoming shipping orders, stock shelves and pull and prepare HVAC/R equipment and components for shipment. This is an excellent position to learn about the HVAC/R industry.

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Facilities Manager
Facilities Manager

Facilities Managers provide overall direction, coordination and supervision for organizing, planning, scheduling and implementing activities for maintenance, and operations for the building systems.

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Commercial Contractor
Commercial Contractor

HVAC/R Commercial Contractors are individuals who start their own business fabricating, installing, maintaining, servicing, and repairing HVAC/R systems in commercial and industrial settings. They work alone or hire employees to help operate the business.

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Commercial Service Manager
Commercial Service Manager

Commercial Service Managers supervise and support all building operators and HVAC field personnel who perform installation, maintenance, and repairs, as well as office personnel, to ensure customers are provided with superior quality service.

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Stationary Engineer
Stationary Engineer

Stationary Engineers operate, maintain, renovate and repair boiler systems and all other mechanical systems in a facility. This equipment is similar to that used on trains and ships but the equipment is stationary, rather than mobile.

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Journey-Level HVAC Technician
Journey-Level HVAC Technician

Upon successful completion of an apprenticeship program, Journey-Level HVAC Technicians install, repair, and maintain HVAC systems with little or no supervision.

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Journey-Level Refrigeration Technician
Journey-Level Refrigeration Technician

Upon successful completion of an apprenticeship program, the Journey-Level Refrigeration Technician will install, repair, overhaul and perform preventive maintenance on refrigeration systems of commercial and industrial buildings and manufacturing plants will little or no supervision.

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Commercial Service Technician
Commercial Service Technician

Commercial Service Technicians provide customer service in the field to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair refrigeration and/or HVAC equipment in commercial buildings. While they are sometimes trained on specific systems, these technicians are usually generalists trained to work on many HVAC/R systems.

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Cooking Equipment Service Technician
Cooking Equipment Service Technician

Cooking Equipment Service Technicians provide customer service in the field to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair commercial cooking, refrigeration and/or HVAC equipment.

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Facilities Maintenance Technician
Facilities Maintenance Technician

A Facilities Maintenance Technician is responsible for a variety of issues and related improvements of a building’s HVAC/R and plumbing systems, with an emphasis on performing preventative, predictive and unscheduled maintenance as needed.

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Tradesperson
Tradesperson

The Tradesperson is a stage in an HVAC/R career path with progression based on experience, education, and training. Working under the supervision of journey-level technician or lead installer, the Tradesperson assists in the installation and maintenance of HVAC/R equipment.

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Commercial Installer
Commercial Installer

Commercial Installers work under the supervision of a Lead Installer or Supervisor to install HVAC equipment and/or refrigeration equipment and accessories in commercial buildings.

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Apprentice
Apprentice

The HVAC/R Apprentice position allows individuals to learn the skills required of the commercial HVAC/R installation and service trade while working in a full-time paid employment position with on-the-job training from experienced HVAC journey-level technicians as well as company-provided structured apprenticeship training classes.

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Commercial Trainee
Commercial Trainee

Commercial Trainees assist lead installers and services technicians with the installation and service of various types of commercial HVAC/R equipment and accessories.

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Residential Contractor
Residential Contractor

HVAC Residential Contractors are individuals who start their own business fabricating, installing, maintaining, servicing, and repairing warm air heating systems, heat pumps, ventilating systems, and air conditioning systems. Contractors can work alone or hire employees to help operate the business.

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Residential Service Manager
Residential Service Manager

Service Managers oversee the technicians that install, repair and maintain heating and air conditioning units in a residential setting, providing guidance and technical expertise, as well as maintaining direct involvement with dispatch personnel to ensure customer satisfaction and company goals are met.

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Service Dispatcher
Service Dispatcher

Service Dispatchers manage customer phone calls and organize service calls such that HVAC Technicians can move efficiently from job to job throughout the day.

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Residential Trainee
Residential Trainee

Residential Trainees assist lead installers with the installation of various types of residential HVAC equipment and accessories.

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Residential Service Technician
Residential Service Technician

Residential Service Technicians diagnose and repair a wide variety of residential heating and air conditioning systems according to company standards, and providing the customer with a high-quality experience while working under minimum or no supervision.

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Residential Installer
Residential Installer

HVAC Residential Installers are responsible for installing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment in customers’ homes following manufacturer specifications, industry codes and standards, and company requirements.

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Advanced
Mid-Level
Entry

Along the y-axis, jobs sit at three skill levels: ENTRY LEVEL (requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, and no HVAC/R education and HVAC/R work experience); MID-LEVEL (requiring a minimum of 1-4 years’ experience with post-secondary training preferred); ADVANCED (5+ years’ experience, journey-level training, or bachelor's level education).

Along the x-axis, jobs fall into five broad sectors: Residential, Commercial, Sales & Marketing, Automated Controls, and Design & Engineering. There is much overlap and conversation between these linked segments of the Careers in Climate Control Technology (HVAC/R) value chain.

Residential
Commercial
Sales & Marketing
Automated Controls
Design & Engineering