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.
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 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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.
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.Job Detail
Facilities Managers provide overall direction, coordination and supervision for organizing, planning, scheduling and implementing activities for maintenance, and operations for the building systems.Job Detail
Cooking Equipment Service Technicians provide customer service in the field to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair commercial cooking, refrigeration and/or HVAC equipment.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
Upon successful completion of an apprenticeship program, Journey-Level HVAC Technicians install, repair, and maintain HVAC systems with little or no supervision.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
Commercial Trainees assist lead installers and services technicians with the installation and service of various types of commercial HVAC/R equipment and accessories.Job Detail
Service Dispatchers manage customer phone calls and organize service calls such that HVAC Technicians can move efficiently from job to job throughout the day.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
Residential Trainees assist lead installers with the installation of various types of residential HVAC equipment and accessories.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.Job Detail
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.