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Heating or Air Conditioning Mechanic/Installer

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What They Do

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Career Video

About This Career

Installs or repairs heating, central air conditioning, HVAC, or refrigeration systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Maintenance/Operations pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Tests electrical circuits or components for continuity, using electrical test equipment.
  • Repairs or replaces defective equipment, components, or wiring.
  • Discusses heating or cooling system malfunctions with users to isolate problems or to verify that repairs corrected malfunctions.
  • Connects heating or air conditioning equipment to fuel, water, or refrigerant source to form complete circuit.
  • Installs, connects, or adjusts thermostats, humidistats, or timers.
  • Complies with all applicable standards, policies, or procedures, such as safety procedures or the maintenance of a clean work area.
  • Studies blueprints, design specifications, or manufacturers' recommendations to ascertain the configuration of heating or cooling equipment components and to ensure the proper installation of components.
  • Installs auxiliary components to heating or cooling equipment, such as expansion or discharge valves, air ducts, pipes, blowers, dampers, flues, or stokers.
  • Brazes or solders parts to repair defective joints and leaks.
  • Lays out and connects electrical wiring between controls and equipment, according to wiring diagrams, using electrician's hand tools.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • HVAC Service Tech (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Service Technician)
  • HVAC Tech (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technician)
  • A/C Tech (Air Conditioning Technician)
  • HVAC Installer (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Installer)
  • HVAC Mechanic (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Mechanic)
  • HVAC Specialist (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Specialist)
  • Refrigeration Operator
  • Refrigeration Technician (Refrigeration Tech)
  • Service Technician (Service Tech)
  • Refrigeration Mechanic


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733