Heating and Air-conditioning Mechanic  What They Do

Just the Facts


Installs, services, and repairs heating and air conditioning systems in residences and commercial buildings.

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


A person in this career:

  • Tests pipe or tubing joints or connections for leaks, using pressure gauge or soap-and-water solution.
  • 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.
  • Repairs or services heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve efficiency, such as by changing filters, cleaning ducts, or refilling non-toxic refrigerants.
  • Installs, connects, or adjusts thermostats, humidistats, or timers.
  • Connects heating or air conditioning equipment to fuel, water, or refrigerant source to form complete circuit.
  • 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.
  • Complies with all applicable standards, policies, or procedures, such as safety procedures or the maintenance of a clean work area.
  • Installs auxiliary components to heating or cooling equipment, such as expansion or discharge valves, air ducts, pipes, blowers, dampers, flues, or stokers.

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 bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupations requires climbing things such as ladders, scaffold, and poles more than one-third of the time
  • 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
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • 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 conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • 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 in this occupation involves walking or running 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
  • 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:

  • Renewable Energy Technician -- Implements green systems to handle the energy needs of companies and individuals.
  • Attic Fans Mechanic --
  • Baseboard Heating Installer --
  • Duct Cleaner --
  • Gas Furnace Installer --
  • Heat Pump Installer --
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Installer (HVAC Installer) --