In the career culture we’re in, where more and more people are attaining four-year degrees and doing desk jobs, the demand for skilled trade workers is ever increasing.
One of the fastest growing areas where shortages are already apparent is heating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians. The employment of HVACR engineers is expected to grow by up to 28 percent by 2018, due to the departure of Baby Boomers from the workforce and the fact that the current rate of expansion through technology is advancing rapidly, especially with the current emphasis on energy efficiency and cost reduction technologies.
“What used to be quite a relatively simple job now requires much more detail and skill in making sure it’s installed and programmed correctly,” says Stephen Yurek, CEO of the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.
In addition to a mechanical aspect of the role, an HVACR engineer will now also benefit from an aspect of other technologies and software, he says. Once the basic training is finished which includes, for most engineers, education at a technical school or through an accredited provider and hands-on work with a suitable contractor there are continuing courses and certification programs within the industry, because the technology is always changing and most definitely improving.
According to Jerry Weiss, who is the executive director of HVAC Excellence, who provides the certification for engineers at all levels of their careers, it is now becoming more and more necessary for HVACR engineers to receive formal training in addition to on-the-job experience.
“There was a time and place where someone who was clever could figure things out,” Weiss says. “The equipment is now too sophisticated, and gone are the days when you can just pock it up.”
He says that in reality the installation is the smallest part of the role, and the true test of a good technician is being able to diagnose faults and errors with the system, which now requires a more sophisticated technical knowledge. Getting the maximum energy efficiency for each of the systems will also require more mathematical precision.
Air Con 365 recognises this fact and in order to counter the impending issue we are always sending our engineers on the relevant training courses to keep abreast of the most current technologies.