Thursday, August 13, 2015

How the HRAC program ignites future success

As a Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician, your job is all about balance. That is, being able to achieve perfect temperatures, levels of humidity and overall air quality in homes, offices and other buildings. What you might not know is that these highly-skilled professionals can enjoy excellent job security, terrific learning opportunities, and even greater earning potential.

When you think about it, most places have some sort of heating and cooling system in place. Whether it’s a large industrial furnace, a window-unit air conditioner or an ice rink refrigeration system, these appliances require constant maintenance and upkeep. Can you imagine what it would be like in the dead of winter with no heat or how difficult it’d be to skate on an iceless rink? So it’s not hard to imagine the sheer volume of service calls HRAC technicians receive on a regular basis, let alone at the beginning of the winter and summer seasons.

Service demand aside, employment growth in this industry has sharply increased – almost 40 per cent between 2010 and 2011 (Statistics Canada) – and with an aging population, many heating technician will soon retire making this one of the biggest growth industries.

Great earning potential
According to, entry-level workers start out making about $40,000 a year, and this only rises as you gain more experience. After about ten years on the job, and depending on your skills currency and career commitment, you might see yourself making upwards of $70,000 annually.
As with any career, education and training is supremely important. Not only because you learn the important theory and tactical skills needed to be successful, but because you’ll start higher on the pay scale than those who have just a high school education. Taking the HRAC program at Centennial also steers you into an apprenticeship, which is necessary if you wish to become a tradesperson.

Continual skills development and staying up to date on the latest technology is also a factor in how much you’ll earn. Associations like the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada and the interprovincial Red Seal program provide certification and on-going training opportunities to help you keep up with advances in technological and industry standards.

So what will I actually be doing?
Design and Installation – You might determine system designs to fit customer preferences, read blueprints and install to pre-determined specs, or simply introduce new systems in place of older ones.
Routine inspections – Inspecting older units to determine whether they meet current standards and regulations will be common in aging buildings. You might be asked to provide recommendations that meet energy-efficiency guidelines for the size of building and type of unit requested in addition to estimating costs for service.

Diagnostics, maintenance and service – Nothing lasts forever. And sometimes things break down at the most inopportune times, so emergency service in this industry is the norm. Refrigerant leaks, burnt out compressors, drainage blocks and sensor malfunctions are just some of the issues you’ll encounter in a long list of common problems. You’ll need to troubleshoot and diagnose what’s causing the difficulties, source parts, prepare service quotes… oh, and actually fix it!

So if you’re into ditching the briefcase for a combustion analyzer, then maybe you’ve found your match. This is a career for those who like using their hands, don’t mind getting them dirty and enjoy the challenge of solving complex mechanical and electrical problems.

No comments:

Post a Comment