Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is expected to grow 34 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Commercial and residential building construction will drive employment growth as the construction industry continues to recover from the 2007-09 recession. The growing number of sophisticated climate-control systems is also expected to increase demand for qualified HVACR technicians.
Climate-control systems generally need replacement after 10 to 15 years. A large number of recently constructed homes and commercial buildings will need replacement climate-control systems by 2020, spurring demand for technicians.
The growing emphasis on energy efficiency and pollution reduction will require more HVACR technicians as climate-control systems are retrofitted, upgraded, or replaced entirely. Regulations prohibiting the discharge and production of older types of refrigerant pollutants also will result in the need to modify or replace many existing air conditioning systems.
Job opportunities for HVACR technicians are expected to be excellent, particularly for those who have completed training at an accredited technical school or through a formal apprenticeship. Candidates familiar with computers and electronics will have the best job opportunities as employers continue to have trouble finding qualified technicians to work on complex new systems.
Technicians who specialize in installation work may experience periods of unemployment when the level of new construction activity declines. Maintenance and repair work, however, usually remains relatively stable. Businesses and homeowners depend on their climate-control or refrigeration systems and must keep them in good working order, regardless of economic conditions.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition