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In the 1930s, automotive HVAC systems were considered the “weather conditions” in vehicles.
Today, we use these systems to make our car ride comfortable even in an enclosed space.
Although users think it’s easy to manipulate, the system is actually more complex than it may seem.
It comprises components that control the air temperature and regulate its speed and flow direction.
To ensure that all these components are working smoothly and operational, you need an automotive HVAC technician.
Let’s take an extensive look at this HVAC profession below.
- Career Overview and Outlook
- Responsibilities of an Automotive HVAC Technician
- Qualifications to Become an Automotive HVAC Technician
- Potential Salary of an Automotive HVAC Technician
- Steps to Becoming an Automotive HVAC Technician
Career Overview and Outlook
Because the automotive HVAC system is highly automated, people look toward automotive HVAC technicians for fix-ups.
Because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021) reported a 5% increase in employment for all HVAC/R jobs.
The reason for this increase stems from the manufacturing of more electric cars in the market.
So, automotive HVAC technicians will be asked to contribute their skills in servicing HVAC systems for these cars.
Of course, knowledge of the systems in older vehicle models will still be useful.
Responsibilities of an Automotive HVAC Technician
Automotive HVAC technicians inspect, maintain, repair, and install HVAC systems in vehicles.
Some of the tasks you’ll shoulder include:
- Regulating the temperature and humidity of the air
- Adjusting the airflow to passenger’s specifications
- Identifying any malfunctions in the HVAC system
- Testing and reconfiguring the HVAC system to fix issues
- Estimating damages and determining whether to repair or replace them
- Conducting maintenance work on the HVAC system and its components
Qualifications to Become an Automotive HVAC Technician
As mentioned, automotive HVAC systems are highly automated.
That’s why to become an automotive HVAC technician, you need to possess the following:
- Proficient in computer technology, computer-aided control systems, and electronics
- Advanced maintenance diagnostics skills
- Mechanical skills in layout reading and in engines and automotive HVAC parts
- Physical strength and stamina
- Attention to detail
- Organizational skills
- Customer service
Potential Salary of an Automotive HVAC Technician
Currently, employers are looking for highly-competent automotive HVAC technicians.
They need people to help install and repair HVAC systems within dealership and factory quality and time guidelines.
So, most of them will offer ample salaries to attract prospective employees.
Below, you’ll find the average salary for automotive HVAC technicians as of July 2022 from ZipRecruiter.
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Steps to Becoming an Automotive HVAC Technician
Automotive HVAC technicians, even with minimal experience, can compete in the job market.
However, having a certificate or a degree can help you fight for a better position and a higher salary.
So here’s how you can become a well-rounded automotive HVAC technician.
Step 1 – Get Your High School Diploma or GED Equivalent
As an aspiring automotive HVAC technician, you should accumulate basic knowledge and skills while in high school.
Foundation in the following areas can be beneficial for your advanced training in the future:
- Mechanical skills
- Computer skills
If available, apply for internships or part-time jobs to gain more insights and experience.
Step 2 – Receive Your Automotive HVAC education and training
Enroll in an accredited automotive HVAC course at trade schools and vocational colleges to…
- Get comprehensive knowledge and understanding
- Acquire and improve technical skills
The topics you’ll learn include the following:
- Workplace safety
- Automotive HVAC equipment and systems
- HVAC electronics
- Automotive climate control and testing
- Airflow dynamics
- Dynamics of fluids
- Federal and state codes and regulations
Step 3 – Earn Your Certification and/or License
You can increase your chances of better employment and pay if you obtain certification and/or license.
Some of the organizations that offer certifications include:
Automotive Service Excellence Certification
It’s a standard certification for all automotive professionals.
For automotive HVAC technicians, take and pass the Heating and AC test.
If you also want to work in general mechanics, you can sit for the Master Mechanic Certification.
EPA Section 609 Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning (MVAC) System Servicing
The Environmental Protection Agency requires all those involved in MVAC to be certified.
This ensures that you can safely handle and recover refrigerants in motor vehicles.
Society of Automotive Engineers
They offer various certifications for automotive HVAC experts.
State and Local Licensing
States and their localities may or may not require you to apply for a license.
It’s best to check with your state and locality for more detailed information and requirements.