With baby boomers retiring, there is a need for the next generation of skilled tradespeople to enter the workforce. However, for years the education system has been placing a heavy emphasis on university-level career paths, leaving the skilled trades with more vacancies than ever before.
HVAC technicians in particular are in high-demand right now, especially in Ontario, where the Canadian Government has given HVAC its highest job prospects rating. This is largely because of the current building boom of office towers, residential buildings, shopping malls, and other large structures. With Ontario’s regularly fluctuating climate, all of these buildings will need HVAC systems installed, maintained, and replaced for decades to come.
The demand for skilled HVAC talent is there, but the question remains as to how to attract young people to the profession. The answer may lie with technology.
How Technology Is Revolutionizing HVAC
Today’s youth are growing up more in touch in modern technology than their predecessors, as they’ve never known a world where technology wasn’t an integral part of everyday life.
The good news is that technology is rapidly being integrated with HVAC systems. It plays a part in everything from Wi-fi thermostats to controls on mobile apps and automated building systems, making HVAC more connected, efficient, and attractive to tech-savvy talent than ever before.
Perhaps most importantly, the up-and-coming workforce is very climate-conscious. HVAC provides ample opportunities to contribute to the ongoing “greening” of our industry using technology innovations that continue to lead the charge away from fossil fuels to create a better future for everyone.
Is Working In HVAC A Good Career Choice?
There’s more to working in an innovative, rapidly-growing industry like HVAC than applying technology to help make systems more efficient and environmentally sustainable. Here are 5 reasons why HVAC could be a great career choice for you:
- Ongoing work and problem solving: HVAC systems need regular maintenance and service inspections at least three times per year. Like most mechanical systems, HVAC parts are cheaper to maintain than replace, so there’s a lot of incentive for property owners to invest in a maintenance program, bringing you steady work.
- Every day brings a new challenge: Working behind a desk isn’t for everyone. If it’s not for you, HVAC offers the opportunity to visit different places, speak to different people, and carry out multiple tasks, such as new installations, service calls, and system inspections. There are always new problems to solve and challenges to overcome, bringing fresh opportunities to use your technical skills and practical knowledge to help people.
- You get to be a hero: When the air conditioning fails during sweltering summer heat, or the heating system breaks down mid-winter, office workers get excited when you walk in the door. It’s gratifying to help folks when they need it, especially when you have the specialized skills required to overcome a problem. When you’re finished, they will praise your good work. What could be better than that?
- Lower student debt: You’ve likely heard reports of people with master’s degrees struggling to find work while trying to repay crippling student debt. Not so with HVAC. Training and education programs are much less expensive than most post-secondary courses, leaving you debt-free faster and working in an industry that’s hungry for new talent.
- You make good money: Almost all malls, stores, office towers, and government buildings have HVAC systems that need to be maintained. Your specialized skills will always be in demand, which means you’ll be paid well for your time. With little student debt and a career of opportunity ahead of you, your only financial problem should be deciding what to spend all your money on.
Becoming an HVAC professional
A career in HVAC starts with finding a quality training program, earning a Gas Technician Level 2 or 3 license, and passing an exam required by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
Once your training is successfully completed, you can apply to become a member of the Ontario College of Trades. You will also need to complete a 3 to 5-year apprenticeship, take a certification exam, and apply to become certified and registered as an HVAC journeyman.
At Springbank, our team welcomes the opportunity to help mentor the next crop of talented HVAC technicians. If you have any questions about a career in HVAC, we’d be happy to answer them.
Gregg Little, Paul De Thomasis, and Hugo Lopes are co-owners of Springbank Mechanical Systems. They can be reached at 905-569-8990, or via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.