An HVAC engineer or refrigeration and air-conditioning installer will work on cooling systems in buildings and transport. Their salary will vary depending on experience and they will need certain qualifications and experience to do the job.
Job role
The job will require installing, servicing and repairing temperature and air quality control systems in different places such as offices, supermarkets, schools, factories and hospitals. Some work might be in refrigerated transport. You may have to look at sites where systems are going to be installed and plan the layout of the ducts, control panels and pipes. You will need to install components and do quality checks to make sure that everything is working safely. You will need to carry out maintenance work and find faults and fix them. You may also be required to let customers know how they can reduce their energy use and possibly use renewable energy to improve efficiency of cooling systems. You will also need to work closely with customers, making sure that you are fitting a system that suits their needs.
Qualifications and skills
It is possible to do an apprenticeship in order to do this job. However, you can train in college and then look for a job afterwards. To secure a place on a training course it would help if you had some experience of electrical, mechanical or plumbing work. It will be necessary to have good practical skills and be able to follow technical instructions. It will also be important to be aware of the safe working practices for the industry.
The salary for this role can vary but on average will be between £20,000 and £35,000 for a 35-40 hour week. A starter salary would be between 320,000 and £25,000. For a more experienced worker they would get between £26,000 and £32,000 and a highly experienced worker could get up to £35,000. There may also be overtime pay and bonuses and there will be rates given for travelling time and any accommodation and travel expenses. It may be possible that you will have to do out of hours emergency work. You may get extra money for being on call and then extra pay for any overtime that you have to do as a result of this. You may need to use your own transport to travel between jobs. You may need to work away from home at times, if you work for a big company. You may also find that you sometimes have to work on construction sites, when it is cold and damp and possibly uncomfortable and cramped. You could be self-employed and this could give you the opportunity to earn more money but there is a lot of risk, responsibility and knowledge of running a business is needed. If you have employees you will need to know about employee law, insurance and many other things as well. The job could lead to work as a refrigeration engineer, a cooling systems designer or building services of some sort. It may even lead to a career in plumbing.