HVAC can be one of the most promising skilled trade industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a higher growth for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and at 14 percent through 2024, compared to just 7 percent in other industries. 1
As with any field, the HVAC job market can be competitive. Learning career-ready skills from an HVAC program is a good start. The BLS indicates that employers generally prefer to hire HVAC professionals with postsecondary training from a trade school. 2 Here are some tips when on the job hunt:
1. Cultivate Skills
Having technical knowledge of HVAC systems is imperative, of course, but that will only get you so far. Communicating effectively and customer service are what’s known as soft skills that companies often look for in prospective employees. 3 Not only should HVAC techs have technical and soft skills, they should seek certifications. In fact, the BLS also recommends EPA certification for anybody planning on working with refrigerants. Also, it is important to have
Computer skills which are necessary for everything from environmental monitoring to work management. Familiarity with mobile applications can also prove useful, as mobile tracking is increasingly prevalent throughout the industry.
2. Utilize Career Services
There is no need to embark on the job hunt journey alone; numerous resources can make this process easier. Not only can the experts in the career services department of your trade school provide promising leads, they can also help you hone some of the resume and interview preparation. Here are some services they provide:
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- Career services specialists know how to make HVAC resumes shine. They can help you edit yours to meet the expectations of prospective HVAC employers.
- In addition to assisting with your resume, career services specialists can help you write or edit a confident cover letter that will appeal to potential employers.
- Tips for everything from submitting resumes to impressing employers during interviews. You can even conduct mock interviews and receive on-the-spot feedback.
- Providing numerous connections, which can prove quite useful as you launch your job search. For example, the career services specialists at The Refrigeration School cultivate a network of both nationwide and local Arizona-based HVAC employers.
- Help you identify invaluable references who can speak to your character as a student and your bright future in the HVAC industry. Additionally, career services can clue you in on upcoming job fairs and other networking events.
3. Hone in to Target Your Job Search Further
If, after weeks or even months of searching, you have yet to hear back from prospective employers, double down and continue to perfect your resume and cover letter. Stop by career services again to see if there’s anything you can tweak.
You may want to consider adopting an even more targeted strategy. Instead of simply applying for every position you see on general job boards, brainstorm a list of ideal companies you’d like to work for. From there, find a way to reach out to current employees and their connections. This networking-based approach could prove more effective than simply sending out resumes, as it lends a more personal touch and transforms you into more than just another applicant. 4
Stay Focused & Persistent
Searching for a job in any industry, even an in-demand one like HVAC, can be frustrating, but with persistence and a focused job search strategy, you can land the right position. Don’t get discouraged if you encounter a few early disappointments. Continue on with confidence and you’ll be a proud professional before you know it.
1 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm
2 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm#tab-4
3 – https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234864
4 – http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2015/08/24/how-to-overcome-job-search-misery