Occupation Summary

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

O*NET 49-9021.00


Install or repair heating, central air conditioning, HVAC, or refrigeration systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 15.92%.
Education Level:
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Business and Industry

  1. Test electrical circuits or components for continuity, using electrical test equipment.
  2. Repair or replace defective equipment, components, or wiring.
  3. Discuss heating or cooling system malfunctions with users to isolate problems or to verify that repairs corrected malfunctions.
  4. Connect heating or air conditioning equipment to fuel, water, or refrigerant source to form complete circuit.
  5. Install, connect, or adjust thermostats, humidistats, or timers.
  6. Comply with all applicable standards, policies, or procedures, such as safety procedures or the maintenance of a clean work area.
  7. Study blueprints, design specifications, or manufacturers' recommendations to ascertain the configuration of heating or cooling equipment components and to ensure the proper installation of components.
  8. Install auxiliary components to heating or cooling equipment, such as expansion or discharge valves, air ducts, pipes, blowers, dampers, flues, or stokers.
  9. Braze or solder parts to repair defective joints and leaks.
  10. Lay out and connect electrical wiring between controls and equipment, according to wiring diagrams, using electrician's hand tools.
  11. Inspect and test systems to verify system compliance with plans and specifications or to detect and locate malfunctions.
  12. Record and report time, materials, faults, deficiencies, or other unusual occurrences on work orders.
  13. Perform mechanical overhauls and refrigerant reclaiming.
  14. Adjust system controls to settings recommended by manufacturer to balance system.
  15. Install expansion and control valves, using acetylene torches and wrenches.
  16. Install dehumidifiers or related equipment for spaces that require cool, dry air to operate efficiently, such as computer rooms.
  17. Recommend, develop, or perform preventive or general maintenance procedures, such as cleaning, power-washing, or vacuuming equipment, oiling parts, or changing filters.
  18. Cut or drill holes in floors, walls, or roof to install equipment, using power saws or drills.
  19. Mount compressor, condenser, and other components in specified locations on frames, using hand tools and acetylene welding equipment.
  20. Measure, cut, thread, or bend pipe or tubing, using pipe fitter's tools.
  21. Keep records of repairs and replacements made and causes of malfunctions.
  22. Install or repair air purification systems, such as specialized filters or ultraviolet (UV) light purification systems.
  23. Estimate, order, pick up, deliver, and install materials and supplies needed to maintain equipment in good working condition.
  24. Schedule work with customers and initiate work orders, house requisitions, and orders from stock.
  25. Supervise and instruct assistants.
  26. Lay out reference points for installation of structural and functional components, using measuring instruments.
  27. Lift and align components into position, using hoist or block and tackle.
  28. Install or repair self-contained ground source heat pumps or hybrid ground or air source heat pumps to minimize carbon-based energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions.
  29. Repair or service heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve efficiency, such as by changing filters, cleaning ducts, and refilling non-toxic refrigerants.
  30. Test pipes, lines, components, and connections for leaks.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers employed Annual Growth Rate
Building equipment contractors 65.7 1.59
Direct selling establishments 2.8 -0.60
Colleges and universities 2.1 0.76

Labor Market Information

2020 Statewide average hourly wage $23.73
2020 National average hourly wage $25.68
2018 National employment 367,900
2018 Texas employment 28,460
Texas projected employment by 2028 32,992
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2028 3,453

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
    -- Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
    -- Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
    -- Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
    -- Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Other Activities

  • Independence
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


Adjustable widemouth pliers: Adjustable widemouth pliers;

Adjustable wrenches: Adjustable wrenches;

Air compressors: Air compressors;

Air velocity and temperature monitors: Velometers; Air flow sensors; Air velocity meters; Draft gauges;

Alignment jig: Material alignment jigs;

Ammeters: Ammeters; Milliammeters; Milliamp/microamp meters;

Anemometers: Anemometers; Hot wire anemometers;

Awls: Awls;

Blocks or pulleys: Riggings;

Blow torch: Acetylene torches;

Bolt cutters: Bolt cutters;

Calibrated resistance measuring equipment: Resistance meters; 4-wire resistance sensors;

Calipers: Calipers; Vernier calipers;

Capacitance meters: Capacitance testers; Capacitor analyzers;

Carbon monoxide analyzer: Carbon monoxide detectors;

Caulking guns: Caulking equipment; Caulking guns;

Chalk lines: Chalk lines;

Chart recorders: Chart recorders;

Chemical test strips or papers: Litmus papers;

Circuit tester: Circuit analyzers;

Circuit tracers: Circuit tracers;

Claw hammer: Claw hammers;

Cold chisels: Cold chisels;

Conduit benders: Conduit benders;

Depth indicators: Water level meters;

Desktop computers: Desktop computers;

Diagonal cut pliers: Diagonal cutting pliers;

Dial indicator or dial gauge: Dial indicators;

Drill bit set: Drill bit sets;

Drill press or radial drill: Drill presses;

Electrical frequency meters: Electrical frequency indicators;

Electronic measuring probes: High-voltage probes;

End cut pliers: Side cutting pliers;

Explosimeters: Combustion analyzers;

Feeler gauges: Feeler gauges;

Fish tape: Fish tapes;

Flow sensors: Air volume test equipment; Water flow meters; Venturi meters;

Flowmeters: Air flow hoods; Flowmeters; Turbine flow meters; Pitot tubes;

Forklifts: Forklifts;

Frequency calibrator or simulator: Voltage simulators; Current simulators;

Gas detectors: Combustible gas leak detectors;

GFI circuit testers: Receptacle testers; Ground fault circuit interrupter GFCI testers;

Glue guns: Glue guns;

Goggles: Safety goggles;

Grease guns: Grease guns;

Hacksaw: Power hacksaws; Hacksaws; Hand hacksaws;

Hammers: Hammers; Soft face hammers; Tinners hammers;

Hand reamer: Reamers;

Hand sprayers: Hand sprayers;

Hand trucks or accessories: Hand trucks;

Handheld refractometers or polarimeters: Portable refractometers;

Handheld thermometer: Handheld thermometers; Water temperature gauges;

Heat tracing equipment: Infrared thermometers;

Hex keys: Allen wrenches; Hex wrenches;

Hoists: Hoists;

Hold down clamps: Hold down clamps;

Hole saws: Hole saws;

Hydraulic pumps: Transfer pumps;

Hygrometers: Humidity sensors; Hygrosticks;

Infrared imagers: Infrared thermography cameras and display units;

Inspection mirror: Inspection mirrors;

Jacks: Jacks;

Label making machines: Labeling machines;

Ladders: Ladders;

Laser printers: Laser printers;

Leak testing equipment: Smoke pens; Smoke testers;

Level sensors or transmitters: Transit levels;

Levels: Water levels; Precision levels; Laser levels; Levels; Bubble levels;

Lifelines or lifeline equipment: Fall arrest lines;

Liquid leak detectors: Refrigerant leak detectors;

Longnose pliers: Long nose pliers;

Lug crimping tool dies: Lug crimping tool dies;

Magnetic tools: Magnetic pickup tools;

Manometers: Manometers;

Manual wire straighteners: Fin combs;

Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory: Mechanical stethoscopes;

Megohmmeters: Megohmmeters;

Metal band sawing machine: Bandsaws;

Metal cutters: Duct slicers; Metal snips;

Microcontrollers: Programmable logic controllers PLC;

Micrometers: Micrometers;

Moisture meters: Moisture meters; Micron gauges;

Multimeters: Multimeters; Autoranging meters; Clamp-on multimeters;

Notebook computers: Laptop computers;

Nut drivers: Nut drivers;

Ohmmeters: Ohmmeters; Milliohm meters; Volt-ohm meters VOM;

Oil gun: Oil guns;

Oil pumps: Refrigerant oil pumps;

Open end wrenches: Open end wrenches;

Oxygen gas analyzers: Oxygen testers;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

pH meters: pH meters;

Phasemeters: Phase rotation meters;

Pipe bending tools: Pipe benders;

Pipe or tube cutter: Pipe cutters; Tube cutters;

Pipe reamer: Pipe reamers;

Pipe wrenches: Pipe wrenches;

Platform lift: Platform lifts; Staging equipment;

Plotter printers: Plotters;

Portable data input terminals: Dataloggers; Computer diagnostic devices;

Potentiometers: Potentiometers;

Power drills: Electric drills; Cordless drills; Hand drills; Power drills; Portable drills;

Power flaring tool: Flaring tools;

Power grinders: Power grinders;

Power saws: Power saws; Reciprocating saws; Jig saws; Circular saws;

Pressure indicators: Magnehelic gauges; Gas pressure gauges; Differential pressure detectors; Duplex pressure gauges; Water pressure gauges; Refrigerant pressure meters; Pressure gauges; Pressure simulators; Pneumatic air gauges;

Pressure or steam cleaners: Power washers;

Pressure sensors: Bourdon tubes;

Pry bars: Crowbars;

Psychrometers: Wet bulb/dew point meters; Psychrometers;

Pullers: Pullers;

Punches or nail sets or drifts: Punches; Knockout punches;

Razor knives: Scrapers; Insulation knives; Box cutters;

Refrigerant compressors: Charging cylinders; Charging manifolds; Refrigerant recovery machines; Reclaiming equipment;

Resistance thermometers: Resistance temperature detectors;

Respirators: Respirators;

Rulers: Rulers;

Safety glasses: Safety glasses;

Safety harnesses or belts: Safety harnesses; Safety belts;

Sampling manifolds: Service manifold sets;

Scaffolding: Scaffolding;

Scales: Scale rules;

Scanners: Image scanners;

Screw extractors: Screw extractor sets;

Screwdrivers: Flared tip screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers; Slotted screwdrivers; Screwdrivers;

Scribers: Scribers;

Shackle: Shackles;

Shears: Duct knives; Shears;

Sheet metal pliers: Hand seamers;

Single gas monitors: Carbon monoxide evaluators; Carbon dioxide CO2 testers;

Slings: Slings;

Slip or groove joint pliers: Groove pliers;

Smoke detectors: Smoke detector canisters;

Socket sets: Socket wrench sets;

Soldering iron: Soldering equipment; Soldering guns; Soldering irons;

Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter: Decibel meters;

Specialty wrenches: Valve wrenches;

Spectrometers: Spectrometers;

Speed sensors: Revolutions per minute RPM meters;

Squares: Squares;

Straight edges: Straightedges;

Strap wrenches: Strap wrenches;

Stripping tools: Wire strippers;

Surface thermometers: Non-contact surface temperature heads;

Swaging tools: Swaging tools;

Tachometers: Strobe tachometers; Tachometers;

Tape measures: Tape measures;

Telescoping boom lift: Telescoping boom trucks;

Temperature calibrator or simulator: Temperature simulators;

Temperature gauge: Temperature gauges;

Temperature humidity testers: Temperature/humidity testers; Humidity simulators;

Tension testers: Belt tension indicators;

Thermocouple probes: Thermocouple testers;

Thermocouples: Pipe clamp thermocouples; Bead type thermocouples; Thermocouples;

Threading dies: Pipe dies; Pipe threaders;

Threading taps: Tap sets;

Tinners snips: Tin snips;

Tongs: Tongs;

Torque wrenches: Torque wrenches;

Tube bending machine: Tubing benders;

Two way radios: Two way radios;

Ultraviolet UV lamps: Black lights;

Utility knives: Utility knives;

Vacuum cleaners: Duct vacuums; Industrial vacuums;

Vacuum gauges: Vacuum gauges; Compound gauges;

Vacuum pumps: Recovery and recycle units; Refrigerant vacuum pumps; Vacuum pumps;

Vibration testers: Vibration analyis equipment;

Voltage or current meters: Alternating current AC line splitters; Electrical current meters; Non-contact voltage detectors; Heating ventilation and air-conditioning/refrigeration HVAC/R clamp meters; Voltmeters;

Water analyzers: Water testers;

Water samplers: Contaminant content tests;

Wattmeters: Watt transducers; Wattmeters;

Welder torch: Brazing equipment;

Welding masks: Welding hoods;

Winches: Staging winches;

Wire brushes: Wire brushes;

Wire cutters: Wire cutters;

Wire lug crimping tool: Sheet metal crimpers;


Computer aided design CAD software: Autodesk AutoCAD; Computer aided design CAD software; HVAC tools software;

Customer relationship management CRM software: Contact management systems;

Data base user interface and query software: Data entry software; Data logging software; Database software;

Document management software: Adobe Acrobat;

Electronic mail software: IBM Notes; Microsoft Exchange; Microsoft Outlook;

Enterprise resource planning ERP software: SAP;

Facilities management software: Johnson Controls Metasys; ManagerPlus; Cworks CMMS; Computerized maintenance management system CMMS; IBM Maximo Asset Management; Facility energy management software;

Graphics or photo imaging software: Graphics software;

Industrial control software: Honeywell WEBs-N4; Delta Controls inteliWEB; Alerton Ascent Compass; Building automation software; Siemens APOGEE Building Automation Software;

Internet browser software: Internet browser software;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office;

Presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel; Spreadsheet software;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word; Atlas Construction Business Forms;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers include:
  • 49-3011.00 Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians
  • 49-3023.00 Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
  • 49-9012.00 Control and Valve Installers and Repairers, Except Mechanical Door
  • 47-2111.00 Electricians
  • 47-4021.00 Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers
  • 49-9071.00 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
  • 49-9044.00 Millwrights
  • 49-3042.00 Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines
  • 49-3051.00 Motorboat Mechanics and Service Technicians
  • 47-2152.00 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Sources of Additional Information
  • For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local contractors, or local union–management HVACR apprenticeship committees. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program online or by phone at 877-872-5627.
  • For more information about career opportunities, training, and certification, visit: Associated Builders and Contractors
  • North American Technician Excellence
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
  • Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association
  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
  • United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, and Service Techs
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.