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Cooling Designer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a cooling designer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

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Cooling designers need research, design software, and interpersonal skills. They require a bachelor's degree in an engineering or related field. Their median salary is about $84,000.

Essential Information

Cooling designers are mechanical engineers who specialize in the design, development and enhancement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for automobiles and buildings. A minimum of a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related discipline may be required for this occupation. Graduate certificate programs are available for cooling designers who want to further specialize in HVAC systems.

Required Education Bachelor's degree; graduate certificate for specialization
Other Requirements Strong research and interpersonal skills; knowledge of design software
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% for all mechanical engineers
Median Salary (2015)* $83,590 for all mechanical engineers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Cooling Designer Job Description

Cooling, or HVAC, designers are mechanical engineers who often have completed a graduate certificate program in HVAC systems or design. Cooling designers may need to understand the complex interrelationship between diverse systems and fields, such as the environment, the economy and consumer safety. These professionals often take into account issues like energy efficiency, cost constraints and even acoustics when designing HVAC systems to be used in homes, commercial buildings and automobiles.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mechanical engineers are expected to see a five percent increase in employment from 2014-2024, which is slower than the national average for all occupations. However, the BLS notes that the best prospects may be available to those who are working in areas that require modern technological knowledge, and that job growth will vary by industry. Additionally, as of May 2015, the BLS reported that mechanical engineers earned a median annual salary of $83,590.

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Cooling Designer Duties

An October 2011 search conducted on Monster.com suggested that the duties of cooling designers ranged from making complex building load calculations to navigating advanced HVAC design software like AutoCAD and Design Master. Designers may also need to cultivate effective working relationships with teams of architects, engineering consultants and property owners, a task that can require strong interpersonal skills.

Some duties and tasks might depend on client needs and demands, which may require researching materials and new technologies. For instance, the designer of an HVAC system for an elementary school might need to know about the relationship between learning and the physical classroom environment before designing an HVAC system tailored to that particular context.

Cooling Designer Requirements

Cooling designers may be required to hold at least a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or a related field, such as electrical or manufacturing engineering. Students in these majors may expect to take courses like calculus, chemistry, thermodynamics and statistics, along with gaining extensive practical experience designing and building machines.

Aspiring cooling designers may consider earning a postgraduate HVAC certificate to become more specialized in the field. Eligibility requirements may include a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or at least four years of consulting or contracting experience in the mechanical engineering field. Students may receive training ranging from duct system design to circulation.

Cooling designers require a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, often mechanical engineering. Those looking for career advancement should also pursue postgraduate HVAC certification. The job growth outlook for these positions is about average.

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