Cooling Science Professions: Job Description & Info

Cooling science professionals are often referred to as HVACR technicians, due to their work with heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems. Keep reading to learn more about required training and skills, employment outlook, and earnings for cooling science technicians.

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Career Definition for Cooling Scientists

Cooling science professionals work in homes, offices, factories, and public buildings - anywhere there is a need for indoor climate control - to install and/or maintain cooling systems. The work of a cooling science technician not only improves the air quality within our homes and offices, but also makes it possible to transport and store perishable items, such as food and medicine. A cooling science professional works with materials which are hazardous to the environment and is trained to conserve, recover, and recycle these materials properly.

Education Technical or community college training programs
Job Skills Interpersonal skills, understanding of electronics, mechanical aptitude, physical fitness
Median Salary (2015)* $45,110 (for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 14% (for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Paid training options for cooling science professionals can take place on the job or through apprenticeships, which can last up to five years. However, completing an accredited program at a technical school or community college may provide the best job opportunities. Programs typically last from six months to two years and cover topics in blueprint reading, math, and computer applications. Technicians who handle hazardous materials must be certified; HVACR workers in some states might need a license.

Skills Required

A successful career in cooling science requires mechanical aptitude and a basic understanding of electronics. A reasonable level of physical fitness is helpful due to the need to lift or move heavy equipment and maneuver in tight places. Strong interpersonal skills will aid the cooling science professional in dealing with customers.

Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 14%, or faster-than-average, rate of growth for HVACR workers from 2014 to 2024. As reported by the BLS, those who were working in the industry in May 2015 earned median wages of $45,110. The BLS also notes that apprentices typically earn wages equal to half of what experienced workers are paid.

Alternate Career Options

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Electricians install and fix electrical fixtures, systems, and wiring according to codes and regulations. A state license is usually required to work in the industry. While the majority of electricians enter the field by way of an apprenticeship, training programs may also be found at technical or vocational schools. From 2014 to 2024, electricians will see a 14%, or much-faster-than-average, increase in jobs, as reported by the BLS. As of May 2015, electricians were paid median wages of $51,880.

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and service air, gas, water, and other related systems. Most plumbers complete an apprenticeship; technical schools can also help future workers prepare for state licensure. According to the BLS, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters were paid median wages of $50,620 in May 2015, and at 12%, job growth was projected to increase at a faster-than-average rate through 2024.

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