Furnace repair professionals must learn to work with different fuels, such as oil and wood. While the career outlook for these workers is very positive, would-be furnace repairers are expected to graduate from a technical training or apprenticeship program.
Furnace repair technicians are responsible for diagnosing and repairing furnaces in a variety of settings. Many technicians have earned a certificate or associate's degree in heating, air-conditioning or ventilation systems. Some gain experience through apprenticeships or on-the-job training.
|Required Education||Variable; completion of a certificate, associate's degree or apprenticeship program in heating, air conditioning or ventilation technology|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||13% for all heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers*|
|Median Annual Salary (2018)||$47,610 for all heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Furnace Repair Technician Education Requirements
Today's furnace repair technician must be a specialist in several areas. Modern furnaces burn oil, natural gas, wood and corn. Each fuel has its own special requirements for proper heating, and a furnace repair technician must have a thorough understanding of each fuel.
The National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors and the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America offer an apprenticeship programs through local chapters, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Apprenticeship programs generally run 3-4 years and include classroom training. Furnace repair technicians must also be proficient in sheet metal and fiberglass work so they can repair faulty furnace runs and ductwork.
Many 2-year colleges and vocational training schools offer training programs for aspiring furnace repair technicians. Typical skills learned in a heating, ventilating and air conditioning program are troubleshooting and diagnostics, sheet metal layout and installation, electrical wiring, terminology and basic installation.
In the period between 2018 and 2028, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers, including furnace repair technicians, should see employment growth of 13%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Furnace repair technicians will see job opportunities due to growth in construction and the replacement of older systems. The BLS reports that many repairmen are also furnace installers. Some technicians, especially installers, may see periods of inactivity when new home-building slows down. Employment for technicians who repair and maintain furnaces should be stable due to the maintenance of current systems in operation.
Wages for furnace repair technicians vary from employer to employer and depend on job duties. According to Salary.com, most less experienced heating, air conditioning and cooling mechanics earned between $41,292 and $52,858 in 2019. The more experienced mechanics (those with 5 or more years of experience) earned between $55,758 and $69,335 annually.
Furnace repair technicians must be versatile in today's job market, and formal education is increasingly required. Salary in this field depends on experience and training, and job growth is higher than average over the next decade.