Ice Ice Baby: HVAC-R jobs, here to stay

As the temperatures climbed during June’s record-shattering heatwave in the Pacific Northwest, a friend of mine struggled to keep her animals safe in her Seattle, Wash., apartment without air conditioning. She sent her cat off to escape the heat with a family member but had to stay home to care for the snakes and fish that remained.

The stores in her neighborhood ran out of box fans and she couldn’t get one shipped quickly enough, so she resorted to creative thinking to help keep her critters cool. Frozen vegetable bags floated in her fish tanks to bring temperatures down while her snakes enjoyed a combination of ice packs and small fans blowing on them.

Her story isn’t uncommon with only 44% of houses in Seattle having air conditioning, but it helps to illustrate how impactful this modern-day convenience has become and will continue to be.

Encouraging the next generation

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there’s a projected 84,200 HVAC-R job openings nationwide over the next 10 years with a 16 percent increase in Washington alone. We’ve been living with air conditioning for nearly 120 years now, so it’s safe to say HVAC-R is here to stay.

But how do we encourage young talent to grow an interest in this industry?

Let’s face it: it’s not as groundbreaking as mechatronics or as emotionally fulfilling as recreational therapy, but it can provide a quick path for students to land an in-demand job with a stable income. Here are some ideas on how you can frame this career path for your students:

      • HVAC-R only requires 1-2 years of postsecondary education and/or training.
      • You won’t be stuck in an office all day as you get to handle a wide variety of projects across a region.
      • You can exercise your critical thinking, problem-solving, and process following skills while helping people improve their quality of life.
      • You can find an HVAC-R job anywhere in the country!

Equipping students with credentials

Newly added to the Architecture & Construction and Manufacturing career clusters in our Precision Exams by YouScience library, our HVAC-R career certification exam will introduce the principals and fundamentals of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems while allowing students to explore thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer; electricity and electrical systems; and hydronics, radiation and convection.

Ready to change lives? Let’s work together to connect students to their best-fit pathways and careers. 

To learn more about YouScience and how this unique platform is changing students’ lives, connect with one of our regional directors.