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HVAC Technician Job Description: How to Hire the Best Techs


Table of Contents
  1. What does an HVAC technician do?

  2. Post a compelling HVAC technician's job description

  3. Market your HVAC company

  4. Refine the interview process

  5. Create positive company culture

  6. Prioritize HVAC technician training

  7. Provide employee incentives

  8. Automate HVAC operations

  9. Track company growth

As an HVAC business owner, you already know the challenges of hiring reliable HVAC technicians. 

With the national trade labor shortage and HVAC technician jobs predicted to rise more than 12 percent in the next seven years, HVAC service companies need to employ innovative approaches in order to hire and retain the best HVAC technician talent.

The EGIA Foundation, an organization that promotes HVAC careers, estimates 115,000 HVAC-R workers will be needed by 2022—but training and education programs graduate only a small fraction of that number each year. Because of the technician shortage, those in entry-level HVAC jobs will have unprecedented opportunities for training and advancement.

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Once you identify the best HVAC service technician job description and hire the right employees, you can focus on empowering your team and growing a successful HVAC business. Follow these tips to hire and retain the best HVAC technicians:

  • Post a compelling job description

  • Market your HVAC company

  • Refine the interview process

  • Create positive company culture

  • Prioritize HVAC technician training

  • Provide employee incentives

  • Automate HVAC operations

  • Track company growth

What does an HVAC technician do?

An HVAC-R technician functions as the foundation of your HVAC company's residential and commercial service. Depending on skills and knowledge, an HVAC-R tech's job duties encompass preventive maintenance, repair, and installation of HVAC systems, which include heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. 

Technicians should know the detailed operation of HVAC equipment, control systems and thermostats, as well as proper use of hand tools and power tools. A commercial HVAC technician job description may include experience in cooling tower, chiller, heat exchanger, or pneumatic control system maintenance.

Most importantly, technicians should possess troubleshooting skills to solve HVAC system problems and demonstrate good communication skills with customers as they respond to service calls.

Post a compelling HVAC technician's job description 

Posting the right HVAC service tech job description enables your company to narrow down the best applicants. Several job posting and recruiting sites, such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter, offer HVAC job description templates for employers.

Recruiting HVAC technicians in a competitive hiring market requires a detailed and compelling job description. Save time writing your job description and make it simple with this customizable HVAC technician job description template.

HVAC Technician

The HVAC Technician performs semi-skilled and skilled work in the operation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The Service Technician 1 provides exceptional customer service and educates customers regarding technical and investment decisions by providing multiple options and solutions while making service calls in customer’s homes. (Two years of verified residential service)

Primary responsibilities:

  • Service, repair, and/or propose replacement of gas furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, electric furnaces, packaged terminal units, ductless split systems, humidification and dehumidification equipment, electronic air cleaners and air purification systems, residential control systems to include Evolution and zoning systems.

  • Troubleshoot, adapt, and resolve/repair all issues to keep equipment functioning properly.

  • Test each system after service/repair is complete to ensure the system is functioning properly.

  • Perform proper inspection of customer system to prevent future issues.

  • Explain  to customers each service and repair performed.

  • Assess systems and assist the customer in making a buying decision through detailed education of system needs as well as a thorough cost/benefit analysis of purchasing a new system.

  • Accurately documents:

    • Age and type of each system component on invoices.

    • Services completed.

    • Discussion with customers regarding current and/or future equipment/service requirements.

    • Invoices and costs for service.

  • Debrief service call with dispatch after each service call.

  • Turn in all parts receipts, packing slips, contracts, and invoices daily.

  • Wear floor savers while working in client homes.

  • Inspect area for cleanliness after job completion.

  • Maintain company vehicle, ensuring cleanliness and organization, both inside and out.

  • Always maintain a professional image by:

    • Wearing only company-approved apparel.

    • Following safety policies and procedures.

    • Abiding by all standards of performance and code of ethics.

    • Maintaining a courteous demeanor with all customers and associates.

    • Respecting the customer’s property.

  • Participate in ALL company sponsored training classes.

  • Assist in mentoring and training maintenance technicians.

  • Trains maintenance technicians and service technicians.

 Required knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Minimum of 10 years of verifiable experience as a Service Technician in a residential service and maintenance operation.

  • Knowledge of the fundamentals of operational functionality of residential heating, air conditioning, and ventilation equipment.

  • Ability to mentor and train less-experienced technicians.

  • Solid communication and customer service skills.

  • Must have appropriate trade tools.

  • Valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.

  • Ability to pass a background check and drug screen.

Educational/certification requirements:

  • GED or High School Diploma.

  • NATE Certification in six specialties.

  • EPA certification.

  • PREFERRED: Associate degree in related field.

Environmental conditions:

  • Extreme temperatures.

  • Climbing, heavy lifting, loud noise, crawling, working in confined spaces, pushing/pulling, carrying equipment, bending, turning, kneeling.

Physical requirements:

  • Ability to stand, walk, and climb ladders and stairs.

  • Ability to work in confined spaces and to maneuver in attics, basements, and crawl spaces to access HVAC units.

  • Ability to continually climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and/or crawl.

  • Natural or corrected vision to see and focus for close, distance, peripheral vision with normal depth perception.

  • Work assignments may be performed with or without reasonable accommodation to a known disability.

HVAC-R mechanics and installers earn an average of $50,590 per year, or $24.32 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although wages vary by state.

AC technician or HVAC technician requirements for full-time work often include:

Market your HVAC company

  • Focus on technician recruitment

  • Use current employees as a recruiting force

Market your HVAC company as a great workplace to attract top talent.

That's what Tom Howard did to spread the word about employee benefits at Lee's Air in Fresno, Calif. He created a low-budget YouTube video featuring testimonials from employees who left a competitor to work at his company, which attracted job seekers and provided a significant return on investment.

“We can retain all of the people we want, but if we’re not attracting new people, we just aren’t going to have the people we need,” says Howard, who is also ServiceTitan’s Vice President of Customer Experience and co-founder of the consulting group Blue Collar Profits.

“Unfortunately in our industry, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to sell air conditioners and get more customers, but we don’t realize we should be spending the same amount of time marketing to new employees and our existing employees to keep them,” Howard says.

Establish your company as a great place to work, and keep recruiting at the forefront. Your employees won't want to leave, and potential recruits will be attracted to join your company. 

Refine the interview process

  • Implement a layered hiring process

  • Look for quality character traits

Implement an effective hiring process to weed out candidates who may not be a good fit for your company.

Optimize the interview process by asking an air conditioner technician the right questions to determine their breadth of knowledge of air conditioning systems and attitude toward customer service.

At McWilliams & Son in Texas, which generated $12 million in annual sales in 2020, the company follows a layered hiring process to ensure new hires get placed in a role that’s right for them in the company.

“Interviews are always going to be with two different teams,” relates Brad Pesek, CFO of McWilliams & Son, who shared tips on a recent episode of ServiceTitan's Toolbox for the Trades podcast. “If they do well with the first team, they are passed on to a second round. Four people will have had a ‘touch’ on them before we consider hiring them.” 

In one instance, the company interviewed someone for a dispatch position, but an operations manager realized the candidate was a better fit for an open accounting job.

Besides knowledge and skill, top employees exhibit positive traits such as integrity, dependability, and problem solving. Seeking candidates with excellent communication skills or "soft skills" ensures overall customer satisfaction and the opportunity for advancement to a sales or supervisory position within your company.

Create positive company culture

  • Model what you want to see in your company

  • Value your employees through action

Positive company culture starts at the top. 

“The culture is everything," says Joe Kronenwetter, Service Manager at Rescue Air Heating and Cooling in Texas, in a recent ServiceTitan Growth Series webinar, an 8-week masterclass series for the trades. “It’s not based on what they can give the company—it’s what we can give to them.”

Show your employees you value them by helping them grow individually, and as a team.

“It’s not really lunches or donuts,” relates union electrician Noreen Buckley. “It’s, are you a team? Are they teaching you? Are they asking you? Are they stretching you? You see the care that they want you to grow as an electrician. I think that’s why we’re all here, right, to learn and to grow. So seeing that and being part of that culture is what makes me want to be with a company.”

Value your employees by offering education and training, or providing opportunities to learn on the job. On a more personal level, consider their schedules and workloads to avoid technician burn-out.

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Prioritize HVAC technician training

  • Train to build your team

  • Provide opportunities for growth

As you seek to fill HVAC service technician jobs, train your employees with advancement in mind. Instead of solely hiring new recruits or seasoned employees from competitors, give your current employees opportunities to learn skills needed in top positions.

Budget and implement in-house field training programs to build your team. Train employees in sales, customer service, and managerial roles to advance employees from within, keeping your existing teamwork structure and company approach.

“We've got well over 200 technicians,” says Tommy Mello, owner and operator of A1 Garage Door Service, in a recent ServiceTitan Growth Series webinar. “I would tell you that 80% of those were made, not found from another competitor. Because I don't want all the stuff they picked up from that last company, because you can't unlearn that stuff.”

Look to associations such as North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the National Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Association, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, and Mechanical Contractors Association of America for additional HVAC training and certification opportunities.

Provide employee incentives

  • Offer new-hire referrals

  • Implement performance pay

Many HVAC service companies pay employees for any referrals who get hired to encourage word-of-mouth recruitment.

“Even though we may not have a position now, we're always hiring," says Pesek of McWilliams & Son. "We teach our employees to always be recruiting for team members.”

His company pays employees up to $1,000 for referrals who get hired, and on top of that, they get an annual $2,000 bonus for every anniversary of their referral’s hire date.

“Employees want to make sure they keep getting that bonus, so they check in with that person and make sure they’re doing all right," he says. "We’ve seen a lot of success with this.”

Consider using performance pay as an incentive to create top performers. Use ServiceTitan's contractor payroll software to make quick work of tailored pay structures and bonuses. 

Automate HVAC operations

  • Dispatch for profit

  • Optimize team schedule

Dispatch for profit by sending the best heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technician to a particular job. This gives your best communicators opportunities to explain why a customer's heating system or air conditioner needs an upgrade to function more efficiently and save them money.

Teach techs how to sell in the field with mobile tools to streamline a sales process that shows customers clear good-better-best options. Using HVAC proposal software, techs can create branded estimates and close the deal in the field.

Optimize your team's schedule with ServiceTitan's service scheduling software to prepare for complex installation or repair jobs. At-a-glance scheduling ensures the right techs remain available for the right jobs.

Track company growth

  • Measure key HVAC business metrics

  • Monitor KPIs in real time

Refine operations and activate growth by tracking key metrics within your HVAC business. Use ServiceTitan's cloud-based reporting software to track revenue and key performance indicators (KPIs) from anywhere.

Set benchmark goals and monitor KPIs in real time. Track sales revenue, gross margin, field service metrics, customer retention, and return on investment from marketing campaigns to measure profitability. 

Gain an overall picture of your company's performance to increase your company's efficiency and boost your bottom line.

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