An air-conditioning (AC) technician installs, services, troubleshoots, and repairs air-conditioning systems. A person with this title may work in a wide variety of settings, ranging from residences to large companies. In some cases, an AC technician works for a company as an employee while others may be self-employed and work to install, maintain, and repair air-conditioning systems on an as-needed basis.
An AC technician is typically trained to not only ensure air-conditioning systems are working as they should, but also that indoor air quality meets standards while they are in operation. A person with this title may work to install, service, and repair air conditioning systems in apartments, homes, and vacation properties; for small- and medium-sized businesses; and for large commercial operations. An AC technician may also handle the air-conditioning installation and maintenance for industrial sites of all sizes.
Typically, an AC technician is skilled at evaluating the requirements of an installation job and determining which tools and equipment he will need. Likewise, he is trained to identify problems in an air-conditioning system and determine the steps that are necessary to fix them. In the course of performing his duties, an AC technician may use a wide variety of tools, including voltmeters and torches. He may also use drills, gauges, wrenches, pliers, hammers, and wire cutters to perform the tasks necessary to ensure an air-conditioning system is in good working order.
A person who decides to become an air-conditioning technician often commits himself to working in conditions that may be unpleasant at times. For example, a person with this job is often called on to work in very warm, humid conditions, such as indoor locations with broken air-conditioning systems. From time to time, he may also face customers who aren't patient or who've become upset because the temperature inside their buildings makes being indoors uncomfortable.
A person who wants to become an AC technician may do well to earn a high school diploma or an equivalent credential, though this may not be required by every employer. In some cases, a person who decides to become an AC technician may receive on-the-job training while others may complete air-conditioning, heating, and refrigeration training programs. Some jurisdictions also require aspiring AC technicians to seek licensing. To be successful in this job, an aspiring AC technician may need an affinity for electronics as well as the ability to perform tasks that require vigor.