HVAC Engineer

Design systems to keep buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$51,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do HVAC Engineers do?

Engineers design new products and solve problems. An HVAC Engineer does this with heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. As an HVAC Engineer, you work in residential, commercial, industrial, or public buildings, creating innovative solutions to fix problems.

Even though you have a specialized expertise, you often work with a team of Engineers and Architects on a project. Say, for example, you are charged with designing the ventilation system for a new aquarium. The Architect will have a building design, the Structural Engineer will be concerned with the effect of the water tank on the weight capacity of the structure, and the Marine Architect will focus on how the tank is encased.

Your job as an HVAC Engineer is to work with each of these key players to formulate the most efficient ventilation system. This requires understanding the structure itself and the needs of the consumers (animals), while maintaining proper temperature control. Each job will have its own challenge. The aquarium’s unique environment, for example, requires you to factor the effects of humidity into the equation.

The basic components of ducts and vents take on a completely new depth when you add a good challenge to the equation. Of course, as important as your creativity is, your designs are based on models of science and math. You understand how the flow of air is affected by building design, location of vents, outside air, and the type of furnace attached to the system. You factor in the size and layout, the function of the space, and the number of people who have access to it.


Should I be a HVAC Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Heating and Cooling Systems Engineer, Heating Engineer

    How to become a HVAC Engineer

    Most HVAC Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:ebq9bh&chl=no+college+%284%25%29|certificate+%281%25%29|associate%27s+%2814%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2852%25%29|master%27s+%2823%25%29|doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,4,52
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