8 Important HVAC Resume Skills (And How To Improve)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) professionals like engineers, system designers, fabricators, service technicians, pipefitters and independent contractors require specific mechanical and technical skills to be efficient. Potential employers may assess whether a candidate possesses these skills in addition to formal qualifications, certifications and experience. If you are looking for an HVAC-related job, it is beneficial to know how to show these skills on a resume. In this article, we examine some important HVAC resume skills and discuss how to improve and highlight them.

What Are HVAC Resume Skills?

HVAC resume skills include technical skills that a professional may learn through education and training. It also includes soft skills that can help professionals apply technical skills effectively. Employers typically assess a candidate's technical knowledge pertaining to the maintenance, installation and repair of HVAC systems and may test if they can apply them to perform day-to-day duties. If you are looking for a job in this domain, it is important to list both technical and soft skills in your resume to impress a recruiter or a hiring manager.

Related: 10 Highest Paying Mechanical Engineering Jobs (With Salaries)

Examples Of Technical HVAC Resume Skills

Some important technical HVAC skills include:

1. Scientific knowledge

Principles of science, engineering, mathematics and chemistry form the basis of how HVAC systems function. These systems contain components like complex boards, chips, pilot burners, furnaces, heat exchangers, condenser units, thermostats and evaporator units. Engineers may use complex computations and specialised knowledge to design large HVAC systems. HVAC systems also contain gases, coolants and refrigerants.

2. Mechanical skills

Core skills in the domain of HVAC typically include mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills. The most important components of an HVAC system are a heat exchanger, blower motor, combustion chamber, condenser, evaporator and thermostat. Technicians require mechanical skills to understand how these components work and interact with each other. You can acquire these skills through training, pursuing internships and from professional experience. These skills demonstrate your ability to identify and troubleshoot common mechanical failures in an HVAC system.

3. Knowledge of refrigerant handling protocols

Refrigerants are gases or fluids in an HVAC system that change in state and form based on pressure and temperature. Handling these volatile substances improperly can cause leakages and lead to personal injury and environmental damage. The skill to work safely with refrigerants by following mandated protocols and guidelines is important for an HVAC technician.

4. Experience in using tools

HVAC technicians may use tools while installing, maintaining or repairing HVAC systems. Knowing how and when to use these tools can help them complete their work quickly and efficiently. While they may work alone while installing or servicing small systems for spaces like residences, most HVAC technicians work in teams to install large HVAC systems for spaces like office complexes and malls. If you want to be an HVAC technician, consider familiarising yourself with tools like:

  • Vacuum pump

  • Reciprocating saw blades

  • Mobile HVAC software

  • Refrigerant scale

  • Cordless drill

  • Screwdrivers

  • Pipe wrenches and pliers

  • Tin snips

  • Shears

  • Multimetres

  • Voltage testing equipment

5. Preventive maintenance skills

Preventive maintenance is one of the important duties of an HVAC professional. It involves cleaning dust and debris periodically, containing bad odours and preventing mould formation and fungal growth. These processes mitigate the proliferation of bacteria and other microorganisms in an interior space. Preventive maintenance is a cost-effective function that protects systems from sudden mechanical failure. It is an important skill for technicians as it can help them secure regular work orders. HVAC systems typically require more than one cycle of preventive maintenance in a year.

6. Ability to read blueprints

Blueprints are technical drawings detailing information about system construction, duct layouts and load calculations for cooling and heating mechanisms. Engineers use blueprints for detailing air conditioning and piping layouts. Engineers and technicians also use wiring diagrams and schematics to represent the physical connections involved in electrical circuits. HVAC technician training programmes and diploma courses provide basic training for students to read blueprints, diagrams and schematics. The ability to read and understand blueprints accurately can help professionals in this domain during installation and while performing preventative maintenance.

7. Knowledge of plumbing and wiring

Most HVAC training schools and programmes teach the basics of plumbing and wiring so that students can be work-ready when they graduate. Students can also gain proficiency in plumbing and wiring by working as interns and apprentices under experienced technicians. These experiences can help candidates perform duties pertaining to installation, maintenance and repair independently.

8. Proficiency in building codes and construction guidelines

Government agencies issue and update guidelines for installing and maintaining HVAC systems. There are many types of HVAC systems and governing authorities may not permit the installation of certain systems if they have the potential to violate local environmental or construction laws. Residential and commercial building laws also cover electrical and plumbing systems. Knowledge of these codes and guidelines is essential for designing and installing HVAC systems that maintain compliance.

Examples Of Non-Technical And Soft Skills For An HVAC Resume

These are some important non-technical and soft skills that are crucial for an HVAC professional:

  • Communication: HVAC professionals communicate with clients to identify problems, suggest remedial measures and provide estimates. An ability to talk to clients patiently and understand their concerns and requirements effectively can help a professional provide better customer service and secure trust and positive feedback.

  • Problem-solving skills: HVAC professionals require problem-solving skills to identify defects and causes of breakdown. This skill helps them use diagnostic tools and equipment to rectify problems quickly, reduce damage to systems and minimise expenditure for customers.

  • Flexibility: HVAC problems can occur without warning and it often takes hours to diagnose and resolve a problem. Your ability to work unconventional schedules, in unfamiliar locations and under extreme weather conditions can distinguish you from other professionals in the domain.

  • Eagerness to learn: The HVAC industry adapts itself to newer technologies and aligns with new energy efficiency standards periodically. Your ability to learn and stay updated with the latest developments in this field can help you progress your career.

How To Improve HVAC Skills

Follow these steps to develop and improve your HVAC skills:

1. Gain work experience

You can start applying for apprenticeships and internships with HVAC companies or contractors. You can do this as part of a formal academic programme or after you complete your education. Most companies require apprentices and interns to assist senior technicians in performing routine duties. These opportunities are important for developing relevant skills.

Related: What Is Relevant Experience? (With Examples And Tips)

2. Pursue certification programmes

A formal qualification may not cover every technical skill in detail. You can look for specific certification programmes that teach theoretical concepts and offer hands-on experience for applying technical skills. Consider adding your name to the mailing lists of prominent vocational training institutes so that you do not miss out on new and upcoming programmes.

3. Keep practising

You can practice communication, time-management and critical thinking skills once you become an HVAC professional. You can also invest in procuring hand tools and practise using them at home. Connect with other professionals to build your network. Listen to podcasts or watch informational videos that can help you develop relevant skills.

Highlighting HVAC Skills

Here are some pointers for highlighting HVAC skills:

Highlight skills in your resume

Prepare a list of technical and soft skills that are relevant to a job role before you send in an application. Include these skills in detail in your resume and provide verifiable evidence, like relevant diplomas and certifications. Read the job posting thoroughly to identify keywords that a hiring manager may look for in a resume.

Get references and recommendations

If you are an independent contractor, get testimonials and recommendations from your clients. Include them in your resume or on your website so that new clients can see them. Online reviews, ratings and testimonials are crucial for generating more business.

Related: How To Put References On A Resume (With Template & Examples)

Secure relevant licences

Ensure that you have the necessary licences from local, state or central government departments that authorise you to professionally engage in HVAC related work. Include important details and information regarding the validity of each licence in your resume, cover letter and website. Employers typically prefer to work with qualified professionals with relevant licences.

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