Refrigeration Basics: Addressing the HVACR Technician Shortage
Don Gillis | Lead Technical Trainer
Emerson’s Educational Services
Welcome to the fifth and final installment in our blog series intended to help not just beginning service technicians, but anyone who wants to learn more about the basics of refrigeration. In this blog, I explain what we at Emerson and others are doing about the growing shortage of skilled, qualified and certified HVACR technicians in the industry. For this series, we’ve also created companion videos about each topic that you can cross-reference while accessing other related information at Education.Emerson.com.
Nearly 40 percent of the jobs available in the HVACR industry are unfilled. That’s about 80,000 good-paying positions for technicians who can install, maintain and repair the critical refrigeration equipment upon which our customers depend. At the same time, our industry loses experienced technicians as aging workers retire and also as the result of normal attrition every year. If we do not hire and train new technicians, our industry could potentially face a deficit of 100,000 workers within the next five years.[i]
That’s one of the reasons I’ve written this series of blogs about refrigeration basics. With the help of others at Emerson, I’ve also created a related set of videos to explain what refrigeration technicians do — and what they must know to be successful in our business. We need more skilled, qualified and certified HVACR technicians. So we’re promoting our educational services, which include instructor-led and online courses.
Emerson also partners with industry organizations and leaders to create learning opportunities through events such as World Refrigeration Day. To mark that day in June, we shared a webinar, Exploring Cool Careers and Emerging Opportunities in HVACR, which showed how refrigeration technicians have a high earning potential and work with advanced technologies and modern tools. You can watch the webinar on-demand.
Young people should consider a career in HVCAR because they can:[ii]
- Make an impact — Refrigeration technicians implement new environmentally friendly solutions that will play an integral role in making the world a better place to live.
- Work with cutting-edge tools and technologies — Modern refrigeration and air conditioning applications utilize advanced controls, software and remote diagnostics capabilities.
- Achieve job security — With little competition for available jobs, HVACR professionals are virtually guaranteed employment and will enter into a field with both long-term security and growth potential.
- Earn while they learn — HVACR technicians can earn a competitive wage with a two-year vocational certification and have the option to augment the certification process with on-the-job training in apprenticeship programs.
At Emerson, we are committed to recruiting the next generation of HVACR technicians. Our company is addressing the technician gap in three ways by:
- Offering courses for upcoming technicians so that they can expand their knowledge of HVACR fundamentals
- Recruiting the next generation of HVACR technicians by providing real-life experiences through co-ops and internships
- Partnering with industry leaders so that we can brainstorm ways to bridge this gap
The reality is that there’s an abundance of lucrative opportunities for young people who want a long-term career path without the time commitment and cost of a four-year college education. That’s why I’m really excited about the future of the refrigeration industry. Indeed, jobs and training are available to enable people to acquire the necessary refrigeration skills. Emerson is helping in that regard, too. If you’re interested, let’s talk.
Read “Reversing the Trend: Recruiting the Next Generation of HVACR Professionals ” to discover how Emerson is working to make refrigeration technician careers ‘cool’ again.
[i] Rajan Rajendran, “Become a “Cooling Champion” for World Refrigeration Day 2021,” June 26, 2021, Emerson Climate Conversations, https://emersonclimateconversations.com/2021/06/26/become-a-cooling-champion-for-world-refrigeration-day-2021 (accessed July 20, 2021).
[ii] Rajan Rajendran, “Reversing the Trend: Recruiting the Next Generation of HVACR Professionals,” E360 Outlook, June 2021, https://climate.emerson.com/documents/e360-article-reversing-trend-en-us-7598000.pdf (accessed July 20, 2021).