10 HVAC Skills and How To Highlight Them to Employers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 10, 2022

Published September 2, 2021

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.

It's often important for professionals pursuing a career in the HVAC industry to develop skills that can help them secure jobs and perform tasks effectively. By featuring HVAC skills on job application documents, professionals can highlight their qualifications and experience in the field. Understanding what types of skills employers want in an ideal candidate can help you determine which ones are helpful to include on your resume and cover letter.

In this article, we discuss what HVAC skills are, provide a list of several for you to consider developing, outline how to better your skills, describe you can use them in the workplace and explore how to highlight your relevant skills throughout the job application process.


What are HVAC skills?

HVAC skills are talents and abilities that help someone working in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry perform common tasks effectively. These may include a combination of soft and technical skills that HVAC professionals use when performing their daily responsibilities. Because this field involves working with specific tools and equipment, technical skills and thorough field knowledge is typically necessary. Soft skills like behavioral traits can help these individuals work better with teammates and manage their workloads. HVAC professionals often develop these through formal training or through on-the-job experience.

Related: 12 Types of HVAC Jobs (With Salaries)


10 examples of useful HVAC skills

Whether you want to become an HVAC installer or a solar technician, there are certain capabilities that can help you perform your job duties successfully. Here's a list of some key skills for those working in the HVAC industry to develop:


1. Reading blueprints

This is a valuable skill for HVAC professionals since it helps them adhere to design specifications when installing an HVAC system. Through examining these plans, those working on an HVAC system can understand and implement essential details. HVAC professionals who understand the formatting and nuances associated with blueprint often can place components in the right locations during installation. This can reduce the need for repair and maintenance after installation.

Related: How To Read Blueprints in 4 Steps


2. Effective communication

This skill helps those working in the HVAC field effectively interact with their customers and colleagues. It's important that these professionals can explain HVAC systems to customers in clear, concise language. This may help them simplify complex concepts and empower customers to maintain their HVAC systems effectively. Successful HVAC professionals also often apply active listening by asking appropriate questions and promptly addressing client concerns.

Read more: Top 10 Communication Skills for Career Success


3. Troubleshooting skills

In addition to installing HVAC systems, professionals in this industry also identify problems occurring in malfunctioning systems. Being able to find and fix issues is an important ability that helps these experts properly respond to customer complaints and issues. HVAC professionals often think creatively and ask the right questions to develop efficient solutions to system issues.

Related: Complex Problem-Solving: Definition and Steps


4. Customer service

Having customer service skills is important for an HVAC professional, as these roles tend to involve interacting with clients often. This can help them develop lasting professional relationships with customers and develop a network of loyal clients. Customer service skills also allow these professionals to positively represent their company and separate their services from competitors.

Related: 9 Customer Service Tips To Improve Your Skills


5. Time management

HVAC technicians typically balance a roster of clients and may have multiple appointments each day. Time management skills help those working in the HVAC industry organize their schedules effectively and arrive in a timely fashion for multiple appointments throughout a workday. Being able to manage tasks and priorities can help them provide excellent service to customers and use their time wisely.

Related: 5 Key Tips for Improving Your Time Management Skills


6. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is a skill that helps HVAC professionals react to changing situations and think quickly when to devise alternative solutions to complex issues. This can also allow them to analyze different perspectives to find a solution. When trying to fix a problem, these professionals examine what they know to consider multiple options, and then employ the one they believe is most likely to succeed. Critical thinking may also help them understand what a designer or engineer intended when creating their blueprints, which may help them service the vision for the property.


7. Hand and power tool experience

Being able to use hand and power tools properly is important to ensure safety on a particular job site. Typically gained through training and experience, this knowledge allows professionals to properly use such general tools as a screwdriver or drill. HVAC professionals may also commonly use industry-specific tools, such as carbon monoxide testers and acetylene torches when completing projects for clients. The ability to operate equipment safely, identify the right tools to use in specific circumstances and teach other professionals how to use new tools can all help HVAC professionals succeed.

Related: 35 Must-Have Tools for HVAC Service Technicians


8. Mechanical skills

Another important skill for HVAC professionals to possess is the ability to install and repair mechanical systems like air conditioners, refrigerators and heating devices. Understanding how machines function can help them determine whether particular components are malfunctioning or require replacement. Mechanical skills also entail the ability to disassemble and reassemble machinery in an efficient manner.

Related: Mechanical Engineering Skills: Definition and Examples


9. Computer skills

Since HVAC professionals often use software programs to control and maintain systems, it's often important for these professionals to understand how to effectively use computer programs. These programs can help them diagnose problems and track the hours they worked, among other uses. Successful HVAC professionals typically remain updated and proficient in the latest technologies used in their industry.


10. Attention to detail

Being detail-oriented is beneficial for a career in HVAC since these jobs involve analyzing small components of a larger system. When repairing a specific unit, they may carefully follow steps to ensure they don't forget a crucial task. Attention to detail can also help HVAC professionals maintain accurate records of the work they performed.

Related: Attention to Detail: Definition and Examples


How to improve your HVAC skills

Here are some steps you can follow to develop and improve upon your HVAC skills:


Further your education

To develop essential HVAC skills, consider pursuing continual education options, even after earning a high school diploma or undergraduate degree. This may include taking online courses or earning a certification. Many jobs also offer on-the-job training opportunities, which can help you advance your knowledge and proficiency.

Related: How To Get CFC Certification To Work in the HVAC Industry


Pursue volunteer opportunities

Volunteer opportunities can be an effective way to apply your knowledge and begin developing your HVAC skills in a practical setting. These opportunities can help you update your skills and can foster confidence in performing common HVAC tasks. Consider contacting family members or friends to determine whether they require HVAC system installation or repair. This may also familiarize you with a variety of HVAC systems and devices to help you refine your abilities.


Find a mentor

Another useful method for developing and improving upon HVAC skills is to find a mentor at your workplace who can detail the ways in which they developed their HVAC skills. These professionals may offer you advice and tips for improvement. Consider asking them for feedback on areas in which you believe require improvement and those in which you may be excelling.

Related: How To Find a Mentor in 5 Steps


HVAC skills in the workplace

The following are some tips that can highlight your professionalism and mastery of HVAC skills in the workplace:

  • Be respectful. To showcase your customer service skills while working, it's important to remain respectful of your client's property and arrive early to appointments if possible.

  • Listen to your clients. During assignments, try to remain attentive to what your clients say so you can communicate with them effectively and find the best possible solutions to their problems.

  • Experiment with new tools: You can grow your technical skills by learning how to operate new tools and work with new systems. 

  • Develop an organizational system. You may successfully manage multiple appointments by creating or using an existing organizational system you prefer, such as a calendar or time management mobile app.

Related: How To Organize a Schedule

How to highlight your HVAC skills

To secure an available HVAC job, it's often important to highlight your relevant skills that emphasize your qualifications to a prospective employer. You can demonstrate your capabilities in different ways on your resume, in your cover letter and during an interview. Here are some ways you can effectively showcase your HVAC skills during the job search:


HVAC skills on your resume

When writing an effective resume for an available HVAC role, consider including a resume objective that describes why you're applying for a particular position and what skills you have that make you qualified to perform the role's responsibilities. Typically, a resume objective includes one to three of your top skills to highlight the value you can offer a company. You can also list relevant HVAC skills you possess in a designated skills section. Describe how you apply your skills at work in your work experience section by discussing your accomplishments and responsibilities.

Read more: How To Write an HVAC Resume Objective


HVAC skills in your cover letter

Another document in which you can highlight your HVAC skills is a cover letter, where you can explain your background and attempt to persuade an employer to consider you for a job interview. Here, you can expand on the ones you listed in your resume and detail how these skills have allowed you to achieve success in your career. If your resume focuses on hard skills like tools and computer skills, you can demonstrate soft skills in your cover letter. For example, you might share an example of a time you offered high-quality customer service.


HVAC skills during your job interview

During your job interview, you can emphasize your HVAC skills by clearly explaining your processes. For example, if the hiring manager asks you how you solve problems, you might tell a story about how you solved a complex issue. You could describe your approach to troubleshooting, the way you found the solution and the outcome after you implemented it. You could also demonstrate some of your skills at the interview. For instance, if you list time management as one of your primary skills, consider arriving at the job interview early.

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