Military Career: Heating and Cooling Mechanics
Air conditioning and heating equipment is used to maintain comfortable temperatures in military buildings, airplanes, and ships. Refrigeration equipment is used to keep food cold and to keep some missile fuels at sub-zero storage temperatures. Heating and cooling mechanics install and repair air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating equipment.
What They Do
Heating and cooling mechanics in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Install and repair furnaces, boilers, and air conditioners
- Recharge cooling systems with refrigerant gases
- Install copper tubing systems that circulate water or cooling gases
- Replace compressor parts such as valves, pistons, bearings, and electrical motors on refrigeration units
- Repair thermostats and electrical circuits
Branches of the Military
Helpful school subjects include science, math, and shop mechanics. Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to use hand and power tools
- Interest in solving problems
- Interest in working on machines
Job training consists of 8 to 22 weeks of classroom instruction, including practice in repair work. Training length varies depending on specialty. Additional training is available on the job and in advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
- Refrigeration theory
- Installation and repair of refrigeration and air conditioning units
- Installation and repair of furnaces and boilers
- Use of diagrams and blueprints
Heating and cooling mechanics may have to lift or move heavy equipment. They are often required to stoop, kneel, and work in cramped positions. Normal color vision is required for locating and repairing color-coded wiring.
Heating and cooling mechanics may work inside repair shops. Frequently, they work wherever equipment is to be installed or repaired.
Civilian heating and cooling mechanics work for contractors that install home furnaces and air conditioners or for firms that repair refrigerators and freezers in homes, grocery stores, factories, and warehouses. Heating and cooling mechanics in civilian life often specialize more than those in the military. They may be called heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, or climate control mechanics.
Below is a list of similar civilian occupations:
The military has about 7,000 heating and cooling mechanics. Each year, the services need new mechanics due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After job training, mechanics maintain and repair equipment under supervision. With experience, they may learn to diagnose mechanical problems and perform complicated repairs. Eventually, they may become superintendents of utilities for large bases.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Washington D.C.