Design and Engineering
The design and engineering area within the HVAC/R field includes workers who configure and test systems to optimize performance. They need to understand core mechanical skills, such as those that HVAC/R technicians master, but they need an extensive knowledge of math and engineering. Support positions, such as drafting or testing systems, may be available to workers with an associate degree, but typically, mechanical engineers with responsibility over design are required to have bachelor’s degree in engineering and a professional license. With the increasing importance of sustainability, some design and engineering workers focus on assessing, sizing, and planning systems to minimize energy usage.
As buildings shift away from fossil-fuel based HVAC/R systems to electricity-based systems, workers in design and engineering positions need to be knowledgeable about heat pumps and variable refrigerant flow systems, so they can incorporate emerging clean energy technologies into their mechanical designs. Trainings that teach complex heat pumps and similar systems will be important for these workers, so they can choose products that will maximize efficiency for different building types.