Job Family: Mechanic and Repair Technologists and Technicians Heating and Cooling Mechanics
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard  | National Guard

Photo 1: Mechanic works on portable air conditioner. Photo 2:
Mechanic inspects air conditioner's motor.

Short Description
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

Helpful Attributes
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

Training Provided
Job training consists 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

Work Environment
Heating and cooling mechanics may work inside repair shops. Frequently, they work wherever equipment is to be installed or repaired.


Civilian Counterparts
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.

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