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Career Story: HVAC Engineer For A Large Commercial Building

HVAC Engineer For A Large Commercial Building

Job Title: Engineer

Education: AAS degree Major HVAC Northern Virginia Community College

Previous Experience: I worked as a HVAC technican for 5 years before getting into the Mechanical Engineering field

Job Tasks: My job consist of maintaining a buidlings heating, cooling and ventilaton systems. On a day to day basis I also service and maintain a buildings plumbing, electrical, and the building's energy management automation system. I service and maintain the computer system that controls the A/C & Heat of the building. I can do this from a computer in the building or any remote location that I choose with my laptop.

A typical day consist of checking the chillers for the buidling. Chillers are the main air conditioning source for the building. At my location the chillers provide 600 tons of cooling capacity. One ton of cooling consist of 12,000 BTU'S. (BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree fahrenheit.) I inspect and service these masive machines. I also monitor and service all rooftop air-conitioning equipment.

It is a big responsibility running a commerical buidling, but for those who are willing to get the education needed to perform the task, it is a rewarding future. The system is short on qualified people that work in the trades. The problem with so many schools is that they do not promote trades. As an auto mechanic, plumber, HVAC technician, electrican, on an engineer such as myself you can make $50,000 - $80,000 per year. It is even common for some people to make $100,000 or more if you land the right job in the engineering field. The moral of the story is that you do not have to be a doctor or lawyer to make a good life for yourself; all you need is the right training.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is providing a very much needed service to thousands of people. The worst part of my job is that you can be on 24 hour call. If the buidling has an emergency they need to be able to contact you. Sometimes this can cut a vacation short.

Job Tips:
1. One tip that I would give to someone that is interested in my field is to get the proper training for a good institute. NVCC has one of the best programs in the country for the HVAC trade.

2. Another tip is that I would attach myself to an expienced service techician that knows his or her trade. You will get alot of good knowledge from someone who has been the field a long time.

3. Lastly I would seek out a company that has good benefits. The government has a lot of perks in the area.

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