How do I Become an HVAC Mechanical Engineer?

T. Webster

Training through a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree program usually is necessary to become a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanical engineer. Success in this career requires being able to create blueprints and design and install HVAC equipment. This work can range in scale from a single home to a multi-story commercial building.

HVAC mechanical engineers are able to design and install HVAC systems.
HVAC mechanical engineers are able to design and install HVAC systems.

A degree or training will help teach you the trends and techniques you will need to become an HVAC mechanical engineer. It is more than simply being able to design a system that heats and cools a building. There also is an emphasis on making these as energy efficient as possible.

Work as an HVAC mechanical engineer includes making blueprints and designing and installing HVAC equipment.
Work as an HVAC mechanical engineer includes making blueprints and designing and installing HVAC equipment.

Energy efficient features often are built into the design of the HVAC system. Digital control systems often are used to manage heating, air conditioning and water. To become an HVAC mechanical engineer, you will need to know how to design these systems, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of certain designs.

HVAC mechanical engineers may be expected to be skilled in installing and designing home or building air conditioning systems.
HVAC mechanical engineers may be expected to be skilled in installing and designing home or building air conditioning systems.

Some understanding of HVAC computer graphics likely will be required if you plan to become an HVAC mechanical engineer. These programs are used to help you create blueprints and designs for the HVAC systems. Using the computer to create designs allows you to visualize them concretely and to edit them easily, if needed.

Success as an HVAC mechanical engineer requires the ability to create blueprints that integrate various parts of a building.
Success as an HVAC mechanical engineer requires the ability to create blueprints that integrate various parts of a building.

You also will need to learn how to analyze HVAC systems in old buildings to become an HVAC mechanical engineer. In existing buildings, you will need to assess inefficiency that could be corrected. A cost analysis of these repairs also must be included.

Another skill you need to become an HVAC mechanical engineer is to be able to design a blueprint that integrates other parts of a building design. This can include building code requirements, for example. You also will need to be able to explain the energy efficiency of a residence or commercial building.

After you obtain your training to become an HVAC mechanical engineer, you will have several career options. HVAC careers can include sizing and installing HVAC units, becoming a consulting design engineer or becoming a contractor. You might choose to work with a construction firm or start your own business.

Whatever program you choose, be sure to find one that is accredited, which means that it meets certain educational standards. It is also wise to check with contracting companies in your area to see what kind of training they recommend. If you know anyone who works in the HVAC field, ask him or her for advice on the best training that will help you become an HVAC mechanical engineer.

Most companies require HVAC engineers to obtain an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or a similar field.
Most companies require HVAC engineers to obtain an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or a similar field.

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