While plenty of career options are available to a recent high school grad or anyone who is ready to change fields, HVAC jobs are on the rise. And if you're in school for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, getting a jump-start on your post-educational program life right now is an absolute must-do.
Part of planning for your soon-to-be job is getting involved with, or at least learning about, professional organizations. Membership in local and national organizations and associations can help you to connect with potential employers, give you the insider's track on the newest industry information, and provide you with plenty of professional development opportunities.
What professional HVAC associations should you consider joining? Take a look at some of the top industry options.
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is a professional HVAC association that has over 60,000 members nationwide. The ACCA helps air conditioning contractors to further their educations through specialized learning opportunities, as well as through industry-related online communities.
They also offer resources and advice to AC contractors, including help for entrepreneurs/business owners with marketing and legal matters.
The ACCA also publishes an online magazine, which provides extra insight into the air conditioning industry, tips for contactors, and business tools.
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association
With 103 chapters across the globe, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' Association (SMACNA) is a professional organization for contractors who work in heating/ventilation/air conditioning, manufacturing, energy management, sheet metal (architectural and industrial), kitchen equipment, siding/decking and kitchen equipment.
SMACNA, like other professional associations, provides their members with an array of assistance, including labor relations, safety, legal issues, and business practices. They also offer educational events, help their members to connect with other members who are holding educational events, and provide networking opportunities to meet other professionals in the field.
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has helped professionals in the HVAC field since the late 1800s. This association has over 56,000 members across the globe, representing 132 countries.
ASHRAE offers eLearning opportunities through their online community, instructor-led training, and self-directed professional development experiences. This association also provides training for companies, free resources for members (including publications, white papers, and software), and standards and guidelines for professional practice.
Air Movement and Control Association
The not-for-profit Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) is an organization that includes manufacturers of air-flow machinery/equipment (such as fans, dampers, louvers, air curtains, and ducts). The AMCA currently has over 380 member companies around the world.
While the AMCA doesn't serve HVAC technicians and employees in the same way that some of the other professional organizations do, they do provide industry-related standards, white papers, and other educational materials that can help your professional practice.
Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has 315 member companies. This organization offers career assistance, education/training, and many other resources for HVAC professionals.
The AHRI also maintains HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration) Industry Standards. These standards encourage professionals in the HVAC and refrigeration fields to improve product quality.
Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association
The Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) provides online training, conferences, leadership development, and other educational opportunities for professionals in the HVAC field. The PHCC also publishes a quarterly magazine, quarterly newsletter, email newsletter, and annual report.
Are you ready to start a career in the HVAC field? Contact DeHart Technical School for more information on our educational programs and training. We’ll help you build the skills you need to be successful in the HVAC field.