Refrigeration has been an integral part of our daily lives since the day that we were born. Gone are the days when heating and cooling for buildings, commercial spaces, and residences is not necessary. Today, HVAC units are one of the first things installed when constructing establishments or residential units.
If you look around, you can see property constructions and improvements or remodeling in almost every corner of our neighborhood or city. This is driving demand for HVAC solutions and refrigeration technicians that is expected to continue to rise in the years to come. However, the gap between the high demand for HVAC technicians and the supply of available, highly qualified technicians is getting noticeably wider with each day. There doesn’t seem to be enough qualified refrigeration technicians to service all the clients in need—and it’s becoming a serious problem in the industry.
How Can We Solve the Existing Shortage of Refrigeration Technicians?
HVAC technicians are some of the most in-demand professionals in the world. It is expected that between 2016 to 2026, there will be at least a 15% increase in demand. This may sound like a good thing; however, the depleted current supply of highly qualified technicians says otherwise. While a significant number in the current population of refrigeration technicians are at, or near, retiring, there is a dearth of younger professionals who are eager to learn the required trade skills to take their place. They would rather choose careers outside the refrigeration industry. To solve this employment shortage, the refrigeration industry is banking on recruitment and training, mostly with millennials, to redirect this problem into an opportunity.
Recruiting Right Talent
In order to fill the vacant HVAC technician positions, everything starts with recruiting the right talent. It is important to hire people with vigor and good character, not just skills because skills can be learned through training. Likewise, aside from getting the best talent, solving the challenges of the refrigeration technician shortage should originate from the inside—the company itself. The company should be a workplace that values employees, promotes inclusivity, and allows its technicians to grow both professionally and personally. Companies should also have a detailed career path for their recruits, a competitive salary package, and a healthy work-life balance in order to attract and retain qualified technicians.
Providing Training Is Key
Giving technicians regular access to training, advanced HVAC technology, and skills development opportunities is a great way to retain talent as well as equip them with the tools to perform the highly technical job ahead of them. This is particularly true when it comes to handling natural refrigeration systems. Here, it is important for companies to provide appropriate education and training for their refrigeration technicians in order to meet specific qualifications and certifications that come with dealing in natural refrigerants.
The current labor shortage of qualified refrigeration technicians is one of the many pressing challenges that we are dealing with in the industry. The sooner we understand the root of the problem and act on it, the sooner we’ll get through it. Since the refrigeration industry is in constant transition, we need our skilled workers to lead us to success in navigating the changing landscape ahead.