Skilled Trades

The Importance of Soft Skills in an HVAC & Refrigeration Career

Skilled TradesJune 06, 2023

June 22 is National HVAC Tech Day, a day to celebrate the people who keep heating and air-conditioning systems going. As cities cycle through hotter summers and cold winters, the HVAC industry is more important than ever. 

Mechanical skills and the ability to problem-solve are key attributes of a good HVAC technician, but did you know soft skills are also important? That includes communication skills. Don’t worry, though, if you’re not a natural “people person.” 

With a positive attitude and a willingness to listen and apply yourself, you can learn good communication skills.  Even people who might be shy or self-conscious can develop them successfully. 

Here’s why the ability to communicate well is an important addition to your list of HVAC resume skills. 

You work with people. HVAC technicians work with small businesses, large companies, individual homeowners, and co-workers, not just the HVAC systems themselves. You’ll be communicating with people all the time and putting your customer service side to work. The ability to tailor your communication to the person in front of you is a central part of the job. 

Listening is part of the job. Some customers may not have great communication skills themselves. They might be upset because their air-conditioning went out during a heat wave, or they might have unrealistic expectations about your availability or ability to repair a system quickly. HVAC technicians need good listening skills to understand another person’s point of view, whether that’s a frustrated homeowner or your lead on a large project. 

Technical systems need to be explained. You also need to be able to clearly explain in layperson’s language how to use the system, what it involves, or what you completed on your part of the job task. You might be talking to a customer with no HVAC knowledge or a project leader who understands the system better than you do. For customers, you might need to gather your patience to give step-by-step instructions to someone who knows nothing about HVAC systems—while remaining respectful. Explaining a complex system in nontechnical and understandable terms takes skill. 

You’re the face of the company. When you’re out in the field, you represent your company and that needs to be done with professionalism and courtesy. Homeowners and business owners share information about favorite companies—word of mouth is a powerful tool. Good technicians add important value and lead to repeat business. Well-developed emotional intelligence and clear communication skills will take you a long way. 

If you’re considering pursuing a career in HVAC and you’d like to learn more about Fortis’s HVAC program, click here for more information, or call 1-855-436-7847 to speak with a career advisor today.