Industrial Technologies

If you're mechanically inclined and enjoy working with your hands, a career in industrial technologies may be for you. Learn more about these careers here, including what type of training you'll need and how much you can earn in automotive, HVAC and plumbing technologies.

Are Industrial Technologies for Me?

Career Overview

Industrial technologies include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) or construction technology, automotive repair, plumbing, machine tooling and other skilled trades. Some of the job titles associated with this field include HVAC technician, machinist, automotive service technician and mechanic.

Sampling of Job Duties

Automotive service technicians perform repairs and maintenance on cars and light trucks. For example, you might overhaul a brake system, repair an air conditioning system and change the oil in a car. Plumbers install and repair water-related pipe systems and appliances. As a plumber, you may bend and join pipes, repair leaks or install toilets.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, as well as heating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) mechanics and installers, can look forward to faster-than-average increase in employment nationwide from 2012-2022. An average growth in employment was projected for automotive service technicians and mechanics through 2022. As of May 2013, the median annual salary of a plumber, pipefitter or steamfitter was $50,180. During the same period, automotive service technicians earned a median of $36,710 per year, while HVACR technicians earned median annual wages of $43,880 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Industrial Technologies?

Education

Many industrial technology jobs require vocational training or an associate's degree in a relevant area. Some jobs may also require an apprenticeship, like those of plumbers. For instance, a high school diploma and completion of an Automotive Youth Education Service program may qualify you for an entry-level job as an automotive service technician. As an aspiring technician, you'll learn about automotive electrical services, air conditioning systems and engine repair (www.ayes.org). By comparison, an HVAC certificate program may include courses in electricity, technical math and job search strategies.

Licensing

Most states require some types of industrial technologies professionals, such as plumbers, to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and area of expertise, but they all usually include several years of experience and passing a test that evaluates your knowledge of current technologies and regulations.

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