Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

risk level
Based on 189 votes
by year 2032
or $27.55 per hour
as of 2023

Want this summary on your site? Embed code:

People also viewed

Automation risk

19% (Minimal Risk)

Minimal Risk (0-20%): Occupations in this category have a low probability of being automated, as they typically demand complex problem-solving, creativity, strong interpersonal skills, and a high degree of manual dexterity. These jobs often involve intricate hand movements and precise coordination, making it difficult for machines to replicate the required tasks.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Social Perceptiveness

User poll

20.0% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a minimal chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 19% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Moderate growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers' job openings is expected to rise 5.1% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Moderately paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers' was $57,300, or $27 per hour

'Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers' were paid 19.2% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 397,450 people employed as 'Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers' within the United States.

This represents around 0.26% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 382 people are employed as 'Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers'.

Job description

Install or repair heating, central air conditioning, HVAC, or refrigeration systems, including oil burners, hot-air furnaces, and heating stoves.

SOC Code: 49-9021.00


If you're thinking of starting a new career, or looking to change jobs, we've created a handy job search tool which might just help you land that perfect new role.

Search jobs in your local area


mix (No chance) says
I dont see how this could possibly be automated in 20 years. The spaces you have to crawl in and the skills needed would take much longer to automate.
Sep 14, 2022 at 02:14 AM
Lynne says
Thats why the chance is so low
Jan 12, 2024 at 02:56 AM
Gary B (No chance) says
This is hilarious. Once again, you can tell no one has a clue what goes into HVAC. Can't wait to meet the robot who drives to a site, puts up a ladder, climbs it, pulls up a compressor, recovery machine, vacuum pump, gauges, or just has it all built-in. Goes up to the unit or multiple units and figures out one or more issues, drives to the supplier, buys parts, drives back, fixes the unit, say a condenser coil on a 20-ton. Then, once they are done, they are sent to a site where we are retrofitting controls onto 30 rooftops using GFX and Distech controls. Going to need some serious dexterity to climb above a drop ceiling onto a wall to pull 50 wires half a mile, then do the wiring of the controllers, then program the controllers, and then test all of it. Then add the Jace and connect to the building intranet and also make exceptions for outside access, all while working with "IT", which essentially doesn't exist for many companies, so it better be able to do it all. There's so much more; it's not even funny.

No way, not in 50 years.
Apr 28, 2022 at 04:53 PM
john doe (No chance) says
Unless you can get a robot to crawl in an attic and manage to take the HVAC equipment out without damaging the house, then sure.
Feb 22, 2022 at 01:28 AM
Robert says
You're telling me that there will be a robot that can do all the physical labor, technical installation, and repairs of HVAC systems? Lol, please. If that were the case, no job will exist.
Aug 01, 2021 at 09:37 AM
Nate (No chance) says
I believe robots/software will make it easier to work on HVAC equipment making it so any random joe can work on it but a robot doing such in depth work as wiring repairs and burner replacement especially in the next 2 decades seems unlikely
Jun 23, 2021 at 07:24 PM
Refrigeration technician says
So HVAC/R techs have a 65% chance but electricians have a 15% chance? This website is ridiculous. Pretty much any trade skill in the service industry will be protected for a long time. Even as the systems become more automated there will have to be human technicians to maintain those systems. Over time it may definitely become more consolidated, but the future is a very tricky thing to predict.
Feb 16, 2020 at 02:00 AM
Jebac disa (Low) says
Hard job with unique jd
Jan 31, 2020 at 03:56 PM
Fef (Low) says
I think it would need a very advanced robot to carry all the manual labour needed to install or repair an air conditioner. A robot able to walk, lift, drill, use tools.
Oct 30, 2019 at 11:15 AM
Skagit Haines (Low) says
I dont think there will be robots capable of troubleshooting everything in HVAC Systems. it requires manual dexterity
Aug 27, 2019 at 06:29 PM
Ben says
No way too many variables
Jul 30, 2019 at 12:31 PM
Ben says
There’s also the emotional aspect when it comes to sales/service within the residential part of the field. People will be more tempted to destroy a robot than commit murder when you have to tell the customer it’s going to be x amount of money to repair/ replace x part and they loose their shit 😂
Dec 24, 2020 at 02:40 AM

Leave a reply about this occupation

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.