An HVAC estimator handles the instillation of heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and ventilation units in homes and businesses. HVAC estimators make sure the units will fit into designated areas -- or even designate the area where the units will go themselves -- and ensure technicians are provided with the proper tools and direction to install the units. Most HVAC estimators must be trained and work as technicians first.
HVAC estimators typically need a high school diploma, along with certification from a community college or trade school that specializes in their field. Courses of study include electronics, applied physics, mechanical drawing and math. Schooling and certification usually lasts anywhere from one to two years.
Most HVAC estimators must serve apprenticeships while working as technicians early in their careers. Apprenticeship programs can last anywhere from three to five years, and almost always involve classroom work, hands-on training and testing.
On the Job
The majority of HVAC estimators receive much of their training while on the job, learning under the guidance of an experienced estimator or supervisor, before being promoted from a position as a technician.