As of right now, there is a growing demand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning — oftentimes, including refrigeration as well — (HVAC/R) professionals in the United States. Mostly, this demand can be seen in regions that experience temperature extremes. But it can also be noted in regions with large industrial plants or cities with high rates of construction.
In fact, this demand is so notable that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that openings for HVAC/R mechanics and installers all over the country would increase to 14% between 2014 and 2024. This is substantially faster than the average growth anticipated across U.S. occupations during that same time (6.5%).
However, even though the projections are positive, it’s a little difficult to be a great HVAC/R contractor without the support of others. Being able to provide the best design, HVAC installation, and mechanical know-how, it is crucial to connect with other professionals and be involved in the HVAC industry. And the best way to do this is to join an organization dedicated to HVAC.
Joining an HVAC organization will not only mean becoming a better HVAC professional. But it also means that the industry can be pushed towards ever-new levels of sustainability, safety, and comfort for those benefiting from these services.
To help you find HVAC organizations to follow and join, here are ten of the most influential ones in the business today.
Top HVAC Associations in the United States
Air Movement and Control Association
The Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) is a well-known international, non-profit organization in the air movement and control industry. It is the organization’s mission to advance the knowledge of air systems and uphold industry integrity. They aim to achieve this through education and active advocacy. Basically, AMCA promises to do their very best to provide a forward-moving environment for their members.
In addition to providing education, the AMCA is also designed to provide legislative protection and standards for businesses and individuals who work in the air control industry. The organization is also a huge influencer of national standards for design and installation for air conditioning units. Their influence can be seen at the fact that they have created documentation that covers benchmarks from duct-sizing to air conditioning sound levels.
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American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers
Founded in 1894, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is a global society that aims to advance human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The organization and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration, and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing, and continuing education, the ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s-built environment today.
Members of the ASHRAE include some of the most influential technicians, educators, and HVAC/R legislators in the U.S. As the largest and most influential HVAC/R organization, the ASHRAE gives members unparalleled access to education, certification, and collaboration across every subset of the industry. Aside from that, they also hold an annual meeting that allows members from around the country to share insight and best practices for every area of HVAC/R.
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society
Since 1933, the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) has been a leader in the training and education for professional HVAC/R technicians and contractors. RSES was established during a time when the small commercial and domestic refrigeration industry was still in its infancy. And so, the only training available was through the factory, and it usually lasted between three to four weeks. But all the same, the organization persevered, and even until now, they are still dedicated to delivering technical information to HVAC/R professionals.
Moreover, RSES also encourages cutting-edge research aside from promoting training on well-understood methodologies. The RSES conference is one of the major industry events, and it draws thousands of HVAC/R professionals annually.
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Indoor Environment Energy Efficiency Association
The Indoor Environment Energy Efficiency Association, or better known as ACCA, is a non-profit association whose membership includes over 60,000 professionals from businesses in the indoor environment and energy services community. All the members work together to promote professional contracting, energy efficiency, and healthy and comfortable indoor environments.
As a member of the ACCA, HVAC/R techs have access to thousands of potential clients through the “Find-A-Contractor” service on the website. In addition to their national combined meeting, they also run conferences for service managers and office managers. And to top it all off, the ACCA offers nationally recognized accreditation and certification for HVAC/R professionals.
Consortium for Energy Efficiency
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) was formed by energy efficiency program administrators from the United States and Canada with a goal to achieve lasting and verifiable energy efficiency. For over 25 years, CEE has been influencing markets to accelerate the uptake of increasingly efficient goods and services.
It is not the CEE’s role to develop or implement the programs delivered at the local level. Rather, their role is to influence national players, such as manufacturers, stakeholders, and government agencies, to maximize the impact of efficiency programs. In other words, the organization’s main goal is to change policies relating to energy efficiency.
The United Association (UA) represents contractors in the plumbing, pipe-fitting, and mechanical servicing industries. HVAC/R is one of the primary areas that the organization focuses on. Through an agreement with the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), the UA provides a broad range of training and nationally recognized certification in areas such as brazing, back-flow prevention, CFC, and Arc Flash. In addition to that, the organization is actively involved in the legislation and protection of the rights of its members by seeking provisions for pay, benefits, and working conditions.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Founded in 1880 by a small group of leading industrialists, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is a non-profit membership organization that allows for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, career enrichment, and skills development across all engineering disciplines. The primary goal of ASME is to help the global engineering community develop solutions to benefit lives and livelihoods.
Ever since its inception, the organization has grown to include more than 100,000 members in over 140 countries. About 32,000 of these members are students. Aside from that, many of ASME’s key leaders are influential builders and researchers on HVAC/R systems. And the organization is also a leader in developing codes for safety in mechanical engineering, and they provide training opportunities and awards for HVAC/R technicians that develop new processes and procedures that enhance the science.
Mechanical Contractors Association of America
The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) serves the needs of about 2,600 firms that are involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service. The organization aims to achieve this goal by providing their members with high-quality educational materials and programs to help them attain the highest level of managerial and technical expertise.
MCAA is the parent organization of the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), the Plumbing Contractors of America, the Manufacturer/Supplier Council, the Mechanical Contracting Education and Research Foundation, and the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau.
Radiant Professionals Alliance
Since 1994, the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) has been promoting radiant heating as efficient, and healthy on behalf of its network of dedicated members who share the desire to advance the understanding and acceptance of radiant and hydronic technology. With this, RPA focuses on building the skills of its independent contractor membership.
RPA members have access to radiant heating research, cutting-edge installation and fitting techniques, and collaboration with other professionals. In addition to that, the association also sponsors Radiant Living Magazine, the Radiant Comfort Guide, and the Radiant Heating Report. These support those in the radiant heating, cooling, and snow-melting fields.
International Institute of Refrigeration
The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) is the only international forum for professionals in the air conditioning, cooling, and refrigeration fields of work. Members of this organization work with technologies like cryogenics, air conditioning, refrigeration processes and equipment, refrigerants, and heat pumps. The IIR specializes in developing these technologies in an environmentally sustainable way in order to improve the quality of life for people all over the world. One of the best benefits of belonging to this association is an international collaboration and yearly conferences on HVAC/R concepts.
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In order to succeed in the HVAC/R industry, the HVAC/R professionals must always be well-informed. They need to be aware of the recent developments of HVAC/R technologies as well as the state of the market and other topics. However, trying to remain updated is not something that an HVAC/R can do while isolation. Instead, what they can do is to congregate with other HVAC/R professionals. And the perfect way to do that is to join an association that is dedicated to the HVAC/R industry.
Undoubtedly, there are a lot of HVAC/R associations out there. And as the industry keeps on growing, the numbers will grow as well. That said, the ten mentioned above are some of the most influential ones in the industry today. So, if you’re just starting to look for an organization that you want to join in, then this list is a good starting ground. Find at least one association that you like from this list and be ready to expand your knowledge about the HVAC/R industry.