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US faces critical engineer shortages

41252218_sUSA: A critical shortage of hvacr engineers and installers has been reported across the USA, with an estimated 115,000 needing to be trained to meet demand by 2022.

Reports by the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation say that only 21,000 students graduated from post-secondary hvacr programmes in 2015. With the anticipated growth in the industry and retirements, demand for these high-skills jobs will outpace the supply without a concerted effort from employees, manufacturers, engineers, distributors and other related employers.

Last year, there were 220,734 job opening in the entire hvacr sector in the US, which encompasses jobs requiring anywhere from diplomas, certificates, or associate/baccalaureate degrees. The majority of these jobs were middle skill positions, such as installation, maintenance and repair of hvacr equipment (over 104,000); jobs that cannot be off-shored, offer a competitive salary with a strong path to career advancement, such as owning the business.

Due to the increased growth in the sector and the ongoing retirement of baby boomers, hvacr programmes in technical and community colleges are not filling the seats available to meet the current and anticipated demand.Employers are said to be having a difficult time filling positions, especially for refrigeration and hvac technicians, respectively 44 and 36 days longer than the national average of 29 days for similar positions.

Almost half of all mechanics and installers will retire in the next decade according to the new research, but post-secondary hvacr programmes are not filling the seats needed to support these jobs.

An executive summary of the three reports, The HVACR Workforce: Demand Heats up as Supply Melts Away, is available on the HVACR Foundation’s website www.CareersinHVACR.org.  

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