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HVAC Technician vs Electrician 

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Grant Aldrich

If you’re thinking about becoming an HVAC Technician or an Electrician, you might also be wondering about the difference between an Electrician and an HVAC Technician. This article will help you with everything to know about these two careers.

In this article, the following concepts will be discussed briefly:-

  • Careers at a Glance:
  • Difference Between HVAC & Electrician {Complete Comparison Guide]

With this guide, we’ll help you decide which career is better for you.

Careers at a Glance

Now let’s dive a little deeper into both careers-

What is an HVAC Technician?

An HVAC Technician is a trained professional who works with installations, repairing, maintenance, heating, and ventilation processes in households and commercial places.

Through HVAC systems, one can easily control humidity levels and air quality and ensure you are comfortably surrounded by good air.

You will most of the time find HVAC Technicians involved in Installation, Repairing, and Maintaining the HVAC systems. However, they can be found doing either of them as well.

Below mentioned are some of the duties and responsibilities of an HVAC Technician:-

  • Repairing or Replacing the defective parts
  • Connecting low-voltage electric wire and components 
  • Discussing systems, equipment, technologies, and problems with customers
  • Balancing systems through adjusting system controls
  • Documenting all the records related to installation and testing records.
  • Selling equipment and/or future service contracts
  • Replaced defective HVAC components and/or parts
  • Maintaining HVAC systems by replacing filters, cleaning air ducts, and refilling refrigerants
  • Repair and replace faulty HVAC equipment

As mentioned above, some may prefer to specialize in one area of HVAC, which can include:-

  • Only installing HVAC systems
  • Only repairing and maintaining HVAC systems
  • Commercial refrigeration units
  • HVAC system ductwork
  • Commercial HVAC systems
  • Residential (Home) HVAC system

What is an Electrician?

On the other hand, an electrician can be defined as a person skilled in installing, repairing, and maintaining electric systems. They can be easily spotted doing the same in residential premises, commercial and industrial buildings.

Below mentioned are some of the common electrician duties:-

  • Installing new wiring in buildings
  • Replacing old wiring in buildings
  • Working on switches, relays, or other power distribution equipment installations.
  • Test electrical systems to ensure they’re functioning properly
  • Inspect, troubleshoot, and repair electrical systems or faulty electrical equipment
  • Maintain electrical systems
  • Troubleshoot and repair electrical malfunctions
  • Install control systems and lighting systems
  • Plan the layout and installation of electrical wiring, fixtures, and equipment

Difference Between HVAC & Electrician 

Now that we’re about the HVAC Technician and Electrician job duties, it’s time we jump onto the differences between both. 

HVAC Technician is expected to work on installing, maintaining, repairing, heating, and air conditioning HVAC systems. They have a detailed understanding of refrigerators and other related electrical components. 

HVAC Technicians regularly work with different types of tools and equipment to repair an existing problem in any system or either simply replace as well.

Electricians, on the other hand, are responsible for installing, repairing, wiring, and circuits and working on other essential requirements. 

While it’s true that their work sounds almost similar, both HVAC technicians and electricians work on different priorities. For example, HVAC Technicians specialize in heating, ventilation, and electricians work on electrical systems only.

Also, see: What does an HVAC technician do?


If you’re wondering how to move forward with the educational requirements of HVAC Tech and Electrician, then you might be at the right place. To become either of them, you would first require a high school diploma and then accordingly opt for courses. 

You can simply opt for community colleges for your HVAC tech or electrician course, which might take 1-2 years to complete. After graduating, you can accordingly opt for apprenticeship programs and then find a suitable job. 

But we recommended online training programs for both careers. Online training programs only take 4-5 months to complete, and they are affordable.

For HVAC Tech Training: Online HVAC training

For Electrician Training: Online Electrician School


A typical HVAC technician’s responsibilities include selling, installing, repairing, and maintaining HVAC systems. HVAC technicians must regularly run ductwork through buildings to ensure that all areas are adequately ventilated and temperature-controlled.

Similarly, electricians are frequently responsible for running electrical wiring throughout buildings to ensure a proper flow of electricity in all areas.

HVAC technicians and electricians should be able to read and comprehend blueprints, electrical regulation requirements, and maps to properly install ductwork and electrical wiring.


The work environment for both, i.e. HVAC and electrical technicians are the same. For example, electricians frequently conduct wiring runs and install electrical equipment inside and outside buildings. An electrician typically spends his day traveling between job sites.

Place of work might incorporate private, business, and modern structures. However, as an electrician, you should be prepared to work indoors and outdoors. For example, working on a construction site may necessitate working outside in varying temperatures.

HVAC technicians are similar to electricians but spend most of their time working inside. HVAC technicians may also be required to complete work outside, where they may be subjected to extreme temperatures. 

Bad weather conditions often cause glitches in systems and appliances, requiring HVAC Technicians to work during bad weather conditions. Therefore, if you are considering becoming an electrician or HVAC technician, remember these things.


It is essential that both HVAC Technicians and electricians train themselves for their duties during their job as it requires extreme caution.

For instance, electricians must exercise caution due to their regular contact with electricity, which could result in electric shock, which could cause severe bodily harm or even death. 

Similarly, HVAC technicians must exercise extreme caution when carrying out their responsibilities because they frequently deal with hazardous chemicals and substances.

In addition, HVAC technicians must adhere to government regulations when disposing of hazardous chemicals.

Read more on HVAC Technician Job Description

Is It Worth It: Electrician Vs HVAC Technician

This depends on which option you want, whether it’s an HVAC Technician or an Electrician. One major difference is that Electricians deal with wiring, systems, and equipment; on the other hand, HVAC technicians deal majorly with the HVAC systems. But one should be active enough and open to travel to new locations, as and when the customer requires.


With a traditional HVAC Technician and electrician program, you get your diploma or associate degree within 1 to 2 years.

However, with online programs (Like preppy), you can easily learn all the skills and knowledge in no less than 4-5 months. 


Which is better: an electrician or an HVAC technician?

It depends completely upon your preferences; if you like knowing the latest HVAC technology in the market, an HVAC technician would be the right job for you.

However, if working with electrical wires or other systems excites you, you should opt for an electrician.

Which is harder to learn: HVAC or electrical?

They both sound similar to a great extent. You get trained on real equipment and systems and get a chance to learn a lot. You can complete your education in a few months. It’s not easy to suggest which one is easy, as both involve hands-on learning and working with tools.

It, ultimately, boils down to a personal choice.

Do you need a high school diploma to become an electrician or HVAC tech?

Before enrolling in a trade program, make sure you have completed your high school diploma.

 Is an HVAC Tech an Electrician?

No, both aren’t the same. On one hand, HVAC technicians work on systems installations, repairings, and other appliances, while electricians mainly work with electrical wiring.

Are there any safety considerations for working as an HVAC technician or electrician?

Yes, there are safety procedures for both jobs. They often need to wear protective gear and use specific equipment to perform their work safely.

What is the job outlook for HVAC technicians and electricians?

As per the data given by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC Technician employment is estimated to grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029. While on the other hand, the employment of electricians is estimated to grow by 8% in the same period. 

Related Resources:

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Grant Aldrich

Preppy was founded by higher education expert, Grant Aldrich, who’s work on college affordability and accessibility has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader’s Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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