US HVACR sector news

- According to the US Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics, heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers held about 249 000 jobs in 2002 in the US. This sector has the fastest expected growth rate in the installation, maintenance and repair field: 31.8% over the period 2002-2012 compared with an average rate of 13.6%. However, according to DOL, over 60 000 jobs will go unfilled in this industry this year alone. All technicians who purchase or work with refrigerants must be certified in their proper handling. To become certified, technicians must pass a written examination specific to the type of work in which they specialize. The three possible areas of certification are: Type I: servicing small appliances, Type II: high-pressure refrigerants and Type III: low-pressure refrigerants. Exams are administered by organizations approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Air-Conditioning Excellence Program, which is offered through North American Technician Excellence (NATE), generally has been adopted as the standard for certification of experienced technicians. - ARI (Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute) recently launched a Web site dedicated to product certification ( and PrimeNet, a free online database of certified equipment (