Request a DemoLog In(844) 692-0626
Request a DemoLog In
cta-construction-image

Make it easier to manage construction.

See it in Action

—  4 min read

Mechanical Contractors: Role, Responsibilities & Job Outlook

By 

Last Updated Oct 5, 2023

HVAC mechanical contractor testing newly installed warehouse ventilation system

From frigid hockey rinks to packed football stadiums, hotels to hospitals, universities to skyscrapers, mechanical contractors are building the world we see today and the one that will be there for us in the future. But what duties and responsibilities does a mechanical contractor have — and what is their professional outlook in the construction industry today? Keep reading to learn more about the mechanical contractor role.

Table of contents

What is a mechanical contractor?

Simply put, mechanical contractors oversee the mechanical projects for organizations, including the heating or cooling systems, refrigeration, piping, and plumbing of a building. While some contractors may work on a project during production and installation, others may manage the ongoing maintenance and repair throughout the building’s lifecycle. 

Elements of mechanical construction

Mechanical construction is a dynamic industry, and projects come in all shapes and sizes — from small residential homes to large-scale commercial buildings. Contractors also vary in the type of work they do, including:

  • HVAC Systems: This includes heating, ventilation, and cooling/air-conditioning equipment.
  • Refrigeration systems: The artificial cooling of a space, substance, or system. This is done either by transferring heat around or moving it from one area to another.
  • Plumbing: This includes pipes, tanks, fittings, and other elements that control the water supply, heating, and sanitation of a building.
  • Electrical systems: A network of electrical components that supply, distribute, and use electrical power, which includes overhead and underground lines, poles, transformers, and other equipment.

Duties of mechanical contractors

On most projects, mechanical contractors are heavily involved in coordinating all trades, making collaboration (both with other specialty contractors and within their own organizations) vital to the success of a project. They must also be cognizant of time and budget obligations and must finish all the mechanical elements on time and within budget so as not to delay other trades (or the project as a whole). 

Mechanical contractors will often design mechanical parts ahead of time and then install them once on site. Because of this, they often rely on VDC/BIM solutions, allowing teams to virtually build a structure before actually building it. This enables teams to catch design issues, or clashes, early on — helping them prevent costly rework before it happens. 

But what does this look like day-to-day? For mechanical contractors, responsibilities may include:

  • Managing staff
  • Delegating tasks to team members
  • Monitoring resources
  • Overseeing the full scope of electrical construction and maintenance

It’s important to note that while many mechanical contractors self-perform work, some also subcontract work to third-party businesses. This often requires additional scheduling of the other trades. 

Salaries & job outlook for mechanical contracting

Salaries

As with any field, salaries vary depending on the location and position. There are many fields involved in mechanical contracting, but here are some examples provided by Indeed.com in June 2023.

In the U.S., the average HVAC supervisor salary is $80,985 — but it can range from $49,461 to $132,602. A plumbing service technician's average U.S. salary is $82,506 per year, while a plumbing apprentice may expect to make an average of $45,587.

There are a variety of trades represented under the umbrella of mechanical construction, and salaries will depend on trade, location, skill level, and experience. And because these numbers fluctuate regularly, it’s best practice to check the most up-to-date salary ranges on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Payscale. 

Job market outlook for mech construction

While the job market has been unsteady for many in construction, mechanical contractors are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, mechanical specialties will add roughly 19,000 jobs by 2029, as the mechanical industry is projected to grow around 5% between 2021 and 2031.

The perks of mechanical contractor software

Due to the complex nature of mechanical construction, leading contractors often use a construction management platform to help them manage projects efficiently. Specifically for mechanical contractors, a platform helps teams:  

  • Streamline field-to-office communication and allows employees to report any on-site issues in a matter of seconds
  • Track labor production and more efficiently manage teams and materials
  • View up-to-date information in real time, from anywhere

Procore is a construction management platform designed to help mechanical contractors control their time, materials, and productivity — from bid to closeout. To learn how Procore helps contractors stay on time and within budget, check out Procore Project Management.

Categories:

Tags:

Written by

Hildy Medina

Hildy Medina is the Editor-in-Chief of Jobsite. In her former life, Hildy was a journalist writing for various publications, including Forbes, The San Diego-Union Tribune, and The Santa Barbara News-Press.

View profile
Win More Work

Get discovered for relevant work on the Procore Construction Network.

Get a Free Account
Construction professionals

Explore more helpful resources

article-image

The Contractor’s Guide to Increasing Bonding Capacity

Contractors who want to work on bonded construction projects will need bonding capacity — the ability to secure a bond to help protect the owner against performance, default, financial or...

article-image

Overbilling in Construction: Understanding Billing in Excess of Costs

The financial stability of construction firms often hinges on effectively managing the timing between incurring costs and receiving payments. This delay can significantly strain a company’s financial resources, emphasizing the...

article-image

Cost Breakdown Structure: Enhancing Financial Clarity in Construction

General contractors must closely monitor project costs across various categories, such as labor, materials and equipment to preserve their profit margins — ensuring that the actual costs incurred during the...

article-image

Construction Sites: The Ultimate Guide to Project Efficiency

Well-built construction projects depend on well-run construction sites. Materials need to be delivered, plans need to be executed and issues need to be caught and fixed as early as possible....

Procore is committed to advancing the construction industry by improving the lives of people working in construction, driving technology innovation, and building a global community of groundbreakers. Our connected global construction platform unites all stakeholders on a project with unlimited access to support and a business model designed for the construction industry.

LinkedIn Icon
LinkedIn
Facebook icon
Facebook
Twitter icon
Twitter
Instagram Icon
Instagram
YouTube icon
YouTube

Call us at (844) 692-0626 to speak with a product expert.

Apple LogoApple App StoreGoogle Play logoGoogle Play

Downloads

Apple LogoApple App StoreGoogle Play logoGoogle Play
  • Privacy Notice
  • Terms of Service
  • Do Not Sell Personal Information

© 2024 Procore Technologies, Inc.