If you’re wanting to find a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts jobs in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these positions are expanding so rapidly. One is homeowners using government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the number one needed careers is working as a HVAC technician. Find out about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is someone who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most work with both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a certain skill set, in-depth education and ongoing certification.
It’s a fantastic career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of higher education debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and have your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to in-depth education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need added education or certifications.
You can be certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification improves your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college typically costs around $5,000 annually. In comparison, the average student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.
A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician
Your work schedule might vary depending on your employer. If you work in repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a set schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some work could require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding field, your salary will mirror it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners get between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could differ based on your areaand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few other other career opportunities. These involve:
- HVAC manager, $72,515 average salary
- HVAC service manager, $71,176 average salary
Where HVAC Technicians Are in High Demand
HVAC technicians are desired across the United States, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the most HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, forecasts these states to have the biggest demand for technicians by 2028:
- Utah, 31.1%
- Colorado, 29.7%
- Nevada, 27.9%
- Arizona, 21.4%
- Iowa, Oregon and Montana, 18.5%
- Arkansas, 16.3%
- Florida, 16.2%
- South Carolina, 16%
- Texas, 15.9%
- Idaho, 15.7%
- Washington, 15.6%
- North Carolina, 15.5%
- Tennessee, 15.2%
- Wyoming, 14.3%
- Nebraska, 13.9%
- Indiana, 13.8%
- North Dakota, 13.8%
Here’s where the greatest number of new openings during that time frame are forecasted to be:
- Florida, 5,420
- Texas, 5,530
- California, 4,100
- North Carolina, 2,510
- New York, 2,290
- Colorado, 2,000
- Ohio, 1,550
- Pennsylvania, 1,510
- Virginia, 1,500
- Tennessee, 1,360
- Washington, 1,290
- Georgia, 1,270
- New Jersey, 1,170
- Utah, 1,170
- South Carolina, 1,1060
- Indiana, 940
- Maryland, 820
- Missouri and Arizona, 810
- Michigan, 780
Weather and economic development is expected to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with HCE Systems Inc
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Norton. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 276-302-0076 today!