If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this industry will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these jobs are expanding so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the top in-demand jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Find out about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is a person 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 pros, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be extremely rewarding. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a certain skill set, in-depth education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and own your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often must have additional schooling or endorsements.
You can get your certification by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded accreditation increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment updates.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs 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 may 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 might have more of a fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we went over previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will show 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 may be different based on your locationand its cost of living.
Other than having your own business, there are several other extra 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 in demand across the country, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the highest number of HVAC workers and are going through high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies moving to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, expects 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 biggest number of new positions during that time frame are expected 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 growth is anticipated to contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with H&C Heating and Cooling
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Laurel. To discover more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 301-960-3247 now!