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 fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these careers are expanding so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.
One of the most needed jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover 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 an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is often 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 specific skill set, specialized instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s an excellent career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and have your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs usually need extra 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 is linked to the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically runs around $15,000. A community college typically is around $5,000 annually. In contrast, the average student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.
A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician
Your work schedule could vary depending on your situation. If you do 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 set schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we mentioned before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a quickly growing industry, your salary will mirror it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners receive between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could differ based on your locationand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are a few other extra career opportunities. These include:
- 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 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 locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies moving to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who makes 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 greatest number of new jobs during that time frame are anticipated 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 forecasted to fuel increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Heflin. To learn more more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 256-270-1196 now!