If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying 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 estimates careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are growing so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences older equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the most wanted jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You have to have a specific skill set, specialized training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career choice if you want to:
- Avoid 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 have your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as specialized instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually require extra schooling or certifications.
You can be certified 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 could also want NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded accreditation improves 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 big demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually is around $15,000. A community college usually 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 do repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a regular schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks could require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we went over previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding 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 might fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than having your own business, there are several 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 needed across the nation, 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 dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who develops long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 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 forecasted to fuel increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with PWA Heating & Cooling Inc
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Plainfield. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 815-410-1231 now!