If you’re wanting to find a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these jobs are expanding so rapidly. One is homeowners using government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old 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 number one needed positions is working as an 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 someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
- Air conditioners
- Mini-splits and heat pumps
- Thermostats and home zoning
- Indoor air quality products such as air filters and air purification systems
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as 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 common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You need a specific skill set, specialized training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a great career choice 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.
- Become your own boss and own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra education or endorsements.
You can be certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer could also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top certification expands your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs around $15,000. A community college typically is 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 could vary depending on your situation. If you perform 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 regular schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of may vary.
As we went over previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a rapidly expanding field, your salary will show 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 stateand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are a few other career opportunities. These can be:
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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- 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 develops long-term occupational projections, expects these states to have the highest 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 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 feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Rescue Heating & Air
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Alice. To discover more about our openings, see our careers page or call us at 361-265-4371 right away!