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 you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these positions are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the top needed careers is working as an HVAC technician. Discover about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to make.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. 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 do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in extreme 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 demand.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a specific skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of student 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 will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically must have extra instruction or qualifications.
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 require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top certification improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs around $15,000. A community college often is around $5,000 annually. By 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 where you work. 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 normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we mentioned 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, good customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a fast-growing career, 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 could differ based on your areaand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a few 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 needed across the country, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the greatest number of HVAC workers and are going through 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 upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 greatest 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 fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Rescue Heating & Air
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Alice. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 361-265-4371 today!