If you’re thinking about 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 jobs in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these careers are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences older equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the number one in-demand 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 earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is someone who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a specific skill set, in-depth training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Avoid excessive educational debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and have your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as specialized instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often require added schooling or qualifications.
You can become certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer could also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment updates.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often is around $15,000. A community college usually costs 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 may vary depending on your employer. If you perform repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped spots. 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
Since HVAC is a fast-growing industry, your salary will mirror 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 might fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
In addition to running your own business, there are several other extra 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 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 dealing with major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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 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 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 improvement is forecasted to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Pliescott HVAC Services LLC
HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in Cambridge. To discover more about our openings, see our careers page or reach us at 410-228-4822 right away!