HVAC Careers Are in Need: What You'll Do as a Technician and How Much You'll Take Home

July 21, 2021

If you’re thinking about 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 predicts careers in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners using government refunds to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.

One of the top in-demand positions is working as a 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 units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:

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 need to be able to:

  • Work in difficult settings, such as small or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.

One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a distinct skill set, extensive education and ongoing certification.

It’s an excellent career possibility if you want to:

  • Not be saddled with excessive student debt.
  • Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Be your own boss and run your own prosperous 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 careers usually need added instruction or qualifications.

You can be certified by attending 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 may also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement expands your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.

Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college typically 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 may vary depending on your situation. If you perform repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a regular schedule during normal business hours.

As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs could require more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.

As we talked about earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always a plus.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Because HVAC is a fast-growing industry, 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 may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.

Aside from owning your own business, there are several other additional 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 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, educational and healthcare buildings.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
  • 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, forecasts these states to have the greatest demand for technicians by 2028:

  1. Utah, 31.1%
  2. Colorado, 29.7%
  3. Nevada, 27.9%
  4. Arizona, 21.4%
  5. Iowa, Oregon and Montana, 18.5%
  6. Arkansas, 16.3%
  7. Florida, 16.2%
  8. South Carolina, 16%
  9. Texas, 15.9%
  10. Idaho, 15.7%
  11. Washington, 15.6%
  12. North Carolina, 15.5%
  13. Tennessee, 15.2%
  14. Wyoming, 14.3%
  15. Nebraska, 13.9%
  16. Indiana, 13.8%
  17. North Dakota, 13.8%

Here’s where the greatest number of new positions during that time frame are expected to be:

  1. Florida, 5,420
  2. Texas, 5,530
  3. California, 4,100
  4. North Carolina, 2,510
  5. New York, 2,290
  6. Colorado, 2,000
  7. Ohio, 1,550
  8. Pennsylvania, 1,510
  9. Virginia, 1,500
  10. Tennessee, 1,360
  11. Washington, 1,290
  12. Georgia, 1,270
  13. New Jersey, 1,170
  14. Utah, 1,170
  15. South Carolina, 1,1060
  16. Indiana, 940
  17. Maryland, 820
  18. Missouri and Arizona, 810
  19. Michigan, 780

Weather and economic improvement is expected to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning

HVAC technicians are needed across the country and in Thedford. To discover more about our openings, view our careers page or reach us at 519-296-4437 today!