If you’re wanting to find a new, well-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 predicts careers in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these positions are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the number one needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Learn more 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
- 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 extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. It requires a specific skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing endorsements.
It’s an excellent career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive student debt.
- Avoid being stuck 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 profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need extra instruction 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 relies 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 industry-leading accreditation expands 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 often is around $15,000. A community college typically runs 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 could vary depending on your employer. If you work in repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus 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
As HVAC is a rapidly expanding field, your salary will reflect it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could be different based on your stateand its cost of living.
In addition to owning your own business, there are a wide range of 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 most HVAC workers and are going through major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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 makes 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 highest 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 improvement is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build 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, visit our careers page or contact us at 519-296-4437 right away!