If you’re considering 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 field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these jobs are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the most needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Discover 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 a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You have to have a distinct skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a fantastic career option if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically must have extra instruction or qualifications.
You can get your certification by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer may also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded accreditation expands your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is around $15,000. A community college typically runs 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 could vary depending on where you work. If you perform 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 fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding 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 may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
Other than having your own business, there are a few additional 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 most HVAC workers and are experiencing major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 makes long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 greatest number of new jobs 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 development is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Durable Service
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in Holdrege. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 308-995-8177 now!