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 you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these positions are increasing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the top wanted careers is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be very fulfilling. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a certain skill set, extensive education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good 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.
- Be 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, in addition to in-depth education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically need extra instruction or endorsements.
You can become certified by taking 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 could also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded certification improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment updates.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college often 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 situation. 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 go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. 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
Since HVAC is a quickly growing field, your salary will show 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 might 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 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 updates.
- 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 creates 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 highest number of new openings 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 expected to contribute to increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Stieferman Heating Company Inc
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Jefferson City. To find out more about our openings, see our careers page or call us at 573-635-3547 today!