If you’re considering a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these positions are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners using government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction residences.
One of the top needed jobs is working as an 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like tight 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 distinct skill set, extensive training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of student debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and have your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra instruction or endorsements.
You can become certified by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer could also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement improves 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 large 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 typically runs around $15,000. A community college usually is 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 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 usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we went over previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to 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
As HVAC is a rapidly expanding 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 be different based on your areaand its cost of living.
Aside from owning 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 highest number of HVAC workers and are going through explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- 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 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 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 growth is anticipated to fuel expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in Greater Richmond. To learn more more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 804-302-6657 now!