If you’re considering a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this industry will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these positions are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners using government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a property shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the number one needed careers is working as an HVAC technician. Find out 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 an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult 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 common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. It requires a distinct skill set, in-depth training and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Not have excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure 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 should have a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have extra education 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 often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top certification improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another perk 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 often is 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 may vary depending on where you work. If you do repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a regular schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on could vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a quickly growing industry, your salary will show it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners receive between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could be different based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there are a wide range of 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 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, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies moving 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:
- 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 positions 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 improvement is anticipated to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Athol. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 208-561-1226 today!