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 fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts jobs in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are growing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a property shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the number one in-demand 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 make.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be very fulfilling. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a specific skill set, specialized instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive educational debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually must have additional education or qualifications.
You can become certified by going to 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 require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top 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 big demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college usually is 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 may vary depending on where you work. If you perform repairs, you could 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 go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs may need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on could vary.
As we mentioned earlier, 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, strong customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since 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 could differ based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from having your own business, there are a wide range of additional career opportunities. These include:
- 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 greatest number of HVAC workers and are going through high 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 upgrades.
- 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 creates 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 anticipated 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 contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc.
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Muskogee. To learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 918-682-8238 right away!