If you’re thinking about a new, successful 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 field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these careers are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the number one wanted careers is working as a HVAC technician. Discover 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 a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. It requires a distinct skill set, in-depth training and ongoing certification.
It’s an excellent career option if you want to:
- Not have a lot of educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and run 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 specialized education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions often need added schooling or endorsements.
You can get your certification by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs around $15,000. A community college often costs 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 might vary depending on your employer. If you work in repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some work may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we went over before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a fast-growing career, 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 stateand its cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there are a few other 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 in demand across the country, 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 dealing with explosive 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 flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who develops long-term occupational projections, expects 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 biggest 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 expected to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Dearing's Service & Solutions
HVAC technicians are needed across the country and in Huntingburg. To learn more more about our openings, view our careers page or reach us at 812-200-5844 right away!