If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this trade will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these positions are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts older equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the most in-demand jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover 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 an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a certain skill set, in-depth education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive student debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, as well as specialized instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually need added education or certifications.
You can get your certification by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also want NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment updates.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college typically 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 your situation. If you do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a fixed schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some work might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we talked about earlier, you should be comfortable 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 fast-growing field, your salary will reflect 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 may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are several 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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- 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 creates long-term occupational projections, expects these states to have the highest 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 positions 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 feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with B & B Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are needed across the country and in Florissant. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 314-325-7552 now!