If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers you can find, 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 increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the most needed jobs is working as an 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. 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 highly satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
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 education and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Avoid a lot of educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and run your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra instruction or qualifications.
You can become certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer could also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually runs around $15,000. A community college typically runs 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 might vary depending on where you work. If you work in repairs, you may 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 go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a fast-growing field, 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 might be different based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from owning 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 nation, 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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 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 improvement is forecasted to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with B & B Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in Florissant. To find out more about our openings, see our careers page or call us at 314-325-7552 today!