If you’re considering a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these careers are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners using government refunds to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the most in-demand jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a certain skill set, extensive education and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of educational 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 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, in addition to in-depth instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically require added schooling or qualifications.
You can be certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer may also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often is 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 may vary depending on your situation. If you perform 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 fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of may vary.
As we went over before, 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, good customer service skills are always positive.
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 may be different based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to having your own business, there are several other 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 most HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- 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, 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 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 growth is anticipated to fuel expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Point Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are needed across the country and in Plover. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or reach us at 715-504-0533 today!