If you’re considering a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects older equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction houses.
One of the top wanted positions 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 someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often 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 certain skill set, extensive training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of student 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 own your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, plus specialized instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need extra instruction 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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement improves your technical knowledge 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 is around $15,000. A community college often costs 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 could 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 may have more of a regular schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks may take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of may vary.
As we went over earlier, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because 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 receive between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could be different based on your areaand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few other other career opportunities. These involve:
- 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 explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who makes long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 highest 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 expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Titan Heating & Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Central Point. To learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 541-286-6617 now!