If you’re thinking about a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these positions are growing so fast. One is homeowners using government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction houses.
One of the top needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Find out 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 a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You need a specific skill set, extensive education and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of student debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and have your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically must have extra instruction or qualifications.
You can get your certification by going to 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 might also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement increases your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college often costs around $5,000 annually. In 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 your situation. If you perform repairs, you may 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 usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped areas. 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
Because HVAC is a quickly growing industry, your salary will reflect it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners get between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are several other 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 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 highest number of HVAC workers and are going through explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies moving 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 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 jobs 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 development is expected to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Air Alliance Team
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Ballwin and St. Charles. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 636-206-4250 today!