If you’re wanting to find a new, high-paying 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 estimates jobs in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these positions are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the top in-demand positions 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 a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. It requires a specific skill set, specialized training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not have a lot of educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing 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 will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs often need additional education or certifications.
You can be certified 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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually runs around $15,000. A community college usually 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 might vary depending on your employer. 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 set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we mentioned previously, 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, solid customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a quickly growing career, your salary will show it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries might fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are a wide range of 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 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 dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- 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 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 biggest number of new openings 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.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Home Comfort Heating & Air
HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in Elk River. To find out more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 763-276-0617 today!