If you’re thinking about a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these jobs are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the top needed careers is working as an 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 someone who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be extremely satisfying. 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 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 job. You need a certain skill set, in-depth training and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Not have a lot of educational debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically require extra schooling or qualifications.
You can get your certification by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer could also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement improves your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no instructional 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. In contrast, 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 do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might 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 might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we went over previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a quickly growing field, 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 might differ based on your areaand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few extra 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 desired 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, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies moving to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who makes 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 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 growth is anticipated to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Knoechel Heating
HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in Zelienople. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 724-425-5852 now!