If you’re thinking about a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts jobs in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these jobs are expanding so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the top needed 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 receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most work with both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be highly fulfilling. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a specific skill set, extensive training and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Not have excessive student debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often require additional instruction or endorsements.
You can become certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer could also expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says 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 instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs 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 could vary depending on where you work. If you perform repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a set schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we talked about before, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a fast-growing career, 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 stateand its cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there are a few other 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 needed across the United States, 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 going through high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies flocking 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 forecasted 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 forecasted to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Appalachian Heating
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Beckley and Mount Hope. To find out more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 304-707-0600 now!