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 estimates positions in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are growing so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts older equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.
One of the top needed careers is working as a HVAC technician. Find out 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most work with both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be highly fulfilling. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since 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. It requires a distinct skill set, specialized education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive higher education 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 run 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 training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs usually need added schooling or qualifications.
You can become certified 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 want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment updates.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often 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 may vary depending on where you work. If you work in 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 set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong 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 receive between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could be different based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than having your own business, there are a few other additional 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 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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- 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 develops long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 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 anticipated to contribute to increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Forster Heating
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in Auburn. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 530-885-8081 now!