If you’re thinking about a new, successful 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 careers in this industry will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these jobs are increasing so fast. 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 old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the most needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Discover 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 an individual who fixes, 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 professionals, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You have to have a specific skill set, in-depth training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and have 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 comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically require extra schooling or qualifications.
You can be 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 often six months to two years. Your employer may also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college usually is 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 could vary depending on where you work. If you perform repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a set schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on could vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a fast-growing industry, your salary will reflect 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 might fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to running your own business, there are a few 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 nation, 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 explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 greatest number of new positions 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 improvement is forecasted to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Des Moines. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 515-207-6569 today!