If you’re wanting to find a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these positions are growing so fast. One is homeowners using government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the number one needed 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 services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. It requires a specific skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of higher education 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’ll need a high school diploma or GED, in addition to in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have added education or endorsements.
You can become 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 often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded certification increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment updates.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college often runs 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 might vary depending on your situation. 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 typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs may take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we went over earlier, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a quickly growing career, 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 could fluctuate based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a few other 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 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 major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies flocking 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 jobs 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 development is anticipated to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Clean Air HVAC
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Pacheco. To find out more about our openings, see our careers page or reach us at 925-233-6238 right away!