If you’re wanting to find a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects jobs in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these jobs are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners using government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot home market and a property shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the most wanted jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most work with both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly 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 typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a specific skill set, in-depth education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and run your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, plus specialized education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically require added schooling or certifications.
You can get your certification by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer could also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs 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 your situation. If you work in repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a fixed schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we talked about earlier, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will mirror 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.
In addition to having your own business, there are a few other additional 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 needed 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, education and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 highest number of new openings during that time frame are anticipated 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 contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in Wyandotte. To learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 734-363-8907 today!