If you’re considering a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these positions are expanding so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the top needed careers is working as an 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 someone who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a certain skill set, in-depth training and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career choice if you want to:
- Not have excessive student debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own your own profitable 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 education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically require extra schooling or certifications.
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 might also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement improves your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college typically 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 where you work. If you do repairs, you may 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 go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we talked about previously, 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 positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding career, your salary will mirror it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could fluctuate based on your stateand its cost of living.
Other than having your own business, there are a few 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 in demand 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 explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- 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 creates long-term occupational projections, expects 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 greatest number of new openings 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 forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Central Heating & Plumbing
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in New Castle. To discover more about our openings, see our careers page or contact us at 724-401-1843 now!