If you’re wanting to find a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts positions in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences older equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the most in-demand positions is working as a HVAC technician. Find out 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as 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. You have to have a distinct skill set, specialized instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of student 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, in addition to in-depth instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions usually need added education or endorsements.
You can get your certification by taking 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 could also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement expands 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 big 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 usually runs around $15,000. A community college typically costs around $5,000 annually. In contrast, 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 employer. 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 fixed schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a quickly growing career, your salary will mirror 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 may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to running your own business, there are several 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 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 high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- 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, forecasts these states to have the highest 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 growth is expected to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with JTech Mechanical
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Magnolia. To learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 281-231-8768 now!