If you’re considering a new, high-paying 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 predicts careers in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are growing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
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 earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is someone who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be extremely fulfilling. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a distinct skill set, specialized education and ongoing certification.
It’s a fantastic career choice if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and have your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as in-depth instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically must have added instruction or certifications.
You can become certified by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer could also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded accreditation improves your technical knowledge 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 instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually is around $15,000. A community college usually 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 could vary depending on your employer. If you perform repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a regular schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks may take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a quickly growing field, 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 differ based on your areaand its cost of living.
In addition to owning your own business, there are a wide range of extra career opportunities. These involve:
- 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 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 going through major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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, 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 biggest number of new jobs 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 development is anticipated to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Columbus. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 614-451-0846 today!