If you’re thinking about a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates positions in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are expanding so fast. One is homeowners using government incentives to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the number one needed jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
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 fulfilling. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is often 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 specific skill set, specialized training and ongoing certification.
It’s an excellent career choice if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and run 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 specialized education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically need additional instruction or certifications.
You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer may also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification increases your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit 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 usually is 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 situation. If you perform repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a fixed schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we talked about before, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. 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
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding field, 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 may fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
In addition to having your own business, there are a wide range of 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 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 greatest number of HVAC workers and are going through explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 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 highest 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 growth is forecasted to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with J & J Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in Eastland. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 254-355-3833 right away!