If you’re wanting to find a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these jobs are increasing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the top needed jobs 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 repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be extremely satisfying. 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 as equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. It requires a specific skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of higher education debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra schooling or qualifications.
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 usually six months to two years. Your employer could also expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement expands your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically runs around $15,000. A community college often 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 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 regular schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we went over previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a fast-growing field, your salary will show 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 could differ based on your stateand its cost of living.
In addition to having your own business, there are several other career opportunities. These can be:
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 country, 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 experiencing 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 upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- 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 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 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 expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with J & J Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Eastland. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 254-355-3833 now!