If you’re thinking about 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 expects careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these positions are increasing so rapidly. 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 influences aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction residences.
One of the most needed positions 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 someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be highly fulfilling. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, such as small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. It requires a certain skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of student debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically require additional schooling or qualifications.
You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs around $15,000. A community college typically is 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 could vary depending on your situation. 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 set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some work could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we went over before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a quickly growing industry, your salary will reflect 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 locationand its cost of living.
Aside from 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 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 dealing with major 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 projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who develops 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 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 anticipated to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Northern Comfort Inc
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Mankato area. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 507-387-6596 now!