If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these positions are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.
One of the top needed positions is working as an 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 services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often 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 need a distinct skill set, extensive education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a good career choice 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.
- Become your own boss and run your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically require extra instruction or certifications.
You can become certified 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. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation expands 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 big demand as equipment updates.
Another perk 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 often is around $5,000 annually. In 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 might vary depending on your employer. If you work in repairs, you might 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 visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. 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 rapidly expanding industry, 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 be different based on your locationand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are a wide range of additional 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 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 greatest number of HVAC workers and are going through high 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 upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 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 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 development 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 learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 507-387-6596 today!