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 predicts careers in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these careers are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the number one 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 a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a specific skill set, specialized education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a fantastic career possibility if you want to:
- Avoid excessive 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 own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically must have extra education or certifications.
You can be 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 often six months to two years. Your employer may also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually is 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 could 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 might have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will mirror 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 may differ based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few 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 needed across the nation, 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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- 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, 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 greatest number of new jobs 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 improvement is expected to fuel increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with B&D Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Safford. To find out more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 928-432-6018 now!