If you’re considering a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these careers are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the number one needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Find out about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, like small 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 typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a distinct skill set, specialized education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career choice if you want to:
- Avoid excessive student debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure 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 comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically must have extra schooling or certifications.
You can be 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 may also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded certification expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment updates.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college typically costs 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 may vary depending on your situation. If you do repairs, you may 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 usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some jobs might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we went over previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a fast-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 might be different based on your stateand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are several extra 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 desired across the United States, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the highest number of HVAC workers and are going through major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- 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, 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 anticipated 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 anticipated to contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with James Heating & A/C, Inc
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Lexington. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 336-853-6070 now!