If you’re considering a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects jobs in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are expanding so fast. One is homeowners using government rebates to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.
One of the number one wanted careers is working as a HVAC technician. Find out about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is someone who fixes, 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 can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like tight 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 biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a certain skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a fantastic career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of student debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become 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, as well as comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often need added schooling or certifications.
You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment updates.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is 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 where you work. If you do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a regular schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work could require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we mentioned before, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a quickly growing field, your salary will show 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 differ based on your stateand its cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there are a wide range of extra 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 needed across the United States, 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 explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- 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, 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 growth is expected to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Racine. To discover more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 262-358-9468 now!