If you’re considering a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates jobs in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these positions are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government incentives to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts older equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction residences.
One of the top needed jobs is working as a 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 someone who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. 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 challenging, it can also be extremely fulfilling. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since 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. It requires a specific skill set, specialized instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career possibility 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 have 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 specialized education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions often require extra schooling or qualifications.
You can become certified by attending 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 want NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top certification expands your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically runs around $15,000. A community college often runs 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 where you work. 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 respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.
As we mentioned before, 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
Since 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 may differ based on your stateand its cost of living.
In addition to running your own business, there are several other additional 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 nation, 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 experiencing explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 positions 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 development is anticipated to contribute to increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Brookwood Inc
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Newton. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or reach us at 641-316-9803 now!