If you’re thinking about a new, successful 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 careers in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these careers are growing so fast. One is homeowners using government rebates to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.
One of the top 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 earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. It requires a specific skill set, in-depth training and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive higher education 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 profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically require extra education or endorsements.
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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement increases your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment updates.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs 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 might vary depending on your situation. If you do repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a fast-growing career, 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 could differ based on your stateand its cost of living.
Other than having your own business, there are a wide range of other 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 desired across the country, 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 major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- 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 makes 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 highest 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 growth 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 contact us at 641-316-9803 right away!