HVAC Careers Are Needed: What You'll Do as a Technician and How Much You'll Make

July 21, 2021

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 offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are expanding so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.

One of the most needed jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover 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 a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:

Some are HVAC-R technicians, 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 uncomfortable settings, like small or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically 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 distinct skill set, in-depth training and ongoing qualifications.

It’s an excellent career option if you want to:

  • Not have heavy amounts of educational debt.
  • Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Become 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, plus in-depth education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs usually need added education or endorsements.

You can become 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 refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top certification expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment evolves.

Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college usually 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 might vary depending on your situation. If you perform 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 regular schedule during usual business hours.

As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.

As we went over previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spots. 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

As HVAC is a quickly growing career, your salary will reflect 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 could fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.

Aside from running your own business, there are a few other other 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 updates.
  • 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 develops long-term occupational projections, forecasts these states to have the highest demand for technicians by 2028:

  1. Utah, 31.1%
  2. Colorado, 29.7%
  3. Nevada, 27.9%
  4. Arizona, 21.4%
  5. Iowa, Oregon and Montana, 18.5%
  6. Arkansas, 16.3%
  7. Florida, 16.2%
  8. South Carolina, 16%
  9. Texas, 15.9%
  10. Idaho, 15.7%
  11. Washington, 15.6%
  12. North Carolina, 15.5%
  13. Tennessee, 15.2%
  14. Wyoming, 14.3%
  15. Nebraska, 13.9%
  16. Indiana, 13.8%
  17. North Dakota, 13.8%

Here’s where the highest number of new openings during that time frame are anticipated to be:

  1. Florida, 5,420
  2. Texas, 5,530
  3. California, 4,100
  4. North Carolina, 2,510
  5. New York, 2,290
  6. Colorado, 2,000
  7. Ohio, 1,550
  8. Pennsylvania, 1,510
  9. Virginia, 1,500
  10. Tennessee, 1,360
  11. Washington, 1,290
  12. Georgia, 1,270
  13. New Jersey, 1,170
  14. Utah, 1,170
  15. South Carolina, 1,1060
  16. Indiana, 940
  17. Maryland, 820
  18. Missouri and Arizona, 810
  19. Michigan, 780

Weather and economic development is forecasted to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, Inc

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Circleville. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 740-474-5940 now!