If you’re wanting to find 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 expects careers in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these jobs are expanding so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the number one needed positions is working as an 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 someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
- Air conditioners
- Mini-splits and heat pumps
- Thermostats and home zoning
- Indoor air quality products such as air filters and air purification systems
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like small 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 most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a distinct skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing endorsements.
It’s an excellent career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive student debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and run your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have extra instruction or endorsements.
You can be certified by attending 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 might also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment updates.
Another advantage 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 costs 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 perform repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a fixed schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since 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 make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries may differ based on your locationand its cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there are several 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 nation, 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 high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 openings 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 growth is anticipated to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Circleville. To learn more more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 740-474-5940 today!