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 available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these positions are expanding so rapidly. One is homeowners using government rebates to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction houses.
One of the most needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Learn more 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 an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, like small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically 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. You need a specific skill set, in-depth education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Avoid 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.
- Work as your own boss and have your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically must have extra education or certifications.
You can be certified by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer might also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded certification improves your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often is around $15,000. A community college often runs around $5,000 annually. In 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 could vary depending on where you work. If you do 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 set schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on could vary.
As we went over previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus 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
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will mirror 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 areaand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a wide range of 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, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- 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, expects these states to have the highest 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 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 expected to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co.
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Haines City. To learn more more about our openings, see our careers page or reach us at 863-216-2923 today!