If you’re thinking about a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are growing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects older equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the top in-demand jobs is working as a 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 a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be extremely rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because 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 job. You need a distinct skill set, specialized training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of student debt.
- Avoid working 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 successful 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 training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually need extra education or qualifications.
You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on 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 highly regarded certification increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment evolves.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is around $15,000. A community college often is 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 could vary depending on your situation. If you do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we went over previously, you should be accustomed 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 an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a quickly growing industry, your salary will mirror 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 might fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
In addition to running your own business, there are several other other career opportunities. These include:
- 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 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 going through major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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 develops long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 greatest number of new jobs during that time frame are forecasted 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 expected to contribute to increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Brandon Heating and Plumbing
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Brandon. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or reach us at 204-728-0180 now!