If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects positions in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these jobs are growing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the number one wanted careers is working as a 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. 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 very satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a distinct skill set, specialized education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career choice if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of higher education debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run 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 in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need extra education or qualifications.
You can get your certification 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 could also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading accreditation increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
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 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 might vary depending on your employer. 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 regular schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be comfortable 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
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will show 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.
In addition to running your own business, there are a few other extra 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 in demand across the nation, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the greatest number of HVAC workers and are dealing with high 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 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 makes long-term occupational projections, anticipates these states to have the greatest 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 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 growth is anticipated to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Northglenn. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 303-452-4146 right away!