If you’re thinking about a new, high-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 predicts careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these positions are expanding so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the top needed careers is working as an 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as 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 position. It requires a specific skill set, specialized education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of higher education debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have extra schooling or endorsements.
You can become certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer may also expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement increases your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted 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 often is around $15,000. A community college often costs 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 may vary depending on your situation. If you work in repairs, you might 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 service. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a fast-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 may be different based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to running your own business, there are several additional 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 country, 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 locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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, 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 greatest number of new openings during that time frame are expected 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 improvement is anticipated to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Northglenn. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 303-452-4146 today!