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 available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these careers are expanding so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the most in-demand 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 someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, such as 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 job. It requires a distinct skill set, specialized training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career choice if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of student debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically require extra education or qualifications.
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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also want NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation increases your technical expertise 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 educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college typically 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 may vary depending on where you work. If you perform repairs, you might 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 visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work may require more time 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, as well as in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a quickly growing field, your salary will mirror it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners receive between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries may differ based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a wide range of 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 desired across the country, 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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- 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 biggest number of new openings 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 improvement is anticipated to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Solar Air Inc.
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Fort Lauderdale. To learn more more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 954-320-7398 now!