If you’re considering a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects positions in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the most needed jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be highly 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 as 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 position. You have to have a specific skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a fantastic career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of higher education debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run your own prosperous 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 instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions usually need additional schooling or endorsements.
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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement expands your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big 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 is around $15,000. A community college usually is 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 where you work. 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 fixed schedule during normal 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 on may vary.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped areas. 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 reflect 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 could be different based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to owning your own business, there are several other additional 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 greatest number of HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who develops long-term occupational projections, forecasts these states to have the biggest 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 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 forecasted to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Central Air LLC
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Brookfield. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 203-357-5913 right away!