If you’re considering a new, well-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 careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these jobs are expanding so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the most needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Discover about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to make.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
- Air conditioners
- Mini-splits and heat pumps
- Thermostats and home zoning
- Indoor air quality products including air filters and air purification systems
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a distinct skill set, specialized training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a fantastic career possibility if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of educational 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 run your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions 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 often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification expands your technical knowledge 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 student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually 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 employer. 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 set schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to 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 fast-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 differ based on your stateand 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 United States, 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, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- 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 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 biggest number of new jobs 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 forecasted to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Central Air LLC
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Brookfield. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 203-357-5913 today!