If you’re thinking about a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these careers are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the top needed jobs is working as an HVAC technician. Discover 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 units. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, such as crowded 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 job. You need a specific skill set, specialized training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of higher education debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and have your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically require extra education or qualifications.
You can become certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement expands your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who have expertise 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 typically runs around $15,000. A community college often is around $5,000 annually. In contrast, 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 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 fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some jobs might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to 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
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding field, your salary will show 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.
Aside from having your own business, there are a wide range of 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 United States, 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 dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
- 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, anticipates 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 biggest number of new jobs 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 growth is anticipated to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Dave's Diversified Services
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Front Royal. To discover more about our openings, see our careers page or call us at 540-636-3396 today!