HVAC Jobs Are in Demand: What You'll Do as a Technician and How Much You'll Earn

July 21, 2021

If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects positions in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s several reasons why these jobs are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.

One of the top in-demand jobs is working as a 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 services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also work with refrigeration.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be very fulfilling. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:

  • Work in difficult settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.

One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a distinct skill set, extensive education and ongoing qualifications.

It’s a great career possibility if you want to:

  • Avoid 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’ll need a high school diploma or GED, in addition to in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically require additional instruction or qualifications.

You can get your certification by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer may also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment updates.

Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs around $15,000. A community college typically runs 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 could vary depending on where you work. If you work in repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a regular schedule during typical business hours.

As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.

As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always positive.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

As HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, 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 might differ based on your stateand its cost of living.

Aside from running your own business, there are a few other other career opportunities. These involve:

  • 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 dealing with major construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare locations.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
  • 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 makes long-term occupational projections, expects these states to have the highest demand for technicians by 2028:

  1. Utah, 31.1%
  2. Colorado, 29.7%
  3. Nevada, 27.9%
  4. Arizona, 21.4%
  5. Iowa, Oregon and Montana, 18.5%
  6. Arkansas, 16.3%
  7. Florida, 16.2%
  8. South Carolina, 16%
  9. Texas, 15.9%
  10. Idaho, 15.7%
  11. Washington, 15.6%
  12. North Carolina, 15.5%
  13. Tennessee, 15.2%
  14. Wyoming, 14.3%
  15. Nebraska, 13.9%
  16. Indiana, 13.8%
  17. North Dakota, 13.8%

Here’s where the greatest number of new positions during that time frame are forecasted to be:

  1. Florida, 5,420
  2. Texas, 5,530
  3. California, 4,100
  4. North Carolina, 2,510
  5. New York, 2,290
  6. Colorado, 2,000
  7. Ohio, 1,550
  8. Pennsylvania, 1,510
  9. Virginia, 1,500
  10. Tennessee, 1,360
  11. Washington, 1,290
  12. Georgia, 1,270
  13. New Jersey, 1,170
  14. Utah, 1,170
  15. South Carolina, 1,1060
  16. Indiana, 940
  17. Maryland, 820
  18. Missouri and Arizona, 810
  19. Michigan, 780

Weather and economic growth is forecasted to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Build Your HVAC Career with Colvin's Heating and Cooling

HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Excelsior Springs. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 816-379-3918 right away!