If you’re thinking about a new, successful 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 predicts careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these positions are increasing so fast. One is homeowners using government refunds to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the most needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Learn more 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
- Air conditioners
- Mini-splits and heat pumps
- Thermostats and home zoning
- Indoor air quality products like air filters and air purification systems
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a distinct skill set, specialized training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not have excessive student debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and have your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically require extra education or endorsements.
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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs 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 may vary depending on where you work. If you do 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 regular schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we went over previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding career, your salary will reflect 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 could be different based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a wide range of other 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 needed across the nation, 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 going through major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 highest 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 feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Colvin's Heating and Cooling
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Excelsior Springs. To learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 816-379-3918 now!