If you’re wanting to find a new, well-paying 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 expects careers in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these positions are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects older equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.
One of the most wanted careers is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 someone who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most serve both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be very rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a specific skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a fantastic career option if you want to:
- Not have excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing 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 should have a high school diploma or GED, plus specialized education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra instruction or certifications.
You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs 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 might vary depending on your employer. If you do 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 respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we went over previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because 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 get between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries might fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there are a few other 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 needed 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 going through major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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 develops long-term occupational projections, anticipates these states to have the greatest 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 openings during that time frame are expected 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 contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Anderson Heating & A/C
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Carson City. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 775-230-7628 today!