If you’re wanting to find a new, high-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 predicts careers in this industry will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these careers are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction residences.
One of the top needed careers 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, such as tight 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 typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a certain skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not have a lot of student debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have extra education or qualifications.
You can become certified by attending 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 could also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement expands your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often is around $15,000. A community college usually 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 work in repairs, you may 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 typical 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 take care of could vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a rapidly expanding career, your salary will show 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 locationand its cost of living.
In addition to owning your own business, there are several additional 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 in demand 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 dealing with major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who makes long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 highest number of new positions 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 expected to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Anderson Heating & A/C
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Carson City. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 775-230-7628 right away!