If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these careers are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners using government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction houses.
One of the top needed careers is working as an HVAC technician. Find out 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. 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 extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. It requires a specific skill set, in-depth training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career choice if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and have your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically require extra schooling or endorsements.
You can be certified by going to 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 may also expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation 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 becomes more technologically advanced.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no student 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. 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 your employer. If you perform 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 go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we went over previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to 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 quickly growing field, 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 areaand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are several extra career opportunities. These can be:
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 country, 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 experiencing explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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 develops long-term occupational projections, expects 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 greatest number of new openings 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 improvement is expected to fuel expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc.
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Branchville. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 862-345-6896 now!