If you’re thinking about a new, well-paying 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 predicts jobs in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these jobs are growing so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the number one needed positions is working as a HVAC technician. Find out 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 repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a distinct skill set, extensive education and ongoing certification.
It’s a fantastic career choice if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of student debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure 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 should have a high school diploma or GED, plus in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often need extra instruction or endorsements.
You can get your certification 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 may also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is around $15,000. A community college typically costs 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 might vary depending on your employer. If you do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a regular schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work could need more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we talked about earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in 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
Because HVAC is a fast-growing career, 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 may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to owning your own business, there are a few other 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 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 going through major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- 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, expects 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 biggest 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 anticipated to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc.
HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in West Jefferson. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or contact us at 614-879-9091 right away!