If you’re considering a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into 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 home market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction houses.
One of the number one in-demand careers is working as a 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 someone who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a distinct skill set, in-depth training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of student 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 have your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often must have added schooling or qualifications.
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 typically six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded 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 great demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs around $15,000. A community college typically costs 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 your employer. If you perform repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a fixed schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we mentioned before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will show 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.
In addition to owning your own business, there are several other extra 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 needed across the United States, 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 high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who makes 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 greatest 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 growth is forecasted to fuel expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Integrity AC & Heating LLC
HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in Phoenix. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 602-971-0567 right away!