If you’re thinking about a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-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’s a few reasons why these jobs are growing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot housing market and a property shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the top needed positions is working as a 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 homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a distinct skill set, specialized instruction and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career option if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing 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 should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to in-depth instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often must have 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 relies on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer may also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement expands your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no instructional 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 might vary depending on your employer. If you work in repairs, you could 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 typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we went over previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a fast-growing field, 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 may differ based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are a few other additional 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 United States, 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 experiencing explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies moving to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates 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 greatest 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 improvement is forecasted to contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Heartland Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Des Moines. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or reach us at 515-344-3579 now!