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 offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts positions in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these careers are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging 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 most needed jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to make.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because 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 position. You need a certain skill set, extensive training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of student debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own 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 in-depth instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra education or qualifications.
You can be certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification expands your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs around $15,000. A community college usually costs 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 might vary depending on your situation. If you work in repairs, you may 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 could require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.
As we talked about earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will mirror 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 wide range of 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 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, education and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- 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 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 feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Mobile. To find out more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 251-471-2674 right away!