If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts positions in this trade will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these careers are growing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.
One of the most in-demand careers is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 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 demanding, it can also be extremely fulfilling. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You need a specific skill set, extensive education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive educational debt.
- Avoid sitting 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 successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to specialized education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often require additional schooling or qualifications.
You can become certified by attending 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 might also expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded accreditation improves your technical knowledge 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 updates.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually is around $15,000. A community college often 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 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 may have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since 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 make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could be different based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few other extra 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, educational and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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 openings during that time frame are anticipated 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 expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Giordanos Heating and Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Derby. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 203-772-8319 right away!