If you’re wanting to find a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects jobs in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these positions are expanding so fast. 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 aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the number one in-demand jobs 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
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 highly satisfying. 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 usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You need a certain skill set, specialized instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career choice if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of educational 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 run your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need added instruction or certifications.
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 could also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top certification improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says 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 instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually is around $15,000. A community college typically runs 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 situation. If you do 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 set schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.
As we talked about earlier, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as 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
Since HVAC is a quickly growing career, your salary will reflect 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 be different 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 in demand across the country, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the greatest number of HVAC workers and are going through explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- 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 develops long-term occupational projections, anticipates these states to have the highest 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 forecasted 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 growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Hopper Heating and Air
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Shelby. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 704-233-7363 today!