If you’re thinking about a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these careers are growing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the top needed careers is working as an 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 services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. 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 extremely satisfying. 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 times.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a certain skill set, in-depth education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s an excellent career choice if you want to:
- Not have a lot of student debt.
- Avoid being stuck 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’ll need a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have extra education or endorsements.
You can become 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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement expands 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 becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often costs around $15,000. A community college usually 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 situation. If you do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a regular schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus 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
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding career, 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 stateand its cost of living.
Aside from having your own business, there are a few other 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 in demand across the United States, 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 major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who makes long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 biggest number of new positions 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 development is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C.
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Rio Grande Valley. To learn more more about our openings, see our careers page or contact us at 956-630-3522 today!