If you’re considering a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these jobs are expanding so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the number one needed positions is working as an HVAC technician. Find out 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 a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since 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 career. You need a distinct skill set, specialized training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a great career choice if you want to:
- Avoid a lot of higher education debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra schooling or qualifications.
You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer might also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded certification increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment updates.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college often 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 might vary depending on your situation. 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 normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some work might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we went over previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. 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 quickly growing career, 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 might fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are several additional career opportunities. These can be:
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 nation, 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 facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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 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 highest 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 development is expected to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with US Air Heating and Cooling
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Rock Hill. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 803-220-0761 now!