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 available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this industry will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these jobs are growing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the most needed jobs is working as an HVAC technician. Discover 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 fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because 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 job. It requires a certain skill set, in-depth training and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive educational debt.
- Avoid working 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 profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically require extra instruction or certifications.
You can get your certification 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 usually 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 reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large 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 usually is 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 may vary depending on where you work. If you work in 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 usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some jobs might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding career, your salary will reflect 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 might be different based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than running 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 most HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive 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 updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- Illinois: Companies flocking 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 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 improvement is forecasted to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Tri City Fuel & Heating
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in West Columbia. To learn more more about our openings, see our careers page or reach us at 803-265-4208 right away!