If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these positions are growing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to purchase 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 home market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the top needed positions 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 someone who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a specific skill set, in-depth training and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Not have excessive educational debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically require extra schooling 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 depends on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer may also want NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded certification improves your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically runs around $15,000. A community college often 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 employer. If you work in repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to 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
Because HVAC is a fast-growing field, 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 could fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to having your own business, there are a wide range of 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 experiencing explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, forecasts these states to have the biggest 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 jobs 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 expected to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with McFadden Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Dresden. To learn more more about our openings, view our careers page or contact us at 1-866-781-0111 today!