If you’re wanting to find 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 positions in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are expanding so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the number one wanted positions is working as a 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 someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. 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 highly satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. It requires a certain skill set, specialized education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and own your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, plus specialized training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually require added education or qualifications.
You can be certified by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer may also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment updates.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is 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 could vary depending on your situation. If you work in repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a regular schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we talked about earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in 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
Since HVAC is a quickly growing field, your salary will show 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 fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to 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 desired across the country, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the highest number of HVAC workers and are dealing with major 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 relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, expects these states to have the greatest 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 openings 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 growth is anticipated to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Halverson Brothers Inc
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Menomonie and western Wisconsin. To find out more about our openings, visit our careers page or reach us at 715-352-4052 now!