If you’re thinking about 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 predicts careers in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are growing so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects older equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the most in-demand careers is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is someone who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both homes and businesses. 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 rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a certain skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of higher education debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and have your own prosperous 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 jobs usually need added instruction or qualifications.
You can get your certification 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 expect NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs around $15,000. A community college usually costs around $5,000 annually. By 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 could have more of a fixed schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks may need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on could vary.
As we mentioned before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in 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
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 might fluctuate based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few other extra 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 desired across the nation, 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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- 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 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 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 growth is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Booneville Heating & Cooling LLC
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Booneville. To find out more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 662-269-8716 today!