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 you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these careers are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the number one needed careers is working as an HVAC technician. Find out 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
- Air conditioners
- Mini-splits and heat pumps
- Thermostats and home zoning
- Indoor air quality products such as air filters and air purification systems
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. It requires a specific skill set, specialized education and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career option if you want to:
- Avoid excessive educational debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and have your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically require extra schooling 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 relies on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational 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. 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 might vary depending on where you work. 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 regular schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.
As we went over previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
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 make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries might fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few 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 United States, 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 going through explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies moving 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 greatest 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 improvement is forecasted to contribute to increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Booneville Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Booneville. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 662-269-8716 now!