If you’re thinking about a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects positions in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are growing so fast. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects older equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the number one wanted jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Find out 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 services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be extremely rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a specific skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a fantastic career possibility if you want to:
- Avoid excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and run 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 specialized training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need added schooling or endorsements.
You can be 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 typically six months to two years. Your employer may also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement increases your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar 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. 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 may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a fixed schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we talked about earlier, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a quickly growing career, 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 differ based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than owning your own business, there are several other 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 desired 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 dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 highest number of new positions 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 increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with ACE Solutions
HVAC technicians are needed across the country and in Hasbrouck Heights. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 201-579-2562 right away!