HVAC Jobs Are in Demand: What You'll Do as a Technician and How Much You'll Take Home

July 21, 2021

If you’re wanting to find a new, high-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 estimates careers in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a few reasons why these careers are growing so quickly. One is homeowners using government incentives to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts aging equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.

One of the number one in-demand careers 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:

Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can do refrigeration.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:

  • Work in difficult settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is often outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.

One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a certain skill set, specialized training and ongoing qualifications.

It’s a great career option if you want to:

  • Not have excessive student debt.
  • Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Be your own boss and have your own prosperous business.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have added schooling or certifications.

You can become certified by going to 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 accreditation 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 large demand as equipment evolves.

Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs around $15,000. A community college typically costs around $5,000 annually. In contrast, 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 perform 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 set schedule during usual business hours.

As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.

As we mentioned earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always an advantage.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Since HVAC is a fast-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 areaand its cost of living.

Aside from having your own business, there are a wide range of 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 country, 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 dealing with high construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
  • New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
  • Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.

Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future

Projections Central, who makes long-term occupational projections, expects these states to have the highest demand for technicians by 2028:

  1. Utah, 31.1%
  2. Colorado, 29.7%
  3. Nevada, 27.9%
  4. Arizona, 21.4%
  5. Iowa, Oregon and Montana, 18.5%
  6. Arkansas, 16.3%
  7. Florida, 16.2%
  8. South Carolina, 16%
  9. Texas, 15.9%
  10. Idaho, 15.7%
  11. Washington, 15.6%
  12. North Carolina, 15.5%
  13. Tennessee, 15.2%
  14. Wyoming, 14.3%
  15. Nebraska, 13.9%
  16. Indiana, 13.8%
  17. North Dakota, 13.8%

Here’s where the highest number of new jobs during that time frame are anticipated to be:

  1. Florida, 5,420
  2. Texas, 5,530
  3. California, 4,100
  4. North Carolina, 2,510
  5. New York, 2,290
  6. Colorado, 2,000
  7. Ohio, 1,550
  8. Pennsylvania, 1,510
  9. Virginia, 1,500
  10. Tennessee, 1,360
  11. Washington, 1,290
  12. Georgia, 1,270
  13. New Jersey, 1,170
  14. Utah, 1,170
  15. South Carolina, 1,1060
  16. Indiana, 940
  17. Maryland, 820
  18. Missouri and Arizona, 810
  19. Michigan, 780

Weather and economic development is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Engineer Your HVAC Career with Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning

HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Kearney. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 308-624-3485 today!