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 expects careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these careers are expanding so fast. 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 affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the top needed careers is working as an 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 repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be extremely satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually 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 certain skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of educational debt.
- Avoid working 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 profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need extra education or certifications.
You can become certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer could also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no student 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 might vary depending on where you work. If you work in 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 fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we mentioned 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 an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, your salary will mirror 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 may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to having your own business, there are a few other 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 greatest number of HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school 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 moving to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 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 expected to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in Kearney. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 308-624-3485 right away!