If you’re thinking about a new, well-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 estimates careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these careers are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners using government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the most needed jobs 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 a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. 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 demanding, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, like small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often 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, extensive training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not have excessive educational debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and own your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically must have extra education or certifications.
You can be certified by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great 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 usually is around $15,000. A community college typically 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 might vary depending on where you work. If you perform 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 fixed schedule during normal 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 may vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, 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 may fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a wide range of other 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 nation, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the most HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies flocking 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 biggest 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 forecasted 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 development is expected to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with MPC Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Chadron. To learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 308-832-4321 right away!