If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects positions in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are expanding so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.
One of the number one in-demand 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 receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
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 very rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. It requires a specific skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Avoid excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and have your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions often require added instruction or endorsements.
You can get your certification 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 typically six months to two years. Your employer may also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college often is 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 set schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs may take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As 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 make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could differ based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a wide range of extra 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 most HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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, anticipates 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 openings 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 growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Lanz Furnace and Fireplace
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Monroe. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 608-291-3606 right away!