If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects positions in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these jobs are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.
One of the most needed careers 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most work with both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. It requires a certain skill set, in-depth training and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of higher education debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and run your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need additional instruction or certifications.
You can become certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification increases your technical know-how 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 updates.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually 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 your employer. If you perform repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a regular schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work could need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.
As we talked about previously, 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, good customer service skills are always an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a quickly growing field, your salary will mirror 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 stateand its cost of living.
In addition to running your own business, there are a few 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 needed 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 experiencing major construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- 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 makes long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 highest number of new jobs 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 improvement is forecasted to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with American HVAC Inc
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in San Jose. To learn more more about our openings, see our careers page or contact us at 408-215-1018 today!