HVAC Careers Are Needed: What You'll Do as a Technician and How Much You'll Make

July 21, 2021

If you’re thinking about 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 expects positions in this industry will increase by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction houses.

One of the most needed 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 earn.

What Is an HVAC Technician?

A HVAC technician is a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:

Some are HVAC-R pros, 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 fulfilling. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:

  • Work in uncomfortable settings, such as crowded or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.

One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a distinct skill set, in-depth education and ongoing certification.

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

  • Avoid 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 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, plus in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions usually need additional schooling or certifications.

You can get your certification by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar 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 typically costs 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 may vary depending on your situation. If you perform repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.

As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs could take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.

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

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Since HVAC is a quickly growing career, your salary will show 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 might differ based on your stateand its cost of living.

Other than having 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 desired across the country, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the highest number of HVAC workers and are experiencing major construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare facilities.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
  • New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
  • 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, expects these states to have the greatest 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 biggest number of new jobs during that time frame are expected 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 improvement is forecasted to contribute to increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Freed Heating & Air Conditioning

HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in Moline. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or reach us at 309-323-9584 now!