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 you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a few reasons why these jobs are expanding so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government refunds to upgrade to 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 real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the most needed jobs is working as an HVAC technician. Learn more 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 someone who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be very satisfying. 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 since equipment is often 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 need a specific skill set, extensive education and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Avoid excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and run 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 comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically require extra schooling or endorsements.
You can get your certification by attending 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 expect NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification increases your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment updates.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is around $15,000. A community college often 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 may vary depending on your situation. If you do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go to might vary.
As we talked about previously, you should be comfortable 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 field, 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 be different based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from running your own business, there are a wide range of additional career opportunities. These involve:
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 most HVAC workers and are dealing with high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 develops long-term occupational projections, expects 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 highest 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 forecasted to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Freed Heating & Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Moline. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 309-323-9584 now!