If you’re thinking about a new, well-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 estimates positions in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these careers are growing so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the top in-demand jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover 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 repairs, 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 professionals, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be extremely rewarding. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You need a specific skill set, in-depth education and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and run your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need extra education 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 is linked to the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer may also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no instructional 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. By 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 could vary depending on your situation. If you do 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 normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some tasks may take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of could vary.
As we talked about before, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a fast-growing career, 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 might be different based on your locationand its cost of living.
Aside from owning your own business, there are a few other other 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 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 experiencing high 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 updates.
- 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 creates long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 biggest number of new openings during that time frame are expected 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 anticipated to fuel increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with H & H Service Company
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Mechanicsburg. To learn more more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 717-220-4502 today!