If you’re thinking about 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 predicts jobs in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these positions are increasing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
One of the number one needed jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Discover 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 fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be extremely rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a certain skill set, extensive education and ongoing certification.
It’s an excellent career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with heavy amounts of student debt.
- Avoid sitting 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 should have a high school diploma or GED, plus specialized instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need extra instruction or certifications.
You can become certified by taking 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 may also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading accreditation expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says 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 student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs around $15,000. A community college typically 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 work in repairs, you might 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 normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit 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 mentioned earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding career, your salary will reflect 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 might fluctuate based on your areaand its cost of living.
Aside from owning 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 needed across the nation, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the greatest number of HVAC workers and are dealing with major 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 updates.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies relocating to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, who creates 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 biggest 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 growth is anticipated to feed increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with KDM Service Corporation
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Tuscaloosa. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or reach us at 205-208-8090 now!