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 you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s several reasons why these jobs are increasing so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the most in-demand 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 someone who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:
Some are HVAC-R professionals, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be extremely fulfilling. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You have to have a specific skill set, in-depth training and ongoing qualifications.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with a lot of student 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’ll need a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs usually must have added 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 depends on the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top certification increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually runs around $15,000. A community college typically is 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 may vary depending on where you work. If you work in 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 usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work may require more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we talked about before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. 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
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 make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries may be different based on your areaand its cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there are a wide range of other 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 in demand across the United States, 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 explosive construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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, 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 greatest 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 contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Speedy Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are required across the nation and in Naples. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 239-244-3439 today!