If you’re wanting to find a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this trade will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these jobs are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives 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 real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost 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 earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. 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 take care of refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, like tight 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 most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You need a specific skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a great career possibility if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of student debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and own your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically require extra education or qualifications.
You can be certified 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 could also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading 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 big demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another benefit 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. 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 could vary depending on your employer. If you do repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a regular schedule during typical business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some tasks might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on could vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a quickly growing industry, 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 fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to having your own business, there are several 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 in demand across the nation, 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 updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
- 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, 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 highest number of new openings 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 development is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with GV Heating & Air
HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in Crystal and Twin Cities. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 763-535-2000 today!