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 quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these jobs are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the most needed careers is working as an HVAC technician. Discover 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 an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically difficult, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in difficult settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. It requires a certain skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive higher education debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing 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 will require a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically must have extra instruction or certifications.
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 typically six months to two years. Your employer could also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer reports 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 costs around $15,000. A community college typically costs around $5,000 annually. In contrast, 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 may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a fixed schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of may vary.
As we went over 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 an advantage.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since HVAC is a quickly growing career, 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 might fluctuate based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from having your own business, there are a few extra career opportunities. These include:
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 greatest number of HVAC workers and are experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure projects.
- Illinois: Companies flocking 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 highest 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 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 improvement is expected to feed expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Ellsworth. To discover more about our openings, see our careers page or contact us at 715-318-6728 right away!