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 predicts jobs in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these jobs are expanding so rapidly. One is homeowners using government rebates to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.
One of the most wanted careers is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also work with refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, such as tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You need a certain skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing certification.
It’s a good career choice if you want to:
- Not be saddled with excessive educational debt.
- Avoid sitting 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 profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as in-depth instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions usually need extra instruction or certifications.
You can get your certification by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer could also want 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 reports that technicians familiar 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 student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often is around $15,000. A community college usually runs 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 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 might have more of a regular schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some jobs may need more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of may vary.
As we talked about before, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always a plus.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, 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 differ based on your stateand its cost of living.
Aside from having your own business, there are a wide range of additional 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 going through 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 updates.
- 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 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 improvement is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians are needed across the country and in Buellton. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 805-242-9638 now!