If you’re wanting to find a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this industry will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There are several reasons why these careers are growing so quickly. One is homeowners using government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a property shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.
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 receive.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician is an individual who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
- Air conditioners
- Mini-splits and heat pumps
- Thermostats and home zoning
- Indoor air quality products like air filters and air purification systems
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 extremely satisfying. As a technician you should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, like small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. It requires a distinct skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a great career option if you want to:
- Not have heavy amounts of higher education debt.
- Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and run your own successful business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, as well as comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers 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 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 top accreditation increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big 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 usually runs around $15,000. A community college typically 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 where you work. If you perform repairs, you could 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 go to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some jobs might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.
As we mentioned previously, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
As HVAC is a fast-growing field, your salary will show it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners get between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries might differ based on your stateand its cost of living.
Other than having 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 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 high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- 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 makes 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 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 growth is forecasted to fuel increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Build Your HVAC Career with Luikart Heating & Cooling
HVAC technicians are required across the USA and in Newark. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 740-200-5591 right away!