If you’re thinking about a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates positions in this field will expand by 13 percent by 2028.
There are a couple of reasons why these positions are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.
One of the most in-demand jobs is working as an HVAC technician. Learn more about what they do, how to become one, and how much you can expect to earn.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
An HVAC technician is an individual who fixes, installs, and maintains heating and cooling units. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:
- 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 very rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as the equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends, and overtime during peak times.
One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You have to have a certain skill set, in-depth education, and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a good career possibility if you want to:
- Avoid heavy amounts of higher education debt.
- Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Become your own boss and own your own prosperous business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, plus in-depth education. Other more specialized (and higher-paying) HVAC careers typically must have extra instruction or certifications.
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 could also expect NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded accreditation improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer noted that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics, and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment evolves.
Another benefit 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 often is 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 may vary depending on your situation. If you work in 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 fixed schedule during usual business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work might need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.
As we went over before, you should be used to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as 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 field, your salary will reflect 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 fluctuate based on your location and the cost of living.
Other than running your own business, there is 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 needed across the United States, 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, education, and healthcare locations.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy, and utility updates.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
- Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.
Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future
Projections Central, which makes long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 greatest number of new positions during that time frame is 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 development are forecasted to contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Engineer Your HVAC Career with Winters Heating and Cooling
HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Franklin & South Indy. To discover more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 317-406-5382 right away!