If you’re considering a new, successful career, check out a career in heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC careers are continuing to grow in popularity, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.
People interested in HVAC quickly discover why these careers are growing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. There's also the transition away from R-22 Freon®, which affects old models. Finally, there’s the ever-changing real estate market exacerbated by a property shortage that’s increased the availability of new construction homes.
You can join this rewarding industry by becoming an HVAC technician. Learn more about their skill set, how to become one and about how much you can expect to make.
What Is an HVAC Technician?
A HVAC technician possesses the knowledge and skills to service heating and cooling systems. Most technicians will earn experience on equipment in both homes and commercial properties. And, most importantly, you’ll receive a comprehensive education about:
- Air conditioners
- Mini-splits and heat pumps
- Thermostats and home zoning
- Indoor air quality products such as air filters and air purification systems
Some are HVAC-R technicians, meaning they also have experience with refrigeration.
Is There a Shortage of HVAC Technicians?
Experienced HVAC technicians are increasingly sought after because of an industry shortage of labor. This shortage is because of several things, such as more retirements and competition from other industries. It's also more likely for young people to start pursuing college degrees instead of a licensed trade like HVAC.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can still be quite gratifying. As a technician should be able to:
- Work in uncomfortable settings, including tight or messy spaces.
- Work in inclement weather since HVAC systems are usually outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime around peak demand.
A stubborn falsehood about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. It requires a specific skill set, specialized education and periodic recertification.
It’s a great career choice if you want to:
- Avoid a lot of student debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
- Be your own boss and work toward starting your own successful business.
Is HVAC a Stressful Job?
Any job can be stressful. HVAC technicians handle complex equipment and must sometimes deal with cramped or uncomfortable working conditions. Appropriate experience and tools are helpful when resolving these concerns. What’s more, paid training and a stable workload help people in the HVAC industry reduce some of the most common sources of work-related stress.
Is HVAC Hard on Your Body?
Carrying heavy equipment and performing repetitive motions are two common reasons HVAC can be physically demanding. Getting to specialized types of equipment can be strenuous. HVAC work can be very physical, and you may benefit from a healthy diet and exercise regimen to stay in good shape.
Would a Recession Impact HVAC Jobs?
While a recession can affect any industry, HVAC is particularly resilient due to the widespread use of heating and cooling equipment. Repairs and installation are always necessary, , which means professionals in HVAC can often find work in more places than other industries.
Is HVAC a Good Career for the Future?
As HVAC systems continue to advance, professional servicing will become even more important. New forms of heating and cooling systems use less energy or generate it from renewable sources such as solar and wind. Greener HVAC equipment will continue to grow in popularity, as will the need for competent HVAC professionals.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To learn everything you need to become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED along with specialized training. Other, more specific (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically need additional education or certifications.
Earn certifications by signing up for classes at a community college or trade school. How much time is needed to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which generally lasts between six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Standing for North American Technician Excellence, this key accreditation further develops your technical knowledge to maximize your capabilities.
While some elements of an HVAC career could be learned on your own, a proper education means a combination of classroom programs with on-site training. At the same time, HVAC careers don't involve complex math. While some math is involved, most of the HVAC professionals’ skill set lies in critical thinking, used to identify problems and ensure quality installation.
Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment becomes capable of even more.
Another advantage of a career in HVAC is next to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school generally costs approximately $15,000. A community college is usually around $5,000 every year. With a more conventional education, the average student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.
A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician
The daily schedule may vary on the work site as well as your specific skill set. If you work in repairs, you may work early, late or be on call throughout the day. For technicians or installers working in construction, you may have more of a set schedule for regular business hours.
As a technician, you'll visit many different homes and businesses to perform repair, maintenance or installation work. Certain jobs may need more time and resources than others, so the number of calls each day can fluctuate.
As stated previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in severe weather as well as in difficult-to-reach places. For roles assisting customers, strong customer service skills are always welcome.
Is a Career in HVAC Profitable? Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Because HVAC is a fast-growing industry, your salary will reflect it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Professionals with specialized skills could make between $56,600 and $68,000. Then again, total compensation can depend on where you live and its cost of living. Some HVAC techs working in management in a high-paying state could earn a salary as high as six figures.
In addition to owning your own business, there are other paths for career advancement. These include:
- HVAC manager, $72,515 average salary
- HVAC service manager, $71,176 average salary
Types of HVAC with the Highest Salaries
You can specialize for new opportunities within the HVAC industry, and continuing education and certification opportunities help unlock paths to specialist careers with even higher salaries. For example, master engineers who can manage projects and design custom HVAC systems could earn six figures annually. Larger salaries are also common when you work with advanced equipment like commercial HVAC systems, geothermal heat pumps or radiant in-floor heating.
What States Need HVAC Workers the Most
HVAC technicians are in high demand across the United States, but especially so in states like Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states need the greatest number of HVAC professionals and are experiencing enormous growth in the construction industry. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
- 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 develops 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 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 a healthy economy should spur continued growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc
HVAC technicians are needed everywhere, including in Oxford/[targetlocation]. To learn more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 662-281-1231 today!