If you’re considering a new, well-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 expects jobs in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.
There’s a few reasons why these careers are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government rebates to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.
One of the number one needed positions is working as a 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 a person who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:
Some are HVAC-R pros, which means they also can do refrigeration.
Is HVAC a Hard Career?
While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be extremely fulfilling. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:
- Work in extreme settings, including small or dirty spaces.
- Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often outdoors.
- Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.
One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. You have to have a certain skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing endorsements.
It’s a fantastic career option if you want to:
- Not have a lot of educational debt.
- Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
- Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
- Work as your own boss and own your own profitable business.
How to Become an HVAC Technician
To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, in addition to in-depth training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions typically need additional education or endorsements.
You can get your certification by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer might also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement increases your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.
Career Explorer says that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.
Another perk of working in HVAC is little to no student debt.
According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs around $15,000. A community college usually costs 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 could vary depending on your situation. If you do repairs, you might work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.
As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some work could require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on might vary.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always positive.
Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers
Since 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 receive between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could differ based on your locationand its cost of living.
In addition to running 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 in demand across the nation, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the most HVAC workers and are going through high construction growth. Here’s why:
- Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
- California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
- Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
- New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
- 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, 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 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 anticipated to contribute to expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.
Grow Your HVAC Career with Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning
HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Lodi. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 209-257-3156 today!