If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is an excellent place to start, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts the continued growth of the industry by 13 percent by 2028.

It's easy to see why these careers are increasingly popular. 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 impacts older equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s increased the availability of new construction homes.

A career that's increasingly in demand is an HVAC technician. Learn more about their skill set, how to become one and about how much you can expect to make.

What Are HVAC Technicians?

A HVAC technician should be able to repair, install and maintain heating and cooling systems. Most technicians will earn experience on equipment in both homes and commercial properties. And, most importantly, you’ll learn a great deal about:

Some are HVAC-R technicians, and they are further trained to provide refrigeration.

Is There a Shortage of HVAC Technicians?

Experienced HVAC technicians are increasingly sought after because of the current shortage in the industry. This shortage is because of several things, including an aging workforce and competition from other industries. It's also more likely for young people to start pursuing college degrees as opposed to a licensed trade like HVAC.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC often requires physical exertion, it can still be a fulfilling career. As a technician you'll be expected to occasionally:

  • Work in awkward settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
  • Work in high or low temperatures since HVAC systems are usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime throughout peak demand.

A common misconception about learning HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. In truth, you'll need distinct skills, specialized education and ongoing certification.

It’s an excellent first career if you prefer to:

  • Avoid a lot of student debt.
  • Stay active rather than remain inside an office.
  • Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Become your own boss and own your own successful business.

Is HVAC a Difficult Job?

Any job can be stressful. HVAC technicians work on complex equipment and may be subject to cramped or uncomfortable working conditions. Appropriate experience and tools can help mitigate some of these concerns. Additionally, paid training and a consistent schedule help people in the HVAC industry fend off some of the most common reasons for work-related stress.

Is HVAC Hard on Your Body?

Lifting heavy items and performing repetitive motions are both common during HVAC work. Reaching difficult-to-access equipment can be strenuous. HVAC projects are often physical, and you may benefit from a healthy diet and exercise regimen to remain as healthy as possible.

Are HVAC Careers at Risk Because of a Recession?

While no job is guaranteed to survive a recession, HVAC is especially reliable due to the sheer popularity of heating and cooling equipment. Repairs and installation will always be needed, 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 equipment becomes more complex, technicians and installers will become even more important. New forms of heating and cooling systems consume less energy or generate it from renewable sources including solar and wind. Environmentally sustainable HVAC equipment will keep growing more popular, as will the need for experienced installers and technicians.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED as well as specialized training. Other, more specialty (and higher paying) HVAC careers are dependent on additional education or certifications.

You can secure the needed certifications by enrolling in classes at a community college or trade school. How much time is needed to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is most often around six months to two years. An HVAC company will sometimes also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this influential accreditation builds on your existing industry knowledge to help you better serve customers.

While some aspects of the job can be learned on your own, professional development means a combination of classroom programs with on-site training. At the same time, HVAC careers aren't reliant on things like advanced math. While a little math is needed, most of the HVAC professionals’ skill set utilizes critical thinking, in order to properly 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 more technologically advanced.

Another advantage of a career in HVAC is next to no student debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, signing up for classes at a technical or trade school generally costs approximately $15,000. A community college is usually around $5,000 annually. By comparison, the standard student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.

A Daily Schedule as an HVAC Technician

Your work schedule may vary based on the project and job site. If you primarily offer repair services, you may work early, late or be on call throughout the day. If you work in construction/home building or management, you will be more likely to keep to a set schedule for regular business hours.

As a technician, your 'office' is actually all the properties you visit to complete repair, maintenance or installation work. Complex jobs might take longer than others, so the number of calls on a given day could vary considerably.

Like we mentioned earlier, you should expect the occasional job in inclement weather as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. For jobs that work with customers or clients, strong customer service skills are always welcome.

Do HVAC Careers Offer Good Salaries?? Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Since the HVAC industry is growing quickly, your salary should reflect that. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Higher earners usually make around $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 make upward of six figures.

Along with starting your own business, there are several other ways to advance your career. These include:

  • HVAC manager, $72,515 average salary
  • HVAC service manager, $71,176 average salary

Types of HVAC That Pay the Most

You can specialize for new opportunities within the HVAC industry, and continuing education and certification opportunities offer access to even higher salaries. For example, master engineers with experience designing custom equipment or leading projects 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 needed in cities throughout the country, 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:

  1. Utah, 31.1%
  2. Colorado, 29.7%
  3. Nevada, 27.9%
  4. Arizona, 21.4%
  5. Iowa, Oregon and Montana, 18.5%
  6. Arkansas, 16.3%
  7. Florida, 16.2%
  8. South Carolina, 16%
  9. Texas, 15.9%
  10. Idaho, 15.7%
  11. Washington, 15.6%
  12. North Carolina, 15.5%
  13. Tennessee, 15.2%
  14. Wyoming, 14.3%
  15. Nebraska, 13.9%
  16. Indiana, 13.8%
  17. North Dakota, 13.8%

Here’s where the highest number of new positions during that time frame are expected to be:

  1. Florida, 5,420
  2. Texas, 5,530
  3. California, 4,100
  4. North Carolina, 2,510
  5. New York, 2,290
  6. Colorado, 2,000
  7. Ohio, 1,550
  8. Pennsylvania, 1,510
  9. Virginia, 1,500
  10. Tennessee, 1,360
  11. Washington, 1,290
  12. Georgia, 1,270
  13. New Jersey, 1,170
  14. Utah, 1,170
  15. South Carolina, 1,1060
  16. Indiana, 940
  17. Maryland, 820
  18. Missouri and Arizona, 810
  19. Michigan, 780

Weather and a healthy economy will further encourage growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Better Air

HVAC technicians are needed everywhere, including in Dundas and Northfield. To learn more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 507-663-1208 today!