HVAC Careers Are in Need: What You'll Do as a Technician and How Much You'll Earn

July 21, 2021

If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the most rapidly growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s several reasons why these careers are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government rebates to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.

One of the top needed positions is working as a 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:

Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you’ll be required to be able to:

  • Work in extreme settings, including crowded or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is typically outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.

One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar position. It requires a certain skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing certification.

It’s a fantastic career option if you want to:

  • Not be saddled with excessive higher education debt.
  • Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Become your own boss and own your own successful business.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers often need added schooling or qualifications.

You can become 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 might also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top endorsement improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer noted that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big 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 runs around $15,000. A community college often 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 your situation. If you do 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 set schedule during normal business hours.

As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation jobs. Some work could need more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to could vary.

As we talked about previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spots. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always an advantage.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Because HVAC is a fast-growing field, your salary will mirror 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 be different based on your locationand its cost of living.

Aside from 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 desired 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 experiencing high construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
  • 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, forecasts these states to have the biggest 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 greatest number of new openings during that time frame are anticipated 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 economic development is anticipated to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Connolly Electric & Mechanical

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Cottonwood. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 928-639-4251 right away!