HVAC Careers Are Needed: What You'll Do as a Technician and How Much You'll Make

July 21, 2021

If you’re wanting to find a new, successful 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 expects jobs in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a few reasons why these positions are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction homes.

One of the number one 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 make.

What Is an HVAC Technician?

A HVAC technician is an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:

Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can take care of refrigeration.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC can be physically hard, it can also be very fulfilling. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:

  • Work in difficult settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is often outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.

One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You have to have a distinct skill set, extensive education and ongoing certification.

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

  • Not have excessive higher education 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 have your own prosperous business.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

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

You can be certified by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer might also expect NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading accreditation improves 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 evolves.

Another advantage of working in HVAC is little to no educational debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually is around $15,000. A community college typically is 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 where you work. 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 fixed schedule during usual business hours.

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

As we mentioned previously, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always a plus.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Since HVAC is a rapidly expanding industry, 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.

Other than running your own business, there are a wide range of extra career opportunities. These involve:

  • 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 United States, 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 major construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
  • 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 creates long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 highest number of new positions during that time frame are forecasted 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 improvement is anticipated to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Build Your HVAC Career with M & S Heating & Air LLC

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Mechanicsville. To find out more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 301-363-4699 today!