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

July 21, 2021

If you’re wanting to find a new, high-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects positions in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s several reasons why these careers are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts aging equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.

One of the top needed jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Find out 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 repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:

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

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

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

  • Work in difficult settings, such as small or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is typically outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.

One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. It requires a certain skill set, in-depth education and ongoing endorsements.

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

  • Not have heavy amounts of student debt.
  • Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Be 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, as well as in-depth instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs usually need extra education or qualifications.

You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician depends on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer could also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top certification improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer says that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in great demand as equipment evolves.

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

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually costs around $15,000. A community college usually runs around $5,000 annually. In 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 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 set schedule during usual business hours.

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

As we talked about before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always an advantage.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

As HVAC is a fast-growing field, your salary will show it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries may be different based on your stateand its cost of living.

In addition to owning your own business, there are several other other career opportunities. These include:

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

Where HVAC Technicians Are in High Demand

HVAC technicians are needed across the country, 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 dealing with major construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare facilities.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
  • New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
  • Illinois: Companies moving to the Chicago area.

Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future

Projections Central, who makes 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 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 growth is forecasted to contribute to increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Engineer Your HVAC Career with Bell Air Conditioning Inc

HVAC technicians are needed across the nation and in Temple/Belton. To discover more about our openings, see our careers page or call us at 254-307-9572 today!