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

July 21, 2021

If you’re thinking about a new, high-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 positions in this trade will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s several reasons why these positions are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction residences.

One of the most wanted 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 an individual who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

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

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

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

  • Work in uncomfortable settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is often outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.

One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a specific skill set, in-depth training and ongoing endorsements.

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

  • Not have heavy amounts of higher education debt.
  • Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Work as your own boss and have 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 specialized instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically need additional education or certifications.

You can be certified 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 often six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. This refers to North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation expands your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.

Another benefit of working in HVAC is little to no instructional debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is around $15,000. A community college typically 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 could vary depending on your employer. If you do repairs, you could work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you could have more of a fixed schedule during typical business hours.

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

As we went over before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, in addition to in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, solid customer service skills are always positive.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Since 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 make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries might be different based on your locationand its cost of living.

Aside from owning 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 in demand 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 experiencing explosive construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare locations.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility updates.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure updates.
  • New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
  • Illinois: Companies flocking to the Chicago area.

Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future

Projections Central, who makes long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 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 anticipated to fuel expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Honke Heating & AC

HVAC technicians are required across the country and in Gresham. To discover more about our openings, view our careers page or contact us at 503-663-8033 right away!