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

July 21, 2021

If you’re wanting to find a new, well-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 careers in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a couple of reasons why these jobs are growing so rapidly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.

One of the most in-demand careers is working as a HVAC technician. Find out 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 an individual who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most serve 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 difficult settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak days.

One of the most typical misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a distinct skill set, extensive education and ongoing endorsements.

It’s an excellent career option if you want to:

  • Not have heavy amounts of educational debt.
  • Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Work as your own boss and have your own successful 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 education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs usually must have added schooling or endorsements.

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 often six months to two years. Your employer may also expect NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification improves your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer says that technicians who can work with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment evolves.

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

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically costs around $15,000. A community college often costs around $5,000 annually. In contrast, the average student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.

A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician

Your work schedule might vary depending on your situation. If you perform repairs, you may 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 usual business hours.

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

As we talked about previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spots. 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 industry, your salary will reflect 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 might be different based on your areaand its cost of living.

In addition to running your own business, there are a wide range of additional 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 United States, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the highest number of HVAC workers and are going through high construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
  • 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, 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 openings 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 feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Build Your HVAC Career with Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in McMurray. To find out more about our openings, view our careers page or call us at 724-370-0141 right away!