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

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 quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates careers in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a few reasons why these careers are expanding so quickly. One is homeowners using government refunds to install more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects aging equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a home shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction houses.

One of the number one in-demand 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 earn.

What Is an HVAC Technician?

A HVAC technician is someone who fixes, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled with:

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

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

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

  • Work in extreme settings, like tight 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 most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a specific skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing endorsements.

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

  • Not be saddled with a lot of student 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 own your own successful business.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to specialized instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually require added education or qualifications.

You can get your certification 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 might also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading accreditation improves your technical know-how to help you better serve customers.

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

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

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often is around $15,000. A community college often runs 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 employer. If you perform repairs, you may 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 normal business hours.

As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.

As we talked about previously, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped spaces. 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

Because HVAC is a quickly growing field, your salary will reflect 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 differ based on your areaand its cost of living.

In addition to having your own business, there are a few other 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 country, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the greatest number of HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:

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

Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future

Projections Central, who makes long-term occupational projections, expects 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 greatest number of new jobs 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 expected to contribute to growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Engineer Your HVAC Career with Cool Power LLC

HVAC technicians are needed across the country and in Ronkonkoma. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or call us at 631-246-4029 today!