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

July 21, 2021

If you’re thinking about a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates positions in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a couple of reasons why these positions are expanding so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government refunds to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. Finally, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction residences.

One of the most needed careers is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

Some are HVAC-R technicians, which means they also can do refrigeration.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC can be physically demanding, it can also be highly rewarding. As a technician you should be able to:

  • Work in extreme settings, including small or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas as equipment is usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.

One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You have to have a certain skill set, in-depth training and ongoing qualifications.

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

  • Not have excessive educational debt.
  • Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Become your own boss and run your own successful business.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, in addition to comprehensive instruction. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need additional education or certifications.

You can get your certification by going to classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is usually six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded endorsement improves your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.

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

Another perk 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 often 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 may vary depending on your employer. If you do repairs, you may work early, late or be on call. If you work in construction/home building or management, you might have more of a regular schedule during normal business hours.

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

As we went over earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, plus in dirty or cramped areas. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always a plus.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Because HVAC is a quickly growing career, your salary will mirror it. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Top earners get between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries could fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.

Other than having your own business, there are a few other 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 desired 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 high 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 updates.
  • 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 develops long-term occupational projections, anticipates 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 biggest 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 development is forecasted to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Assured Appliance and Heating & Air

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Genoa. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or contact us at 847-306-8990 right away!