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

July 21, 2021

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

There’s a couple of reasons why these careers are increasing so rapidly. One is homeowners using government incentives to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts older equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot housing market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction houses.

One of the most wanted jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 a person who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling equipment. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:

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

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

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

  • Work in uncomfortable settings, such as crowded 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 common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. You need a specific skill set, extensive instruction and ongoing endorsements.

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

  • Avoid heavy amounts of educational debt.
  • Avoid working 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 will require a high school diploma or GED, plus specialized training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC positions often require extra schooling or endorsements.

You can become 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 refers to North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement increases 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 large demand as equipment updates.

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

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually runs around $15,000. A community college usually is 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 could vary depending on your employer. If you work in repairs, you could 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 respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation service. Some jobs could require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go on may vary.

As we mentioned before, you should be accustomed to 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 a plus.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

As HVAC is a quickly growing industry, your salary will mirror 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 may be different based on your locationand its cost of living.

Other than 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 in demand across the nation, 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 dealing with major construction growth. Here’s why:

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

Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future

Projections Central, who creates 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 highest number of new openings during that time frame are expected 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 growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Watts Electric & A/C Inc

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Columbia. To learn more more about our openings, see our careers page or reach us at 601-736-7362 right away!