HVAC Careers Are in Need: 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 most rapidly growing careers available, 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 few reasons why these jobs are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which impacts old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot housing market and a house shortage that’s driven a boost in new construction homes.

One of the most in-demand positions 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 someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most assist both homes and businesses. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

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

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

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

  • Work in difficult settings, like crowded or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas since 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 have to have a distinct skill set, in-depth instruction and ongoing qualifications.

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

  • Avoid excessive higher education debt.
  • Avoid sitting at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security realizing your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Be your own boss and own 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 in-depth education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC jobs typically need extra instruction 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 may also require NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this top accreditation increases 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 evolves.

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

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

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

As we went over before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spots. 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 career, your salary will show 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.

Aside from having your own business, there are a few other additional 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 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, school and healthcare locations.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure projects.
  • 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 creates long-term occupational projections, expects these states to have the highest 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 improvement is anticipated to fuel expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with WM J Kraus & Son

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the nation and in Keokuk. To find out more about our openings, go to our careers page or contact us at 319-229-2318 today!