If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is an excellent place to start, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There are several reasons why these careers are growing so quickly. One involves homeowners using government tax credits to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. It's also important to consider R-22 Freon® coolant, which affects old models. Finally, there’s the ever-changing real estate market exacerbated by a property shortage that’s spurred further growth in new construction homes.

You can join this rewarding industry by becoming an HVAC technician. Learn more about their skill set, how to become one and about how much you can expect to make.

What Does It Mean to Be an HVAC Technician?

A HVAC technician should be able to repair, install and maintain heating and cooling systems. Many technicians are skilled with both residential and commercial equipment. And, most importantly, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

A few become HVAC-R technicians, meaning they also have experience with refrigeration.

Is There a Shortage of HVAC Technicians?

Experienced HVAC technicians are increasingly sought after because of shrinking labor force within the industry. This shortage is because of several things, like a higher rate of retirement and competition from other industries. It's also more likely for young people to start pursuing college degrees rather than a licensed trade like HVAC.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC often requires physical exertion, it can still be a fulfilling career. As a technician you'll be expected to occasionally:

  • Work in awkward settings, such as tight or dusty spaces.
  • Work in high or low temperatures since HVAC equipment is generally found outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime throughout peak demand.

One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. In truth, you'll need distinct skills, specialized education and continuous recertification.

It’s a smart career if you would like to:

  • Avoid a lot of student debt.
  • Stay active rather than remain inside an office.
  • Have job security since HVAC positions can't be outsourced.
  • Gain the experience you need to start your own successful business.

Is HVAC a Demanding Job?

Any job can be stressful. HVAC technicians work on complex equipment and will occasionally have to endure cramped or uncomfortable working conditions. Appropriate experience and tools can help address any concerns. In addition, paid training and a consistent schedule help people in the HVAC industry fend off some of the most common sources of work-related stress.

Is HVAC Hard on Your Body?

Carrying heavy equipment and performing repetitive motions are a couple of ways the HVAC industry can be physically demanding. Accessing and servicing large equipment can be exhausting. HVAC technicians should be physically fit, and you may benefit from a healthy diet and exercise regimen to remain as healthy as possible.

Would a Recession Impact HVAC Jobs?

While a recession can affect any industry, HVAC is particularly resilient due to the widespread use of heating and cooling equipment. Repairs and installation will always be needed, which means professionals in HVAC can often find work in more places than other industries.

Is HVAC a Good Career for the Future?

As HVAC systems continue to advance, reliable expertise will become even more important. The newest models of heating and cooling systems use less energy or generate it from renewable sources such as solar and wind. Sustainable HVAC equipment will continue to grow in popularity, as will the need for competent HVAC professionals.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To start a career as an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED along with specialized training. Other, more specific (and higher paying) HVAC careers are dependent on additional education or certifications.

Earn certifications by taking classes at a community college or trade school. How much time is needed to become an HVAC technician may fluctuate depending on the specific program, which generally lasts between six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. An acronym for North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading accreditation builds on your existing industry knowledge to maximize your capabilities.

Even though basic concepts of an HVAC career could be learned on your own, professional development means combining classroom programs with on-site training. At the same time, HVAC careers don't involve complex math. While some math is involved, most of the HVAC professionals’ skill set relies on critical thinking, used to identify problems and ensure quality installation.

Career Explorer reports that HVAC technicians who are familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be vital as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.

Another benefit of working in HVAC is almost zero student debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school generally costs approximately $15,000. A community college is usually around $5,000 every year. In comparison, the average student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.

Your Day-to-Day Schedule as an HVAC Technician

The daily schedule may vary based on the project and job site. If you are a repair technician, you may work early, late or be on call throughout the day. If you work in construction/home building or management, you will be more likely to keep to a set schedule during normal business hours.

As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Certain jobs may require more time than others, so the number of calls each day can fluctuate.

As stated previously, you should expect the occasional job in severe weather as well as in difficult-to-reach places. For roles assisting customers, strong customer service skills are always welcome.

Do HVAC Careers Offer Good Salaries?? Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Because HVAC is a fast-growing industry, your salary should reflect that. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Higher earners usually make around $56,600 and $68,000. Then again, salaries may fluctuate based on your location and its cost of living. HVAC techs with enough experience to work in management in a high-paying state could make upward of six figures.

Aside from launching your own business, there are other paths for career advancement. These include:

  • HVAC manager, $72,515 average salary
  • HVAC service manager, $71,176 average salary

Types of HVAC That Pay the Most

There is a lot of room for specialization in the HVAC industry, and continuing education and certification opportunities help unlock paths to specialist careers with even higher salaries. For example, master engineers with project management or custom system design experience could earn six figures annually. Larger salaries are also more common when working with advanced equipment like commercial HVAC systems, geothermal heat pumps or radiant in-floor heating.

What States Need HVAC Workers the Most

HVAC technicians are in demand across the country, but particularly in states like Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states need the most HVAC work and are experiencing enormous growth in the construction industry. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare facilities.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
  • New York: Residential and infrastructure updates.
  • 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, 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 highest number of new positions 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 a healthy economy will further encourage growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Total Assurance AC & Heating

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Corpus Christi. To learn more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 361-217-7080 today!