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, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts jobs in this field will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s several reasons why these jobs are expanding so fast. One is homeowners tapping into government incentives to purchase more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot home market and a home shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction houses.

One of the most needed careers is working as a HVAC technician. Find out 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 serve both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be skilled in:

Some are HVAC-R techs, which means they also work with refrigeration.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

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

  • Work in uncomfortable settings, like small or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas since equipment is usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.

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

It’s a good 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.
  • Become your own boss and have your own prosperous business.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you will require a high school diploma or GED, plus comprehensive education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually must have extra education or certifications.

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 could also require NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading certification expands your technical knowledge to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer reports that technicians who have expertise with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment updates.

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

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school often runs around $15,000. A community college typically 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 situation. 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 set schedule during normal business hours.

As a technician, you’ll respond to different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work might require more time than others, so the number of calls you can go to may vary.

As we talked about before, you should be accustomed to working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always an advantage.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

As HVAC is a quickly growing field, your salary will show 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 owning your own business, there are a wide range of 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 needed across the country, 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 explosive construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, education and healthcare buildings.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
  • 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 makes long-term occupational projections, anticipates these states to have the biggest 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 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 growth is expected to fuel increases in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Build Your HVAC Career with Vogts Heating & Air

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the country and in Pocatello. To learn more more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 208-621-0129 right away!