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

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 quickest-growing careers you can find, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this field will increase by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a couple of reasons why these jobs are growing so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to get more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the ban on R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old equipment. In conclusion, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.

One of the most in-demand jobs is working as a HVAC technician. Find out about what they do, how to become one and about how much you can expect to make.

What Is an HVAC Technician?

A HVAC technician is a person who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling units. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

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

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

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

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

One of the most common misconceptions about HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar job. You need a distinct skill set, extensive education and ongoing endorsements.

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

  • Not have a lot of student debt.
  • Avoid being stuck at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security being sure your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Be your own boss and own your own prosperous 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 training. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers usually need additional education or endorsements.

You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician is linked to the program, which is typically six months to two years. Your employer may also want NATE certification. Known as North American Technician Excellence, this industry-leading endorsement expands your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.

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

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

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school usually is around $15,000. A community college typically is around $5,000 annually. In 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 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 may have more of a set schedule during usual business hours.

As a technician, you’ll visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some work might take longer than others, so the number of calls you can go on could 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

Because HVAC is a quickly growing career, your salary will reflect 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 may differ based on your stateand its cost of living.

In addition to running 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 country, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the greatest number of HVAC workers and are experiencing explosive construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, school and healthcare facilities.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility projects.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
  • New York: Residential and infrastructure upgrades.
  • Illinois: Companies moving to the Chicago area.

Where HVAC Technicians Will Be in High Demand in the Future

Projections Central, who makes long-term occupational projections, forecasts 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 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 development is expected to feed growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Engineer Your HVAC Career with Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating

HVAC technicians are needed across the USA and in St. Louis. To discover more about our openings, view our careers page or contact us at 314-262-4541 now!