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, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects careers in this industry will expand by 13 percent by 2028.

There’s a few reasons why these positions are increasing so quickly. One is homeowners tapping into government rebates to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the end of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which influences old equipment. Lastly, there’s the red-hot home market and a house shortage that’s driven a bump in new construction residences.

One of the number one wanted careers is working as a HVAC technician. Learn more 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 someone who services, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most assist both residential and commercial customers. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

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

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC can be physically challenging, it can also be very satisfying. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:

  • Work in difficult settings, including tight or dirty spaces.
  • Work in hot or cold areas because equipment is usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak times.

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

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

  • Not be saddled with heavy amounts of educational debt.
  • Avoid working at a desk or in an office.
  • Have job security knowing your position can’t be outsourced.
  • Work as your own boss and run your own prosperous business.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you should have a high school diploma or GED, in addition to specialized education. Other more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers typically must have added instruction or certifications.

You can be certified by attending classes at a community college or trade school. How long it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is often six months to two years. Your employer may also want NATE certification. This stands for North American Technician Excellence, this highly regarded accreditation increases your technical expertise to help you better serve customers.

Career Explorer noted that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in large demand as equipment becomes more technologically advanced.

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

According to Midwest Technical Institute, attending a technical or trade school typically is around $15,000. A community college often costs 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 could vary depending on your employer. If you do repairs, you may 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 visit different locations for repair, maintenance or installation work. Some tasks may need more time than others, so the number of calls you can take care of might vary.

As we went over earlier, you should be comfortable working outdoors in extreme weather, as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. If you work in a customer-facing role, good customer service skills are always a plus.

Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

Since HVAC is a quickly growing field, 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 fluctuate based on your locationand its cost of living.

Other than running your own business, there are a wide range of additional 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 United States, but even more so in Florida, California, Texas, New York and Illinois. According to hvacclasses.org, these states employ the most HVAC workers and are dealing with explosive construction growth. Here’s why:

  • Florida: Hurricanes, educational and healthcare buildings.
  • California: Wildfires, transportation, energy and utility upgrades.
  • Texas: Hurricanes, energy, utility and other infrastructure upgrades.
  • 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, forecasts 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 greatest number of new positions 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 improvement is anticipated to fuel expansion in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with American HVAC Inc

HVAC technicians remain in demand across the USA and in Sacramento. To discover more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 916-243-6714 right away!