If you are interested in starting a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the fastest-growing careers you can find, 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 increasingly popular. One involves homeowners using government tax credits to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. Then there’s the discontinuation of R-22 Freon® refrigerants, which affects old models. Finally, there’s the red-hot real estate market and a property shortage that’s spurred further growth in new construction homes.

A career that's increasingly in demand is an HVAC technician. Learn the ins and outs of the HVAC technician's daily schedule, 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 is someone who repairs, installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. Most work with both homeowners and business owners. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

Some apprentices even become HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.

Is There a Shortage of HVAC Technicians?

Qualified HVAC technicians are in high demand because of shrinking labor force within the industry. There are several reasons for this discrepancy, including an aging workforce and competition from other industries. Many younger people also pursue college degrees instead of 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 uncomfortable settings, like tight or dirty spaces.
  • Work in inclement weather since equipment is often outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime during peak demand.

A common misconception about learning HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. In truth, you'll need distinct skills, specialized education and continuous recertification.

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

  • Avoid a lot of student debt.
  • Stay active rather than remain inside an office.
  • Have job security because the HVAC industry can't be outsourced.
  • Become your own boss and own your own successful business.

Is HVAC a Difficult Job?

Any job can be stressful. HVAC technicians handle complex equipment and may be subject to cramped or uncomfortable working conditions. Appropriate experience and tools can help address any concerns. In addition, paid training and a consistent schedule help HVAC professionals fend off some of the most common reasons for work-related stress.

Is HVAC Hard on Your Body?

Lifting heavy objects and performing repetitive motions are a couple of ways the HVAC industry can be physically demanding. Getting to specialized types of equipment can be strenuous. HVAC work can be very physical, and you may benefit from a healthy diet and exercise regimen to stay in good shape.

Is HVAC a Recession-Proof Job?

While there isn't a job that's immune to a recession, HVAC is consistently avoiding the worst of economic downturns due to the sheer popularity 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 climate control technology continues to evolve, reliable expertise will become even more important. New forms of heating and cooling systems use less energy or generate it from renewable sources including solar and wind. Greener HVAC equipment will continue to expand, as will the need for certified HVAC technicians.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

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

You can become certified by signing up for classes at a community college or trade school. The time it takes to become an HVAC technician relies on the program, which is most often around six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Standing for North American Technician Excellence, this influential accreditation builds on your existing industry knowledge to help you better serve customers.

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 aren't reliant on things like advanced math. While some math is involved, the bulk of an HVAC professionals’ skill set utilizes critical thinking, used to identify problems and ensure quality installation.

Career Explorer reports that having experience with things like tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment becomes capable of even more.

Another advantage of a career in HVAC is next to no student debt.

According to Midwest Technical Institute, signing up for classes at a technical or trade school generally costs approximately $15,000. A community college is usually around $5,000 annually. With a more conventional education, the standard student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.

A Daily Schedule as an HVAC Technician

Your work schedule may vary on the work site as well as your specific skill set. If you work in repairs, you may work early, late or be on call throughout the day. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a set schedule for regular business hours.

As a technician, your 'office' is actually all the properties you visit to complete repair, maintenance or installation work. Certain jobs may require more time than others, so the number of calls on a given day could vary considerably.

Like we mentioned earlier, every now and then the job will have to be done in extreme weather as well as in difficult-to-reach places. If you work in a customer-facing role, strong customer service skills are always useful.

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

Since the HVAC industry is growing quickly, your salary should reflect that. The national average salary for an HVAC technician is $49,242, according to ZipRecruiter. Professionals with specialized skills could make between $56,600 and $68,000. However, salaries may fluctuate based on your location and its cost of living. Some HVAC techs working in management in a high-paying state could make upward of six figures.

In addition to owning 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 More

There is a lot of room for specialization in the HVAC industry, and continuing education and certification opportunities open doors for niche positions with great salaries. For example, master engineers with experience designing custom equipment or leading projects could receive six-figure salaries. Larger salaries are also common when you work 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 needed in cities throughout the country, 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 experiencing major construction growth. 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 Olde Towne Heating & Air

HVAC technicians are needed everywhere, including in . To learn more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at today!