If you are interested in starting a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC careers are continuing to grow in popularity, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts the continued growth of the industry by 13 percent by 2028.

There are several reasons why these careers are growing so quickly. One is homeowners taking advantage of government incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. There's also the transition away from R-22 Freon®, which impacts older equipment. Finally, there’s the dynamic real estate market as well as a property shortage that’s driven an increase in new construction homes.

One of the most in-demand careers is working as 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 Are HVAC Technicians?

A HVAC technician should be able to repair, install and maintain heating and cooling systems. Most technicians will earn experience on equipment in both homes and commercial properties. And, most important, you’ll be knowledgeable about:

A few become HVAC-R technicians, which means they also work with refrigeration.

Is There a Shortage of HVAC Technicians?

Experienced HVAC technicians are increasingly sought after because of the current shortage in the industry. This shortage is because of several things, such as more retirements and competition from other industries. It's also more likely for young people to start pursuing college degrees as opposed to a licensed trade like HVAC.

Is HVAC a Hard Career?

While HVAC often has you on your feet, it can also be very rewarding. As a technician you’ll need to be able to:

  • Work in awkward settings, like tight or messy spaces.
  • Work in inclement weather since HVAC systems are usually outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime throughout peak demand.

A common misconception about learning HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. In reality, you need an extensive skill set, specialized education and continuous recertification.

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

  • Avoid a lot of student debt.
  • Avoid working at a desk or in 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 Stressful Job?

Every job has sources of stress. HVAC technicians service complex equipment and will occasionally have to endure cramped or uncomfortable working conditions. Sufficient experience and tools can help address any concerns. What’s more, paid training and a steady supply of work help HVAC professionals fend off some of the most common sources of work-related stress.

Is HVAC Hard on Your Body?

Moving heavy items and performing repetitive motions are two common reasons HVAC can be physically demanding. Accessing and servicing large equipment can be exhausting. 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 no job is guaranteed to survive a recession, HVAC is particularly resilient due to the essential nature of heating and cooling equipment. Repairs and installation will always be required, 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 consume less energy or obtain it from renewable sources like solar and wind. Sustainable HVAC equipment will continue to expand, as will the need for experienced installers and technicians.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

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

Earn certifications by signing up for 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 is most often around six months to two years. An HVAC company will sometimes also require NATE certification. An acronym for North American Technician Excellence, this influential accreditation further develops your technical knowledge to maximize your capabilities.

Even though basic concepts of an HVAC career could be learned on your own, getting the necessary education means combining classroom programs with on-site training. At the same time, HVAC careers don’t require things like advanced math skills. While a little math is needed, the bulk of an HVAC professionals’ skill set lies in critical thinking, in order to properly identify problems and ensure quality installation.

Career Explorer reports that HVAC technicians who are familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be in big demand as equipment becomes capable of even more.

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

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

A Daily Schedule as an HVAC Technician

A typical workday may vary depending on where you work. If you are a repair technician, you may work early, late or be on call throughout the day. For technicians or installers working in construction, you will be more likely to keep to a set schedule for regular business hours.

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

As we mentioned before, you should be comfortable working outdoors in severe weather as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. For roles assisting customers, strong customer service skills are always useful.

Is a Career in HVAC Profitable? 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. Top earners make between $56,600 and $68,000. Having said that, 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.

Aside from launching your own business, there are several other ways to advance your career. These include:

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

Types of HVAC That Pay the Most

You can specialize for new opportunities within the HVAC industry, and continuing education and certification opportunities help unlock paths to specialist careers with even higher salaries. For example, master engineers who can manage projects and design custom HVAC systems could be eligible for salaries as high as six figures. 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 needed in cities throughout the country, but especially so in states like 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 is anticipated to fuel growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Struven Heating & Cooling

HVAC technicians are needed everywhere, including in Crown Point. To learn more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 219-292-0956 today!