If you’re considering a new, successful career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is an excellent place to start, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this industry will grow by 13 percent by 2028.

It's easy to see why these careers are growing so quickly. One is federal incentives to upgrade to more energy-efficient comfort systems. It's also important to consider R-22 Freon® coolant, 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.

You can join this rewarding industry by becoming an HVAC technician. Find out about what they do, 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 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 importantly, you’ll learn a great deal about:

Some are HVAC-R technicians, and they are further trained to provide refrigeration.

Is There a Shortage of HVAC Technicians?

There is a high demand for qualified HVAC technicians because of the current shortage in the industry. There are several reasons for this discrepancy, 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 can be physically demanding, it can still be a fulfilling career. As a technician you'll be expected to occasionally:

  • Work in unpleasant settings, including tight or dusty spaces.
  • Work in high or low temperatures since HVAC equipment is generally found outdoors.
  • Work evenings, weekends and overtime throughout peak demand.

A common misconception about learning HVAC is that it’s a blue-collar career. It requires a specific skill set, specialized education and continuous recertification.

It’s an excellent first career if you prefer to:

  • Minimize student debt.
  • Stay active rather than remain inside an office.
  • Have job security since HVAC positions can't be outsourced.
  • Gain the experience you need to start your own successful business.

Is HVAC a Stressful Job?

You can't fully escape stress when on the job. HVAC technicians service complex equipment and will occasionally have to endure cramped or uncomfortable working conditions. The proper experience and tools can help mitigate some of these concerns. What’s more, paid training and a consistent schedule help people in the HVAC industry 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 both common during HVAC work. Getting to specialized types of equipment can be tiring. HVAC projects are often physical, and you may benefit from a healthy diet and exercise regimen to remain as healthy as possible.

Would a Recession Impact HVAC Jobs?

While a recession can affect any industry, HVAC is especially reliable due to the widespread use of heating and cooling equipment. Repairs and installation will always be needed, which means apprentices and master technicians alike 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. Newer models of heating and cooling systems use less energy or produce it from renewable sources such as solar and wind. Environmentally sustainable HVAC equipment will keep growing more popular, as will the need for experienced installers and technicians.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

To learn everything you need to become an HVAC technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED along with industry training. Other, more specialized (and higher paying) HVAC careers are dependent on additional education or certifications.

Earn certifications by signing up for classes at a community college or trade school. The time it takes to become an HVAC technician may fluctuate depending on the specific program, which generally lasts between six months to two years. Your employer might also require NATE certification. Standing for North American Technician Excellence, this influential accreditation further develops your technical knowledge to maximize your capabilities.

While some aspects of the job can be learned on your own, professional development means blending classroom programs with on-site training. At the same time, HVAC careers don't involve complex math. While some math is involved, most of the HVAC professionals’ skill set utilizes critical thinking, for identifying problems and ensure quality installation.

Career Explorer reports that technicians familiar with tablets, electronics and troubleshooting will be vital as equipment becomes capable of even more.

Another benefit of working in HVAC is next 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. In comparison, the standard student debt for a bachelor’s degree is $25,921.

A Day in the Life of 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. If you work in construction/home building or management, you may have more of a set schedule during normal business hours.

As a technician, your 'office' is actually all the properties you visit to complete repair, maintenance or installation work. Some jobs may require more time than others, so the number of calls each day can fluctuate.

As stated previously, every now and then the job will have to be done in inclement weather as well as in dirty or cramped spaces. For jobs that work with customers or clients, strong customer service skills are always a positive.

Is a Career in HVAC Profitable? Average Salary for HVAC Technicians and Other HVAC Careers

With the constant growth in HVAC careers, 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. Having said that, your salary may be dependent on the area's average wages 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 the Most

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 more likely if you have experience 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 should spur continued growth in these states, according to hvacclasses.org.

Grow Your HVAC Career with Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning

HVAC technicians are needed everywhere, including in Yukon. To learn more about our openings, visit our careers page or call us at 405-494-7444 today!