- Heard your colleagues talk about the promising prospects of a career in HVAC, and now you are curious?
- Have you recently graduated from high school and want to pursue a career as an HVAC technician?
- Or are you someone looking for a career change?
Whatever the reason, if you want to know whether HVAC is the right career move for you, you’ve come to the right place, my friend! This is the one-stop resource guide for your journey to finding your dream job. Below, we discuss why HVAC is a highly sought-after technical career, what HVAC jobs look like, how well they pay, major pros and cons, and much more.
What Is HVAC?
HVAC stands for “Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.” It is a service industry that deals with maintaining constant temperature through air delivery. Those in this field may also work with refrigeration and are referred to as HVAC-R. HVAC and R jobs typically involve installing, repairing, and maintaining residential and commercial heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. As an HVAC technician, you will make sure HVAC equipment like heating, ventilation, or air conditioning units are maintained within a building or structure to keep the environment comfortable for the occupants. You will also install or repair the HVAC equipment in buildings, commercial office spaces, and private residences. Or you may maintain this equipment to keep it in good shape and running order.
Job Opportunities in HVAC
There are many opportunities for HVAC professionals in the job market based on the equipment and systems they deal in. Some work as service technicians and installers in residential homes, schools, and office premises. At the same time, others find jobs working in commercial buildings such as warehouses and movie theaters, where the heating and cooling needs are more varied and complex. Maintenance and servicing work can range from quick fixes to deep cleaning. However, installation jobs are more intensive and require knowledge of correctly placing HVAC equipment for optimum performance. HVAC- R professionals may also work on refrigeration jobs as residential, commercial, or industrial refrigeration technicians.
Alternatively, you may also work in sales and marketing related to HVAC systems or equipment. You might also find a job as an HVAC manager in charge of managing and supervising staff in a business or even directing and running an HVAC organization.
Perks of Working in HVAC
Every career path has its highs and lows. There are always going to be advantages and disadvantages. For those who work in HVAC, there can be a lot of perks.
- Career Advancement
Innovation has been a mainstay in the HVAC industry for decades. These have been a driving force behind advancements in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industries. From solar-powered ACs to geothermal heat pumps, HVAC solutions have improved and evolved to keep up with the times. Due to this constant change and innovation, a career in HVAC offers lots of learning and opportunities for growth.
- Low Student Debt
If you’re not interested in investing in a four-year-long college program, opting for an HVAC diploma can offer you many benefits. Instead of accumulating student debt and spending precious time getting a degree, you can enter an HVAC trade school to get your certification and jumpstart your career.
- A High Salary
HVAC careers offer great money-making potential for those working in the field. Not only are you saving yourself from having to pay back student loans, but you also get to benefit from the high demand for HVAC professionals. Thus, working in HVAC gives you great income potential.
Working as an HVAC technician, you get to be your boss. Whether you provide equipment servicing or installation services, you don’t have to be bound by a 9 to 5 schedule like most other desk jobs. No more having to report back to your boss or supervisor; you have the freedom of doing this in your own way.
- Stability of Job
Due to the extensive use of HVAC systems and their rising complexity, the demand for skilled professionals never really goes short. Companies are always on the lookout for hiring HVAC technicians and experts to fill their job vacancies. According to a report, there were 380,400 HVAC jobs on the market in 2020 alone, and this rate is only expected to grow steadily until 2030.
- No Mundane or Repetitive Work
HVAC professionals have a variety of potential careers available to them. They can be HVAC technicians installing and repairing the equipment that makes a building’s environment liveable. Or they can become HVAC contractors, installing new systems from scratch or servicing existing systems for clients in need of maintenance work. Although you must repair or install equipment regularly, how you go about it and what you do varies from client to client, making it a much more challenging and satisfying work experience.
- A Good Mix of Skills
If you want to explore more than one field without graduating from college twice, HVAC may be the perfect career path for you. You can take on electrical work, plumbing, sheetrocking, carpentry. Once you master one skill, it will come back in handy time and time again. Besides this, if your role requires you to sell to customers, you get first-hand experience dealing with clients and learning how to effectively make sales. With all these skills in your pocket, wouldn’t it be nice knowing you are never going to be out of work?
- No Work Boundaries
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration are regularly used across the United States. That means plenty of repairs, servicing, maintenance, and installation work, no matter which city you live in. While business is great for HVAC professionals across the U.S., the states of Florida, California, Texas, Ohio, and Illinois are considered a goldmine for any technician looking for a job.
Downsides Of Choosing HVAC As Your Career
While the HVAC career path looks very promising, it still has some drawbacks:
- Long Working Hours
Being a seasonal occupation, working as an HVAC technician can make you have crazy work schedules during the peak season. You may have to work late shifts and even skip weekends if your job demands it. And while you’ll receive extra pay for it, you may lose out on health, and precious time you could’ve spent with your loved ones.
- Constant Need for Improvement
Thanks to continuous technological advancements, HVAC systems have evolved to become more energy-efficient and reliable. While this is a great advantage to society, it may come as a cost for HVAC technicians. The latest improvements mean you not only have to upgrade your skills but also pay for new licences and permits to continue doing your work.
- Potential Safety Hazards
HVAC jobs are quite strenuous due to their nature; they are a true test of your strength and stamina. They carry a certain degree of risk of causing bodily harm. You may have to work on the roof or crawl through small spaces to get the job done. And if you’re not being careful, it is quite easy to get seriously injured.
- Experience Requirement
Getting into a trade school to get your HVAC diploma can surely give you a head start, at least on paper. However, your contractors are more interested in seeing how much work experience you possess in real life. Individuals may find it hard to find a decent job if they have low or no previous hands-on work experience.
Prospects of a Career In HVAC
Fortunately for HVAC technicians in the U.S., many opportunities await anyone looking to start their career journey. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the number of HVAC jobs on the market will grow by almost 5% by 2030. And while there are plenty of roles waiting to be filled, you can bag a good amount of cash working in HVAC. The average salary for an HVAC professional is $41,950, with the highest paid technicians earning up to $80,820 a year!
To Sum It Up…
HVAC is an excellent career choice for those who’ve got the knack for it. If you love exploring and learning about new technologies, working in HVAC will be the best option for you. With a plethora of job opportunities and the ever-growing demand, you will never have to worry about job stability. While there are a few drawbacks to working in the field, such as safety hazards and long working hours, the pros of working in HVAC certainly outweigh the cons.