Pros and Cons of the HVAC Career

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The HVAC industry is diverse and has a lot of career opportunities.

The level of job availability and security is high, so the technicians’ salaries grow as well.

In this article, we’ll tell you about the HVAC job opportunities, potential salaries, and certification.

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Salaries in HVAC Industry

Qualified HVAC technicians are in demand, so the salaries are offered accordingly.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the technicians have a relatively high income.

In 2016, the average annual salary was $48,000.

The hourly rate if an HVAC tech was $23.23.

The top 10% of experienced technicians could make approximately $70,000 annually.

New technicians with the experience from 0 to 5 years can make from 28 to 40 thousand dollars per year.

Experienced technicians earn around $60,000 per year.

Overview of the Job

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in the HVAC industry will reach 21% by the year 2022.

The HVAC technicians are expected to be in high demand for the next ten years.

HVAC work can’t be outsourced and will always be available, so the techs can count on long-term job security.

As per statistics of 2016, most HVAC jobs are offered in California, Texas, and Florida.

States with the lowest demand for the HVAC techs include both Dakotas, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, and New Mexico.

With the low demand for HVAC techs in North Dakota, the salary of the technicians is one of the highest annually.

The best-paying areas are the D.C., Alaska, and Hawaii.

Even in the states that offer fewer job opportunities, the technicians can acquire well-paying positions.

With new technologies coming out to the market constantly, the job growth in the HVAC industry is significantly higher than in other areas.

The outdated equipment also needs constant maintenance and replacement and is less efficient.

The increase in job opportunities is expected in the area of new installations.

After, they will also require servicing and maintenance.

That means that the HVAC companies will have a lot of work in the near future.

Job Variety

The HVAC industry has a wide range of jobs.

To enter the field, you don’t have to be an HVAC technician.

There are positions of HVAC managers, engineers, installers, etc., available.

More labor is needed to meet the demand for new HVAC installations.

Below we gathered a few brief job descriptions of HVAC positions:

  • HVAC Manager.

A manager plays an important role in any team of HVAC technicians.

In the course of the installation or repair of the HVAC systems, the managers should supervise the work.

They deal with the clients to ensure that the project goals and customer’s requirements are met.

  • HVAC Installer.

HVAC installers control the entire system.

They are engaged with installation, repairing, and maintenance of the HVAC systems.

These systems are key to the tenants’ comfort providing necessary cool and warmth to them depending on the season.

  • HVAC Engineer.

HVAC engineers have a wide variety of opportunities and responsibilities in the field.

They can design new systems or work on repairing the existing ones, they can also work directly with the installers.

Besides, engineers can be engaged with projecting system maintenance and repair methods.

HVAC engineers can be employed by HVAC companies or work for a design organization.

Government agencies and HVAC equipment producers can also hire engineers.

The following certification will be necessary:

  1. A high school diploma or GED.
  2. Basic HVAC certification from a vocational school or trade program.
  3. Additional certification in a specific area of the HVAC industry:
  • EPA Section 608 Certification (Type 1-3, mandatory).
  • Universal EPA Certificate.
  • NATE (proof of skills and knowledge).

A Working Day of an HVAC Tech

A day of an HVAC technician can be different depending on the company they work for.

You can be on-call only when the repair is needed.

If you are employed by a construction company, you can work regular 9-5 hours.

As the working day begins, the techs will come to the workplace to get ready for the job they have for the day.

Having learned their schedule, they will get the necessary equipment in the service vehicle and head to the job site.

An HVAC technician can be hired by a company that works on an appointment basis.

They will go from home to home providing HVAC repair or installation services.

This can be an appealing opportunity for those who enjoy diversity in work and can work with people.

Technicians employed in commercial or industrial projects can work in the same setting for weeks.

There can be a manager who will work directly with the customers.

This is a good option for those who prefer working on big projects and don’t like to undertake customer service duties.

Within a day, a technician can deal with installation, repair or maintenance, unexpected emergencies.

They can work on one of them or all during the same day.

An emergency call can come at any time of the day.

Although it can be distressing, the emergencies are paid extra at overtime rates.

HVAC Career Disadvantages

The HVAC career may seem like a perfect opportunity, but like any other job, it has its disadvantages.

Hard to Start without Experience

Without practical experience, it can be hard to enroll in the industry and get hired.

Lack of formal education in HVAC or a related field can be overwhelming.

You can check your local unions for an apprenticeship program.

Alternatively, you can contact local contractors to see if they accept apprentices during the busy seasons.

Physically Demanding

The HVAC job can be physically demanding since you work on your feet over 40 hours a week.

It may not be an obstacle for the younger HVAC technicians, but later it can have some negative impact physically.

Takes Long to Learn and Gain Experience

While learning about different aspects and systems of HVAC, you will find out that it is time-consuming.

You can encounter various problems on the job that you didn’t face before.

In that case, troubleshooting is essential.


Generally, there are a lot more pros than cons to the HVAC career.

A job in the HVAC area lets you become a qualified trades-person in the market with constantly growing demand.

With the growing demand, salaries grow as well.

HVAC technician’s job is significant for every American.

HVAC technicians control the comfort in the building, adjusting the heating, cooling, refrigeration, and ventilation systems to everyone’s comfort level.

Check out a variety of HVAC jobs available on the market.

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