Why Become An HVAC Technician
THe HVAC industry allows you to combine your knowledge and innovation with the ability to create and build with your hands. It also offers veterans like you tremendous benefits and career potential. An HVAC technician is mechanically inclined, an expert at computerized controls and wiring schematics, and provides efficient heating and cooling to communities across America. An HVAC technician helps protect the health safety and welfare of our nation!
The Future Is Bright
Job growth within the HVAC field is one of the greatest factors in deciding to move forward with a career as an HVAC technician. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the HVAC field will experience growth of 34% during the years from 2010-2020. This percentage of job growth is massive, taking the 267,800 HVAC jobs back in 2010 and adding as many as 90,300 in just 10 years. With this kind of growth HVAC techs will be in demand which will grant you more job security and a growing salary.
Why is the job growth so great for HVAC specialists? With new technologies available in today’s marketplace older HVAC equipment is far less efficient than today’s models, costing consumers more money to run, offering less comfort and also taking a larger toll on the environment. In an effort to ‘go green’ while saving money and providing better comfort levels for their homes and workplaces, consumers are making the change to newer HVAC systems. Consumers are also more educated on how keeping their HVAC equipment maintained will benefit them in the long run. With projections of system installations and maintenance on the rise, HVAC techs will be busier than ever and highly computerized, technologically advanced system designs requires highly trained, specialized technicians to install and service.
On The Job Training
While many career paths require years of schooling and lots of money, in the field of heating and cooling, you will be trained while on the job – and while making money. Not only do HVAC technicians begin to earn while they are at the apprentice level, they also forgo significant tuition payments and debt from student loans as all of their instruction is hands on and done while on the job.
To find a paid apprentice program near you click on the buttons below.
HVAC technicians have a great earning potential. The BLS.gov shows that the average HVAC technician made over $42,000 in 2010, with the top 10% of the industry earning approximately $67,000. Overtime pay is also a great benefit during extreme temperatures, giving you the chance to work more and earn extra money. With that said, Wiki.Answers.com reports that the HVAC industry is projecting a pay increase of up to 40% in the next few years. They also note that if you work as an HVAC technician for a larger company you will likely make more than $80,000 annually.
To determine your potential pay as an HVAC technician use this salary calculator.
Throughout the United States, HVAC companies are looking for qualified technicians and hardworking newcomers to teach the trade to. As with plumbing, HVAC technicians have great job security as HVAC services will always be needed (homes and businesses will continue to heat and cool their properties) and there is not a danger of HVAC jobs becoming outsourced overseas to machines. The map below, provided by MyNextMove.org, shows the current demand for HVAC technicians per state across the United States. The states in orange, running up and down the east coast, currently have a high demand for HVAC techs and the states in light blue have an average demand.
Jobs Are Available Now
When considering becoming an HVAC technician you are considering a career path that grants you the opportunity to find a job today. The demand for skilled tradespeople continues to grow across the USA. As Mike Rowe, the host of the TV series Dirty Jobs, pointed out in his speech to the Senate Commerce Committee on May 11, 2011, there is an intense need for HVAC technicians, plumbers, electricians and other skilled tradespeople.
‘Right now, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions. There are 450,000 openings in trades, transportation and utilities. The Skills Gap is real, and it’s getting wider. In Alabama, a third of all skilled tradesmen are over 55. They’re retiring fast, and no one is there to replace them.’ -Mike Row
Watch Mike Rowe’s Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee
How to Become an HVAC Technician
- Find a formal apprentice program or complete technical/trade training. On the job training is available to new HVAC technicians. This apprenticeship is a paid training program that usually lasts between 3-5 years – it is a great opportunity to learn in the field while earning money. Although apprentice programs are widely available there is a growing demand for techs that have a certificate from a technical or trade school. This training can be completed within a couple of months or continue for over a year. Having a certification is a great way to separate yourself from the pack and makes getting a job that much easier.
- Get licensed. Depending on the state that you are going to be performing HVAC work in, you may have to pass a state exam and get an HVAC license. All states are different, and some states do not require you to become licensed at all.
- Get your EPA certification. Depending on what kind of HVAC work you are planning on performing, if it involves refrigerant the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) requires a certification. To gain this certification you must pass a written examination. To learn the specific qualifications, certifications and licensing needs necessary to become an HVAC technician within your region, please click on the link below.