With an abundance of career and education options available to the public online, starting on a career path can be a difficult commitment to make, even in a fairly consistent employment sector like the heating & air industry. After all, you don’t want to find yourself stuck with a degree that doesn’t provide the kind of job opportunities you expected.
Sadly, there are many professions with high unemployment rates and graduates in those fields may struggle to find work, despite having a degree, but you’ll be glad to know that HVAC technicians typically don’t have that problem. In fact, there are several reasons why now may be the best time to become an HVAC technician.
Demand for HVAC Technicians Expected to Increase
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for qualified HVAC professionals will increase by up to 21% by 2022. That means that within roughly four years, we will need an extra HVAC technician for every five professionals who are currently already in the field. Right now, there are more than a quarter million HVAC techs in the U.S. alone, but we’ll need another 50,000 or more to accommodate the growing demand for services.
Luckily, it’s easy for anyone to get started with their HVAC schooling by simply using regional search terms to find a nearby course provider. For example, if you live in Hampton Roads, Virginia, you might try searching for HVAC Schools in Hampton Roads.
HVAC Apprenticeships Widely Available
Once you’ve graduated from HVAC school, you’re free to start applying for jobs, or you can go down the apprenticeship route to gain additional hands-on training while still getting paid. Paid HVAC apprenticeships are available through the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Sheet Metal Workers’ International Associations, and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
Most apprenticeships last around 3-5 years, giving you a solid core of experience to add to your resume. Apprenticeships are the easiest way to get started earning an income while still furthering your HVAC education.
Decent Salary and Low Unemployment Rates
The salary and hourly wages for an HVAC technician will vary depending on experience level and position, but generally, most make between $15-$25/hour. However, the top 10% of the highest earners in the industry average more than $30/hour, which is a very decent wage for a career that requires very little schooling and upfront investment. As far as annual income is concerned, the average HVAC technician makes about $44,000/year, but control technicians and other higher paying positions can pay $50,000/year or more.
HVAC Courses are Easy to Complete
When you compare the process of becoming an HVAC technician to the educational steps required to earn other degrees, it’s definitely an easier path to take. After just six months of schooling, you can begin your career or opt for an apprenticeship as mentioned above. Thus, HVAC technician is currently an ideal occupation for anyone who is looking for a career that will be quick and easy to get into yet has the potential to pay as much $4,000+/month.