In the world of trade professions, there are ok jobs, good jobs and great jobs. Often what defines the difference between a good job and a great job is the outlook for that particular profession. Individuals who are looking to enter into a certain trade field will want to look at the overall projected growth, the median salary and the prospective amount of positions to be added within the next several years.
Trained technicians who enter into the HVAC field (heating, ventilation and air conditioning, which commonly includes refrigeration HVAC/R) are going into a strong job market. With heat, AC, and refrigerators in virtually every home and business, there is an amazingly large customer pool.
As of 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the median pay for HVAC technicians at $42,530 annually. This will vary state to state and from rural to urban environments, but for a significant portion of those who work in this field, their hourly wage will average over $20.00 per hour. Those technicians who specialize might see an even greater return for their additional education and training.
Nearly as important as earning a good wage is the stability of the job market for that profession. With growth expected at 34% (“much faster than average” according to the BLS), the field of HVAC technicians is expected to add over 90,000 jobs within the next eight years.
The economy can also be considered a factor. During times of economic uncertainty, people tend to repair what they have rather than purchase new. Since the HVAC technician is in the business of repair and maintenance, the greater than average growth projected in this field may indeed have economic considerations factored in. Fortunately, due to the nature of the work involved, higher growth in the economy means new construction and renovation of which the HVAC technician will also most likely play a part.
There are opportunities for specialization in the HVAC field. Depending on the area where the technician lives, furnace repair can be an area of specialty, as well as installation and repair of air conditioning. Some HVAC technicians focus on residential and commercial refrigeration.
After graduation from a training program, new HVAC technicians will spent a certain amount of time in an apprenticeship, averaging two to five years before they either work for a company or start their own business. During the time they are getting extensive on the job experience and working with seasoned professionals, they hone their craft. This is often where a technician will choose to specialize in a certain aspect of the HVAC field or continue to be proficient in all aspects of their field.
Due to the changing nature of technology, HVAC technicians will remain current in their field by keeping abreast of new developments and system changes in the various areas of refrigeration, and air conditioning and heating systems. Pollution reduction and energy efficiency continue to be goals and this will entail upgrading and/or replacing heating, AC and refrigeration units and correctly and safely handling and disposing of refrigerant chemicals as regulations and disposal protocols change.
With homes and businesses country-wide as a customer base, changing environmental regulations and advancements in technology, HVAC technicians entering this field today should experience growth in their profession and solid career prospects.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming an HVAC Technician, explore your options through this program!