Air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration are items that most people require to be comfortable in their home or business. These services are always in demand, whether they are needed for new construction, or they have to do with repair services or upgrades to existing heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems. HVAC technicians provide these services, and these qualified people can be in high demand all over the US.
If you have been considering getting the training that you will need to be an HVAC tech, you might be wondering how much you will make once you are trained. This is always a fair question when you are considering making a change to a new profession, and it is worth it to know more about this career field before you make the change to follow this path. You might also want to know how long you will need to be in training before you can get out and start working to earn a living.
If you are ready to learn some more about how much HVAC techs make, you need to keep reading.
The first thing that you should know when you are considering heading into the HVAC field is that you will have two options to get your training and learn your trade. You can head to a trade school, and you will spend up to two years completing your trade school degree. You will then usually be given support in finding a placement to start work in this field right out of school. The cost of these programs can vary, but you will almost always have to take out a loan to be able to attend a trade school, which will then need to be paid off once you are working.
If you choose to forego trade school, you will need to enter an apprenticeship program with a business in your area or relocate to a place where these opportunities are an option for you. You will be trained by a skilled professional or a team of professionals when you pick this course of action, and the training time can vary from state to state. The average time that you will spend in an apprenticeship is three to five years in most programs. The benefit to an apprenticeship is that you will usually be offered a job at the place where you are currently working, which can help get you right to work once your apprenticeship is completed.
Apprentice HVAC workers will assist with maintenance and repair, and they will learn to install systems with the supervision of senior team members. Replacing refrigerant, working on electrical for the system, and maintaining accurate service records are all skills that are taught in apprenticeship programs. While you can learn valuable skills at trade school as well, many people head down the apprenticeship road to be sure that they have all the skills that they need to be ready to start making money as soon as possible.
Per the Bureau of Labor, the median salary for HVAC mechanics and installation technicians is $48,630 a year. This job does require long-term training, but this can make it much easier to get your license and get started working after you are done with school or your apprenticeship program. As with other professions, you will make more money if you move up to management positions or if you get additional licenses that allow you to provide specialty services or expanded services. You can also choose to start your own HVAC company, which can increase your earning potential exponentially as well.
Some states offer better pay than others, but the cost of living will typically be higher as well. Be sure that you do not just look at the amount of money that you will earn without considering the cost of living in your area. Eastern seaboard states offer better wages overall than most of the middle of the US, and large city centers in the Pacific Northwest are more likely to pay well, but the cost of living in all of these areas can be quite steep.
Management of your HVAC team might increase your income by twice the BLS projection, which is on par with estimates for companies that are smaller in size and owned by those with the skill to start these kinds of businesses. The route that you take when considering which kind of career path to choose can have a lot to do with where you live and what kind of training and work you want to be doing every day. Remember as well that you will usually get annual raises as your seniority increases, which can make your earning potential even greater if you stay with a good company for a long period of time.
If you have been uncertain about whether or not you want to pursue an HVAC job, you were likely most concerned with where to look for work and what kind of salary you could earn once you were done with your training. You should have a good sense of the entry-level and advanced job opportunities that you can be offered within this field and be more comfortable deciding if this is the right career path for you. This is a great option if you want to have the goal of owning your own business or if you are considering sticking with a company for a long time and gaining seniority.
Always remember to look at the cost of living if you think you will be moving to a new place, chasing a better annual salary in this field. The more you know about the total cost of relocating, the better prepared you will be when you make this transition. There are always lots of factors to consider when making a career change, but the HVAC installation and maintenance world can be a really good safe bet for those who select this career path.