Why Should I choose HVAC?
Trying to make a living in today’s economy is tough. There’s a lot of competition out there, and a lot of different advice being passed around by those already solidly in their careers. Deciding which route to take after high school is one of the most challenging and defining choices of our lives. College is becoming less and less affordable, and frankly, the world of academia is not for everyone. If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend a four year program, entering the job market following those four years of studying does not guarantee you anything (except loans). The best way to guarantee a living, is to offer something others cannot live without. HVAC is definitely one of those things.
Over 40% of the energy the United States uses in a year goes towards HVAC. Now THAT’S job security
What is HVAC?
HVAC is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, or as I like to think of it, everyday comfort. There are two major ways to work within the HVAC industry: commercially, and residentially. Within those two areas are two specialties for in the field which are service, and install. If you’re entry level, and just starting your career, residential install is the best way to get your foot in the door. Over time as you gain experience and earn money, it’s a very good idea to invest in a higher education program to prepare you for NATE exams and other qualifying certifications that would allow you to move into commercial work, especially if you’d like to own your own company one day. Once you’ve mastered install, it’s time to hone your skills as a service technician, as having those skills will provide you with more steady year-round work.
The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is for technicians working in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration(HVAC/R) industry within the U.S. and Canada. They are the mark of a master technician eligible to work any commercial job.
How much can I really make working in HVAC?
When you first start out, it won’t feel like you’re raking in the dough. You’ll be looking at somewhere between $13.00-$15.00 an hour as an apprentice or helper. That being said, your ability to make more increases along with your skills and experience so that often within the first year you will be making closer to $22.00 an hour if you’re working for a fair company. Technicians who can do both service and install move into the $30.00 an hour range. Additionally, service often comes with commission rates for problems found that result in the sale of equipment or new units. When is comes down to it, for those who stick with it and make a career, a good HVAC technician will be making $60,000 to $70,000 a year.
Is HVAC the right career for me?
HVAC is a great career if you don't like to be in the same place every day. While there are always going to be times of monotony (like cleaning your fifth air filter in one day) there will always be a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day because you truly help improve people’s lives. The new mom with her infant son won’t be able to thank you enough for getting the AC up and running on a 90 degree day, and the elderly couple whose heat your restored? There is no feeling in the world that can replace that gratitude. HVAC is a career with meaning and a positive impact. If you like helping others, and some hard work doesn’t scare you, then yes, HVAC is the career for you.