In a world increasingly driven by technology, cost efficiency, and concerns around sustainability, people who choose careers in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) maintenance and repair have plenty to gain. HVAC technicians (often considered a subset of the building maintenance workforce) not only keep our indoor spaces comfortable during normal and extreme weather patterns, but help homeowners navigate the transition from old technologies to newer, more efficient ones.

Here’s why now is an excellent time to become an HVAC technician — and how you can get the training you need to start a lucrative career with serious perks.

Growing Demand

HVAC technicians have been essential in maintaining comfortable living and working environments since the late 1960s, when central heating and air conditioning became widely available in new homes. These professionals install, maintain, and repair the systems that control temperature and air quality in most modern buildings.

Currently, HVAC technician jobs are in high demand. This industry is expected to grow by 6% between 2022 and 2032 (or about 37,700 job openings each year), which is faster than other fields. There are several reasons for this:

  • An aging workforce (with an average age of around 54 years old) retiring or preparing to retire
  • A flawed mindset in recent decades that the only worthwhile careers require four-year degrees, resulting in fewer young people entering the skilled trades
  • Continuing shortages in qualified construction industry workers
  • Aging HVAC systems that were installed one to two decades ago and are in need of extensive repair or replacement
  • Extreme weather patterns taking an increased toll on HVAC systems
  • Technological advancements in safety, convenience, and energy efficiency
  • A broadening range of needed services, including not just traditional heating and cooling systems, but also refrigeration and air quality systems

Excellent Reasons to Become an HVAC Technician

Pursuing an HVAC career comes with more advantages than you might think. Some of these include:

  • Job security. The strong demand for HVAC services also provides strong job security.
  • Competitive salaries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2022, the median pay for an American HVAC technician was $51,390 per year, or $24.71 per hour. In larger cities, the pay can be significantly higher. In San Francisco, for example, the average salary was $73,893 as of January 2024.
  • The location of your choice. HVAC skills are transferable across the US, which means technicians can find work in any region or city they want to live in.
  • Minimal training cost and commitment. Many HVAC training programs are much shorter and far less expensive than traditional four-year college degrees. Some even offer online components, which means you can work toward EPA and OSHA 10 certifications in a location that’s convenient for you.
  • Opportunity to make an eco-friendly impact. By staying up to date on energy-efficient and non-fossil-fuel-dependent technologies, you can knowledgeably encourage homeowners to replace their old systems with more eco-friendly models. Your customers will be happy about the savings they’ll see on their energy bills, too.
  • Professional development and advancement opportunities. The HVAC field offers plenty of opportunities to specialize, develop even more in-demand skills, and get promoted.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

The journey to becoming an HVAC technician typically involves the following steps:

  • Minimal required education. You can get started with a high school diploma or GED.
  • Technical training. You’ll need to enroll in a training program that can qualify you to obtain necessary certifications. You can do this through a community college, vocational school, apprenticeship, or community career center.
  • Licensing and certification. Depending on the state you want to work in and the way it classifies certain categories of work, a license or certification may be required. This often includes passing an exam and may involve specialty certifications in areas like refrigeration.

HVAC technicians enjoy a career that is not only lucrative, but offers the satisfaction of providing essential services that can keep people safe and comfortable — and even help to protect the environment. The pathway to becoming an HVAC technician is flexible, allowing individuals to choose between various educational and training options to suit their preferences and circumstances. With the growing need for HVAC professionals, the field is ripe with opportunities.

Get FREE HVAC Training With JobTrain

If you’ve read to this point and are Googling “free HVAC training near me,” you’re on the right track: you can get free training to qualify for careers in building and HVAC maintenance. If you live near Silicon Valley in Northern California, you can contact JobTrain to get free hands-on career training. Check out our Building Maintenance Technician and HVAC Program, which includes convenient digital components, to get started on the path to a great job in this field.

JobTrain is an accredited educational and training institution that transforms lives and communities in Silicon Valley. We help people reclaim their lives by preparing them for successful, sustainable careers in high-demand and emerging fields.

Each of JobTrain’s programs combines vocational training, academics, and essential skills development, preparing students to turn their lives around — from unemployment to success and self-sufficiency. Contact us today to learn more!