Are you already in the workforce, but tired of your current job, looking to build a proper career instead? Or are you still in school, thinking about your options for starting work as soon as possible after graduation?
If you want to get a job in an in-demand industry, that pays well and allows you to work with both your mind and your hands, you should become an HVAC technician.
As an HVAC technician, you get to serve homeowners and businesses, keeping their buildings comfortable all year long. It’s an industry that is going to be around a long time and can ensure you with a long, fruitful career ahead.
Wondering how to become an HVAC technician? Keep reading below for some important tips before you become an HVAC service technician.
Embrace the Elements
Working as an HVAC technician means you are installing or repairing heating and cooling systems at homes and businesses. This means you are going to spend a lot of time working in harsh conditions.
When do people call an HVAC technician to service their air conditioner? In the heat of summer, of course. And working on an AC unit means spending time outside, in the sun, repairing the condenser.
Those working on commercial units often work on the roof where AC systems are installed, meaning direct sunlight in the summer.
And if you’re called in to work on a furnace, then that means it’s probably winter. If a furnace is down, then the building you are working in will be very cold.
Working as a technician, using your hands to adjust small components in the blazing heat or ice-cold winter can be very difficult. But as an HVAC technician, it will be up to you to embrace these conditions, and just be grateful you aren’t sitting in a cubicle somewhere, staring at a computer screen all day.
Have Good People Skills
The vast majority of your job as an HVAC technician will be spent alone, making repairs without conversing with anyone. However, you will still be handling phone calls, and greeting home and business owners.
As people welcome you into their property, you need to be friendly and sympathetic. These people are likely having a bad day, suffering from discomfort as their HVAC systems aren’t working.
They also know they’re about to pay you, and it wasn’t part of their plan for the month. So they aren’t exactly thrilled you are there, though they know it’s necessary.
By being polite, and helping to ease their concerns and fears, you can give your customers the best experience possible, to ensure they continue hiring your company in the future.
Yes, You Need Formal Training
Many people think about a career as an HVAC technician in order to bypass college or other forms of career training. But working in the HVAC is highly technical, and requires serious understanding and skills.
While you don’t need to go to a traditional four-year college, you do need to get certified and meet HVAC technician requirements before you can start working.
The good news is that HVAC technician school can be much shorter than getting a college degree. Some HVAC school programs can be completed in as little as 10 weeks, while others might take up to two years. Most people do it in less than a year.
You can find a program that works with your timeline, weekly commitment, and schedule. Anyone can work towards becoming an HVAC technician, whether they are a fresh graduate, or already working in another industry.
The good news is that the only requirement for most HVAC schools is a high school diploma. And if you don’t have one, some schools can help you get one at the same time.
Choose Where You Live and Work
The good news about working as an HVAC technician is that you can work and live in just about any state and city. Unlike certain industries, that require workers to live in a specific area, HVAC is in demand nationwide.
So you can enjoy healthy compensation while also choosing exactly where you want to live. Want to head down to Florida, to live close to the coast? It’s actually one of the best states for HVAC technicians.
Or, if you want to stay in the Midwest, where you were born and raised, you can do so, and enjoy the lower cost of living, while still working in in-demand states like Ohio and Illinois.
Get Paid Well
Those who graduate high school, but have no college education, average about $37,000 per year. Those with a four-year bachelor’s degree average about $60,000 per year. But they have to complete years of schooling and go into serious student debt to get there.
Those who complete an HVAC certification program in a few weeks or months can average about $50,000 per year. This provides you with a solid full-time income, at a fraction of the cost and time of a bachelor’s degree.
Plus, the industry is in high demand. The need for HVAC technicians is likely to continue growing over the next decade, securing you with a well-paid job for the foreseeable future.
Overtime Is Real
One of the drawbacks of working in the HVAC industry is that during peak seasons, working overtime is a reality. Up north, when winter temperatures are dangerously below freezing, outdated furnaces will break at the worst times.
Servicing homes and businesses mean keeping people safe, and that means long workdays. Working overtime can be a blessing, however, as HVAC technicians are compensated appropriately.
Should You Become an HVAC Technician?
As you consider a career change, is it worth it to become an HVAC technician? If you want to work in an industry that will always be in demand, pays well, and requires very little upfront investment in the form of time and money, then HVAC is a great line of work.
If you would prefer to work with your hands than stare at a screen all day, you’ll feel satisfied with the work you do to help people stay safe and comfortable.
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