Are HVAC Jobs Still In High Demand?

The HVAC industry has been on a growth spurt for years. Are you wondering if HVAC jobs are still in high demand and will remain in demand? Let’s take a look at a few of the facts.

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics seems to believe the growth pattern is not coming to an end. They are currently predicting an incredible 21 percent growth in HVAC jobs through the year 2022. Let’s put that into a little clearer perspective. For every 5 HVAC technicians working today, there will be one more needed. That is one of the highest predicted growth rates of all careers in the USA.

We need to make it clear. We are talking about trained and licensed HVAC technicians. As you can imagine, the growth for helpers and support staff in the HVAC industry will need to grow at a similar rate to support the added technicians.

What is driving this growth?

It can be tied to a couple of factors. First, the housing industry is on a rebound. New houses are being built at a faster pace, plus older homes are changing hands on a regular basis. This means more new installations and upgrades for new homeowners.

The second reason for fast growth is new technology. Computerized systems are offering major energy savings, which translate to lower running costs for homes and businesses. All of this new technology requires highly trained technicians to install the systems, program them, and maintain them. The control systems can be added to older units, but frequently homeowners choose to update to newer high-efficiency systems at the same time.

What types of jobs will these new HVAC workers find?

There is expected growth in all areas of the HVAC industry. There is a growing demand for qualified HVAC technicians in the HVAC manufacturing industry. You can expect to see continued growth in HVAC installers and repair technicians servicing both home and commercial clients.

Food manufacturers are hiring higher numbers of HVAC technicians, too. They are building their own in-house repair teams to make sure their heating and refrigeration units are always maintained and online.

New HVAC technicians may have a few advantages in the marketplace, too. They are being taught the latest technologies while they are in their classes, while current technicians must scramble to keep up with the fast changes in automated control systems. Homeowners and businesses expect systems they can program for higher efficiency and are looking for remote control and monitoring, too.

Growth in home building, economic growth, and changes in technology are fueling the demand for more HVAC technicians. The HVAC industry is poised to see major growth for the next few years and could see sustained growth over the next decade if current economic predictions stay true.

If you have been debating getting trained as an HVAC technician, your timing could not be better. You can take advantage of the growth in demand and the higher wages being paid. Now is the perfect time to join the HVAC industry.

Are HVAC Technicians Licensed And What Type Of License Do They Need?

At some point in time, every homeowner will need to hire an HVAC technician to service or repair the heating, cooling and ventilation system in their home. A great deal of skill and expertise is required to work on dangerous HVAC equipment which is why you should only deal with a professional company with fully trained and licensed technicians. As licensing laws vary from state to state, you should check the requirements in your area and verify whether the contractor you intend hiring has a team of qualified and licensed technicians before making a decision.
What Type of Licensing is needed by HVAC Technicians?

NATE Certification
North American Technician Excellence certification is nationally recognized as a respected credential for HVAC technicians. Although NATE certification is not legally required to become an HVAC technician, it validates the professional knowledge of a technician and is widely recognized in the industry.
Certification can be earned by passing an exam in one or more specialty areas including air conditioning, air distribution, and gas furnaces.

HVAC Excellence Certification

Excellence certification is another prominent industry certification that includes Professional and Master Specialist levels. To earn Professional level certification an HVAC contractor must have at least 2 years of field experience and have passed the Professional level of the HVAC Excellence certification exam including specialty areas such as heat pump service and residential air conditioning.

To qualify for the Master Specialist certification, a contractor must have at least 3 years of field experience and have passed the Master Specialist level of the HVAC Excellence exam.

EPA 608 Certification

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires all technicians who have access to a container or a system that stores refrigerant such as R-22 or R-410A AC coolant to have an EPA 608 certificate. Without this qualification, HVAC contractors cannot legally purchase refrigerants.

There are 3 levels of certification and a written exam has to be passed to gain this credential:

  • Level 1 HVAC certification allows technicians to handle small appliances such as window air conditioning units that contain less than 5 pounds of refrigerant.
  • Level 2 certification allows the handling of units that contain high-pressure refrigerants.
  • Level 3 certification allows the handling of units that contain low-pressure refrigerants.

Verifying Contractor Licensing Before Hiring

Most HVAC contractors are qualified but not all are licensed. Licensing rules vary widely from state to state with some requiring rudimentary qualifications for licensing while others require additional licenses. In some states licensing laws are strictly enforced while in others they are not. Not everyone knows the rules when it comes to HVAC licensing and not all contractors and homeowners play by the rules. HVAC contractors who do pay a hefty sum for licensing which makes it hard for them to compete with those who don’t, but in the end homeowners are the ones who ultimately pay the price when they fail to hire a licensed contractor.

In most states contractors must provide proof of insurance before they can register and obtain a trade license. The first thing a homeowner should do is ask for proof of insurance and licensing before hiring.

Injury on the job is a major risk to homeowners if the contractor is unlicensed and uninsured. The injured technician may sue the homeowner for lost wages and medical costs since the incident happened on his property. If a contractor has a license which requires Worker’s Compensation Insurance, the insurance will pay the bill. Unlicensed contractors put homeowners at risk if someone should get injured on the job, which is why choosing a licensed contractor is so important.