Heating and cooling your home or business is an important part of everyday life. If there is an issue with this system, you need to be able to call an expert to help. Read more about the training Butler Tech provides in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) careers.
HVAC Career Overview
An HVAC technician installs, repairs, and maintains heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. Some technicians may specialize in a particular system while others can do it all. As regulations continue to change and require homes to be more energy-efficient, technicians in this field need training to install, repair, and maintain these increasingly complex types of systems. Butler Tech can provide the training needed in this field.
Career Outlook for HVAC
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the need for HVAC technicians should grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026. Approximately 48,800 new jobs are expected to be created in this field over this time span. This is a higher than average growth for other professions, which average a growth of about 7 percent. HVAC professionals are needed in the installation of heating, air conditioning, and ventilation in new construction projects. In addition, as homes age, they will need their HVAC systems repaired and replaced. The projected "life expectancy" of an HVAC system is between 10 to 15 years, so many homes built as recently as 2002 may start requiring these repairs. Of course, new and existing businesses will also require HVAC services as well.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average HVAC technician has a median income of $47,080 each year or $22.64 each hour. New technicians entering the HVAC field can expect an hourly wage of approximately $16.25 per hour as per Payscale.com. Specialty training in areas such as controls and commercial applications can increase wage earnings.
Geography Influences HVAC Careers
Where you live in the United States influences the availability and potential earning in the HVAC career field.
Here are the states where HVAC technicians earn the most per hour, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- District of Columbia: $32.65 per hour
- Alaska: $30.79 per hour
- Hawaii: $30.07 per hour
- Illinois: $30.02 per hour
- Connecticut: $29.43 per hour
Here are the states requiring the most HVAC technicians.
- Florida: 29,450 jobs
- California: 25,010 jobs
- Texas: 23,520 jobs
- New York: 18,500 jobs
- Pennsylvania: 14,120 jobs
An HVAC professional has many daily tasks to complete. Here are just a few, as listed on Indeed.com.
Here are some of the skills required by an HVAC professional.
If you are still in high school, many experts recommend that you focus on math and science, especially algebra and engineering classes.
Here are some employer expectations for HVAC professionals as listed on Indeed.com.
Training & Certification
Those interested in pursuing an HVAC career can study at post-secondary schools to earn a diploma, certificate, or associate degree. Apprenticeships, typically lasting three to five years, may be available for those who want to gain on-the-job training. The U.S. Armed Forces also offer training in the HVAC field. Here are some of the specialties you can focus on in the HVAC career field.
These specialists plan the installation of an HVAC system. This may involve planning a system for new construction. It can also involve evaluating existing systems and recommending ways to help efficiency.
These technicians specialize in the installation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems into homes and businesses. They need to be physically capable, mechanically inclined, and able to think on their feet to solve problems with the systems. They must also be able to manage their time wisely in order to meet installation deadlines and work on multiple projects at once.
These technicians may install, maintain, or repair HVAC systems. They may seek certification in an expertise such as refrigeration. They can work for a company or be self-employed. If they are self-employed, some states require licensing. Licensing may require passing a written exam. There may be an opportunity for advancement in a position as a supervisor.
Air Conditioning Technician
These technicians specialize in air conditioning maintenance, installation, and repair. They help people control the temperature of their homes and businesses. They may also work in places like hospitals and retail establishments to ensure the temperature is comfortable and systems are working properly. They may work daytime hours, but may need to be on-call after hours for emergencies.
This specialist maintains the refrigeration system of a home or business. The technician may upgrade an existing unit, install a new unit, or repair an existing unit. Refrigeration technicians must be versed in different systems of a home or business and be able to read schematic drawings.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for solar technicians will double between 2016 and 2026. There is a tremendous opportunity for those with training in the field of photovoltaics. Those who can be solar photovoltaic installers will be able to take advantage of this emerging field of solar energy.
Wind Turbine Technician
As with the solar market, the wind turbine market is rapidly growing. Wind turbine technicians are the second-fastest growing occupations in the United States. As renewable energy demands increase, so will the needs for creating wind farms and for the wind turbine technicians who work there.
Butler Tech HVAC Training Program
Butler Tech offers a full-time training program in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) systems. Both daytime and evening classes are available. Butler Tech is the only school in the region to offer student training for both residential and commercial systems. They offer training in commercial specialties such as ice machines, reach-in coolers, and walk-in coolers, which are utilized in many businesses.
Butler Tech offers classes in the form of lecture and hands-on learning. The curriculum of the training includes training on the chemical, electrical, and mechanical systems integral to HVAC/R. Instruction at Butler Tech also includes training on repair, installation, schematic reading, electrical theory, refrigerant handling, systems diagnostics, wiring, and controls. Students will also train and test for the following requirements:
The tuition for the Butler Tech program is $6,830. Fees are $3,350. The program is full time during daytime or evening hours, with 648 hours of instruction. The number of seats is limited to 20 students.
A Rewarding Career
HVAC careers are about problem-solving. You need to be able to go into a situation where there is an issue, look at the system, and solve the problem. Being an HVAC professional requires mechanical skill, technical training, and knowledge. If you like getting out and away from a desk, being an HVAC professional is a great choice. You may be inside, outside, in a basement, crawl space, or attic.
There are many specialties to choose from as an HVAC specialist. You may work on air conditioning installation or repair; or furnace installation or repair. Air purification systems, radiant heating, and humidifiers may also fall under the expertise of HVAC professionals.
Because almost all buildings have a heating system, and many have an air conditioning system, there is always work for the HVAC professional. As technologies increase, there is also a demand for HVAC professionals that handle controls. Controls are a computer-oriented specialty that service the HVAC controls for large building systems.
HVAC careers are important not only because they involve people's comfort, but also their safety. If your furnace is not working properly, there could be a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. If it gets too cold in a home or business, pipes could burst and causing hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of damages. Let Butler Tech train you as an HVAC professional so that you can help people in those uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations.
If you hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, contact Butler Tech now to find out about pre-testing requirements for the program. You are encouraged to allow at least three weeks to complete these requirements. Call 513-645-8200 or e-mail AdultEducation@ButlerTech.org for more information. Start your future today as an HVAC professional with Butler Tech.