“Opportunity” is a key word in today’s job market.
Where are the largest opportunities for employment? What fields offer the greatest opportunity for advancement within that employment? And what jobs offer the opportunity for satisfaction both on and off the work site?
The current economy is witnessing both growth and contraction in various occupations. Yet while we often hear of the jobs that Americans are losing, rest assured there are plenty of opportunities available for employment across the nation.
For example, the current boom in both construction and real estate – commercial and residential – has led to increased opportunity for a number of skilled and non-skilled workers.
For those in the home and commercial heating and cooling industry, especially, demand is currently skyrocketing. Firms need workers, not only to install new heating, cooling and ventilation in homes and businesses, but also to help update and repair older heating and air systems.
An HVAC technician does just that – installing, maintaining and/or repairing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) – as well as refrigeration units. And, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of HVAC technician employment will continue to grow at a rate faster than the national job average through at least 2024. In fact, the BLS has designated it a “Bright Outlook” occupation.
In other words, qualified and worthy HVAC technicians will have little problem finding work. In fact, in some areas, HVAC technicians are among those occupations in which companies can hardly fill demand quick enough.
HVAC Technician Opportunities
According to a 2018 article from the Miami Herald, the Florida East Coast Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a non-profit trade organization comprised of several construction firms and contractors, is placing 95 percent of those looking to learn a trade into jobs. In fact, the only reason it is not 100 percent is that not all applicants to ABC are serious about finding work.
Here in Georgia, there is little difference. In fact, in 2017, CareerOneStop.org, a data affiliate of the US Department of Labor, projected that growth for HVAC workers in the state of Georgia is even with the rest of the nation, and anticipates a further 1,490 jobs created in the field by 2026.
And according to bls.gov, HVAC technicians earn an annual median salary of $47,080. That translates into an occupation that may provide both satisfaction and a certain level of comfort.
Working as a professional HVAC technician does require formal training, amongst a number of other traits, as companies typically prefer to hire employees that have received training at a technical school and/or completed a multi-year paid internship. There are also a number of certifications and licenses that each state requires of a HVAC technician.
While it is not required in order to receive a license as an HVAC technician, a number of heating and air businesses first look to accredited training schools during their hiring practices. In Georgia that includes two predominant approval agencies: Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) and HVAC Excellence.
HVAC Technician Education
There are four accredited PAHRA schools in the state of Georgia:
- Coastal Pines Technical College
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College
- Gwinnett Technical College
- West Central Technical College
There are also online course options available for those living great distances from those campuses.
Beyond pinpoint training, successful HVAC technicians also display great people skills, as they must be able to listen to clients and then relay to them what it will take to solve their problems – whether that be through repair or installation. Critical thinking is also a must, as technicians consistently encounter a range of issues.
Working as a HVAC technician is both rewarding and challenging — and there are certainly plenty of opportunities in the field, both here in Georgia and around the nation. If you’re interested in becoming part of the team at Conditioned Air Systems, visit our team page.