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Is HVAC a good career? An inside look at this cool career path

What is HVAC?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is the practice of moving air within areas at different temperatures. HVAC Technicians are primarily responsible for maintaining and repairing heating and air conditioning units. Some typical skills HVAC Technicians commonly use are:

If you’re wondering if HVAC is a good career for you, HVAC is a good career path to follow for those who want job stability, security, and constant opportunities, who are willing to work in outdoor and sometimes uncomfortable settings to solve problems to help various businesses, residences, and governmental entities continue to operate smoothly. HVAC is a good career that offers stability for those who are willing to work for it. 

What career paths can I pursue with an HVAC degree?

There are a number of paths that HVAC Technicians can pursue:

1. Residential

Residential HVAC Technicians focus on units in private homes and housing complexes for residential areas.

Typical salary expectations for HVAC Technicians in Texas:

Residential HVAC Technicians typically need to have very friendly customer service skills due to the frequent interaction with homeowners and customers who may not have any understanding of Air Conditioning Systems. Customers may be frustrated that there’s no heat and air conditioning in their home, so the situation can be stressful and require skills to handle delicate emotions.

Some typical residential HVAC Technician responsibilities include:

There are many reasons you should work in HVAC, and residential HVAC Technicians especially have the ability to help others during stressful times and improve the quality of life for those in their residences. 

2. Commercial

Commercial HVAC Technicians work on units for commercial industries like restaurants, businesses, retail stores, or manufacturers. 

Typical salary expectations for HVAC Technicians in Texas:

Commercial HVAC Technicians need to have good relationship development skills to connect with clients, business owners, and managers of the facilities they may work for. Commercial HVAC Technicians may find themselves returning to some clients’ facilities for repairs or maintenance more frequently than those who may house-calls in the residential sector.

Some typical commercial HVAC Technician responsibilities include:

There are many reasons you should work in HVAC, and commercial HVAC Technicians especially have consistency and job security that most other career paths don’t. 

3. Sales/Marketing

HVAC Sales Representatives are professionals who connect companies, contractors, and other customers with Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation equipment and units for purchasing. 

The national average salary for HVAC Sales Representatives is $49,586 per year in the United States. 

Sales Representatives in any field, but especially in the HVAC Career Path, need to have the ability to communicate and develop relationships with customers. In order to effectively advocate for the HVAC products you’re trying to market and sell, you need to have good relationships with those who use the equipment as well as work experience in the field to have some credibility.

Some typical HVAC Sales Representative responsibilities include:

There are many reasons you should work in HVAC, but specifically in sales and marketing, you have the opportunity for a flexible schedule and the option to utilize your people skills to make an impressive income. 

4. Automated Controls

HVAC Automation Service Technicians, also sometimes called HVAC Automation Engineers, are responsible for building quality automation controls for HVAC systems and providing engineering and technical oversight for projects. 

The average salary for Building Automation Technicians is $65,218 per year

Some typical Building Automation Technician responsibilities include:

There are many reasons you should work in HVAC, and Building Automation Technicians have the unique opportunity to utilize problem solving skills and put their technical interests to the test.

5. Design/Engineering

For those who want to further their education, particularly to enter engineering, a career as an HVAC engineer may be a good option. 

An HVAC engineer is a mechanical engineer who designs ventilation, conditioning, and heating systems for buildings. 

The average salary for an HVAC Engineer is $105,333 per year

Some typical HVAC Design & Engineering Responsibilities include:

There are many reasons you should work in HVAC, and those who work in design and engineering have the best opportunity to make a significant income and work in a comfortable environment away from the outside elements. 

6. Newer “Green” positions

Journey-Level Refrigeration Technician

The Journey-Level Refrigeration Technician performs breakdown and preventive maintenance of critical refrigeration equipment on a regular basis for commercial buildings or industrial plants. 

The salary range for Journey-Level Refrigeration Technicians is $80,000-$150,000 per year.

Some typical responsibilities for a Journeyman Refrigeration Service Technician include:

Commercial Service Technician

Commercial Service Technicians are trained to work in many different conditions and maintain systems on a seasonal basis. They may often be responsible for repairing commercial HVAC and refrigeration systems, repairing or replacing worn or defective parts, repairing or replacing pumps, pneumatic values, and more.

The salary range for Commercial Service Technicians is $60,000-$120,000 per year.  

Equipment Manufacturer Representative

Equipment Manufacturer Representatives understand the technical knowledge and skills for HVAC systems and frequently attend product training and update meetings at factories. They then provide feedback to manufacturers on performance issues and improvements to guide courses of action to improve products. 

The salary range for Equipment Manufacturer Representatives is $75,000-$150,000 per year

Some typical responsibilities for Equipment Manufacturer Representatives include:

Explore more HVAC Career Paths here: 

Is there job security for HVAC Technicians?

There’s always a need for HVAC Technicians, especially for the maintenance of facilities, cooling units for grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores, making a career as an HVAC Technician a lucrative one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the HVAC industry is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016-2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The diversity of job opportunities and advancement in systems makes this industry an attractive and rewarding career.  A Texarkana College HVAC Graduate, Antwyn, pursued this field specifically for the job security, read more about his experience here. Regardless of the state of the economy, trades like HVAC will always be a necessity. 

Start your HVAC career at Texarkana College

Texarkana College offers a variety of options for you to complete your HVAC training. 

1 semester certificate

1 year certificate

2 year associate degree

Want to learn more about HVAC as a career? Explore the Texarkana College Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Program:

Related to Academic Programs, Academic Spotlight