8 HVAC Careers and Specialties to Consider: Your Guide

HVAC

With over 10 million jobs open, you might be unsure which way to go with your next career pivot. If you haven’t given HVAC jobs much consideration, it’s time you do. HVAC careers offer strong salaries and a constant stream of work.

Ready to launch your career? Read on to learn about 8 HVAC careers and specialties you should consider!

1. Electrician

Do you enjoy figuring out how things work? Then you might want to become an electrician! Electricians install and repair control or power systems as well as lighting.

Electricians have the know-how to determine if a building’s electrical work is up to national standards. And they’ll be able to interpret wiring diagrams to update or maintain systems.

To become an electrician, you’ll need a high school degree and an apprenticeship training program. From there, An HVAC salary will vary depending on specialty, but electricians tend to do pretty well at over $28 per hour.

2. Solar Technician

With the solar energy industry booming, it’s a great time to pursue HVAC jobs in this area. As a solar technician, you’ll help companies and residences get access to the solar power they want.

As a solar technician, plan on installing solar panels as part of the job. You’ll also be working with customers to choose the right panels for their budget and desired energy savings.

Solar technicians also need to maintain and replace solar panels as needed. If you enjoy working with customers to explain the benefits of solar energy, you can expect plenty of customer-facing interaction in this job.

3. Plumber

If you’re planning to get into the HVAC business, look into becoming a plumber. Homes and businesses will always need a plumber to address leaks, pipe bursts, and other urgent issues. Plus they may need a new water heater or toilet, both of which a plumber can install.

As a result, plumbers have good job security. Plumbers can address problems with dishwashers, drains, and sinks. But they can handle more complex tasks, such as designing plans for the installation of new plumbing systems.

You’ll need to go through an apprenticeship or training program. And beyond that, most states will require you to pass a licensing exam before you get to work.

4. Systems Engineer

Another route into HVAC jobs is to become a systems engineer. You’ll need a 4-year degree in mechanical engineering and certification as an engineer to do this critical job. But because of the extra educational requirements, you can expect a better HVAC salary that might even exceed six figures.

Plan on assuming more managerial responsibilities in a role as a systems engineer. You’ll be determining needed equipment for HVAC jobs and working out contracts with vendors. Also, plan on doing site surveying and pipework sizing.

5. HVAC Technician

For an in-demand HVAC business, you can’t go wrong with home services. After all, homeowners always will need an HVAC technician to service their air conditioning unit or furnace. And if the furnace goes out in the middle of the winter, you’re guaranteed to get a call with an urgent request for your expertise.

HVAC technicians have the expertise to repair and install heating and air systems. So, if you’re entrepreneurial, you could start a business in this very lucrative area. You may even want to operate an HVAC franchise.

6. Estimator

Think of an estimator as the researcher who puts together information to create a project plan. If a business or private residence has a construction project proposal, the estimator determines the price tag for it. They’ll use the client’s request, vendor bids, and data from engineers to arrive at an estimate.

Estimators look at materials, labor, and potential supply chain delays. They’ll compile a cost analysis and share it with the client. This, in turn, will help the client figure out how to move forward and trim costs.

7. Pipefitter

All of those HVAC systems need pipes to regulate temperatures and cool down hot water. The people who create and maintain those pipes are known as pipefitters.

Pipefitters, also known as steamfitters, typically work with processes like welding. They can shape and fit metal pipes to specified needs.

A pipefitter will work with stainless steel and carbon. And they’ll be skilled at techniques such as soldering, threading, and rigging. In other words, pipefitters can manipulate durable metals to create interlocking piping systems.

From there, a pipefitter will install and maintain the pipes, as well. They’ll also test the installation to ensure there are no leaks or pressure issues. You’ll need vocational training or training through an employer to become a pipefitter.

8. Wind Turbine Technician

If you’ve ever driven past farmland, you may have seen wind turbines sprouting from the fields. These mammoth devices help generate wind energy. If you love the thought of supporting greener forms of energy, you may want to become a wind turbine technician.

As a technician, you will need to inspect and install towers. You’ll evaluate the hydraulic and electrical systems to ensure that the wind turbines are working properly. Just be aware that you may need to climb the towers, too — so you shouldn’t be afraid of heights!

Pursue the Best HVAC Careers

Looking into HVAC careers can be the boost that your pathway in life needs. Expect to be in-demand and well paid as an electrician, plumber, or HVAC technician. And consider other booming positions, such as an estimator, pipefitter, or thermal engineer.

If you need more advice to smooth out your career path, check back for new articles!

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About the Author: Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she's a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.