A full 70 percent of US Construction firms report difficulty in finding skilled workers. Wages for skilled laborers like plumbers, HVAC techs and electricians are on the rise, compared to stagnant wages in other sectors.
If you are looking for a route to success that could avoid four or more years in a college or university classroom, an HVAC career might be for you.
There is an estimated need for 115,000 more HVAC techs by 2022. Recruitment efforts for the workforce predict the shortage to continue through 2030.
Want to benefit from rising wages without a four-year college degree? Keep reading to learn more.
Is an HVAC Career For Me?
Let’s look at some of the reasons you should start looking at an HVAC career path. Start with your own sense of personal fulfillment and self-worth. Does this describe you?
I enjoy working with my hands. I like seeing things I built or fixed myself. I like to tinker and take things apart to see how they work and why. It makes me feel good to take something broken and fix it. I like helping people in need.
If this describes how you feel then office work may not be the right fit for you. You find satisfaction from doing something tangible and concrete. Doing, fixing and building are far more compelling for you than 8 hours with a Word Document.
Job satisfaction isn’t just about a paycheck (although that brings us to reason #2.) Job satisfaction is about fulfilling your own emotional needs for validation and belonging.
HVAC earn strong wages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, skilled HVAC technicians can make close to $30,000 immediately out of school and more as they become experienced.
Tuition for a 4-year degree from a public university in the US can top $10,000 a year. That’s right, more than $40,000 to get a degree. That doesn’t include room, board, books or fees. Private universities are much higher.
A trade school grad will find tuition averaging around $18,000 to $30,000 for their total program and will begin their new career in around one to two years, depending on the trade school you choose. For HVAC technicians, the program is under a year! For those students borrowing money to pay for their educational expenses, this is HUGE!
When you finish your education, there are opportunities available. Workers in the 45-54 age range (the next group to retire) currently make up approximately 32% of the skilled trades. This means that hundreds of thousands will potentially retire in the next 15 years. As it has been pointed out, HVAC technicians will have work as long as people like having buildings that need to be warm or cold.
Trades are difficult to outsource. Knowledge jobs continue to be moved overseas and manufacturing moves to wherever the labor is cheapest. But it is difficult to move trades, simply because they are attached to a building.
And, once things are already installed, you need a stable and reliable workforce located nearby. As an HVAC tech, your options are available to you throughout the country. If you become bored with one location, you can move to another place as you service different HVAC units!
Speaking of movement, there is always room for advancement. HVAC technicians can grow their knowledge and skills to enter into sales and marketing or customer service.
Mechanical experience can also translate to different kinds of machinery, too. Many HVAC techs cross-train to learn other systems and operations. Many HVAC technicians later become supervisors and managers and often will decide to run their own HVAC installation and technician companies.
You can see the potential. Not only do you have a chance to advance in your career, you have the opportunity to with those from affiliated trades as well. Solar, electrical, plumbing and contracting come to mind.
After you have than a moment to explore these reasons, you probably want to get started on your new career path.
Do Your Homework
Picking a trade school to boost your career requires some thought. Consider your personal needs and wants. Consider location and tour the labs. Explore your financial “big picture”. Getting through a four-year college might not be for you right now, but getting through trade school and then straight to work might be a better option.
Talk to graduates from trade schools. Talk to builders and find out where their HVAC tech comes from.
You can also find out how many students borrowed money to attend the school and how much they borrowed. Make sure your school has a low default rate. A high default rate means that students borrowed and did not pay back part of all of their loans when due. Federal law made collecting financial aid information mandatory.
Ready to Call?
Great! An HVAC career can be yours. In addition to some post-secondary education in the classroom, you will want hands-on experience. Unlike students entering four-year programs, you could be earning years before a graduate finishes his or her four-year degree.
Want to learn more?
Keep reading this blog, contact us via chat or call us today. An experienced admissions representative is standing by.