What Can You Expect from a Career As an HVAC Service Technician or Lead Installer?
In October of 2013, the U.S. Government completely shut down for 15 days. These are the people who are supposed to be running the country… taking 15 days off work. At the same time.
Could you imagine what would happen in America if the skilled trades industry closed up shop for that long? If your air conditioning stopped working during a hot day, you’d be miserable. If your toilet backed up, you’d be digging a hole in the backyard. Your trash would sit on the curb. You would have no gas for your car. You certainly wouldn’t want to step into an elevator: if it suddenly stopped working between the 8th and 9th floors, you’d better hope someone packed some tools because the skilled professionals who would normally get you out of that jam would be sitting at home eating chips, watching the TV.
Did you even notice that the government shut down for those 15 days?
Skilled trades run this country. Without a doubt.
As an HVAC technician, you get to leave your home every day and make people’s lives more comfortable. You know that when you start your van in the morning and pull out of your driveway that the work you do that day is going to solve a problem and improve someone’s life.
Will it make you famous? Yes. Yes, it will. We have technicians that have their pictures on billboards, they are in commercials, on YouTube videos, and have their smiling faces printed on flyers distributed across the Triangle. We also have a few technicians who have achieved rock star status among their clients. Their clients ask for them, and only them, season after season.
Doing good work, helping others, and making enough money to support your family are key elements to living a good life.
There are not many professions in the Triangle where 400+ companies are looking to fill positions at any given time. As long as you have the skill-set, certification, and a good working reputation, you can walk into just about any HVAC company and find a position to fill. Service Technicians, Maintenance Technicians, and Lead Installers are in very high demand.
What happens when it’s time to move on from service or installation? The industry has many other supporting positions available when you reach the point where you are not able to, or choose not to, work in the field. There are positions in dispatch, administration, accounting, warehouse, marketing, training, and management.
Find where your strengths are and work to pursue the position that will make you happy.
Average annual salaries in the Raleigh area according to Indeed.com in May 2015:
- Bank Teller — $20,000.00
- Office Administrator — $22,000.00
- Insurance Sales — $26,000.00
- Restaurant Manager — $42,000.00
- Computer Programmer — $50,000.00
- Stock Broker — $51,000.00
- Residential HVAC Service Technician — $54,000.00
We’re taught in school to graduate high school and pursue a 4-year degree, followed by graduate school and then—if you’re lucky—an entry-level position at a corporate job that will provide enough money to eke out a living while paying off your student loans for the next decade.
- The cost for an average 4-year degree: $85,000.00
- The cost for an average HVAC Associates Degree: $5,900.00
- The average cost for HVAC certification (which will allow you to get an entry-level job as an HVAC Maintenance Technician or Installer): $1,500.00.
With a certification, you can also work part-time while pursuing an advanced degree.
This path is not for everyone. If you like to spend time outdoors, are good with your hands, and have ever wrapped a cape around your shoulders with a fantasy to save the world, an HVAC career may be for you.
Thankfully, we live during a time and work in a city where we don’t have to live with our career choices forever. In May 2015, Glassdoor.com ranked Raleigh #1 Best City for Jobs. Absolute limits in this life are rare, if you decide that what you are doing today is not the right career path, there are many opportunities available in our area to change onto a different path.
In our opinion, it’s better to try this career path first, with a minimal education expense, than to spend over $120,000.00 on an MBA and decide that is not your heart’s desire.
Check with your local community college for more information to start your career in the HVAC industry. Do you have your certification or degree and ready to join our team at Raleigh Heating & Air? Simply go to our careers page and apply online.