HVAC: A Fast Growing Career Opportunity

 After a recent successful post on LinkedIn, where I was promoting the hiring of apprentices from our Vocational Schools, I decided to do a bit of research that should not be too surprising to those of us within the HVAC and Plumbing industries.  If you are in fact looking to make a career change or commitment this year - please read below and consider a fast growing, high reward job in the trades!

   The recent press, pioneered by efforts like Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) and most recently in partnership with popular publicly broadcasted 'This Old House', has identified a real issue in the United States with something called a "Skills Gap".  This is primarily the result of the push for our sons and daughters to go to college, and in a way steering them toward a more white collar job.  Whether subconscious or not, this has resulted in a real crisis for most of the building trades, not to mention student debt, etc..  There is a real scarcity mindset in both the HVAC and Plumbing trades, consistent with Electricians, Carpenters, and Welders, that there are more skilled workers leaving the trades than coming in.  This should serve notice as an opportunity! 

  • The most recent data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) plans 15% growth in HVAC by 2026 (additional 49,100 jobs!). 
  • These are not minimum wage jobs either, ranging from $13.67 - $35.26 per hour.  As a rule, the BLS estimates apprentices make approximately half of the wages as the experienced workers. 
  • Don't think you will be carrying tools or crawling through hot attics your entire career, although this may be your way 'in'...there were 332,900 jobs in HVAC for 2016, per BLS. 
  • What is interesting is that the BLS does not take into account posted job openings, even when considering growth.  In a labor analysis report by HVAC/R Workforce Development Foundation, titled Heating up: The Sweltering Demand for Heating, Ventilation, Air Con..., in 2012 there was an estimated 220,734 HVAC job openings!

  I attempted more than once to steer from the HVAC industry, which I owe for so many great things in my life.  I reluctantly (forced by my parents) attended Minuteman Regional Vocational High School (Lexington, MA), which I hear is closing the doors on their HVAC Program next year, blaming low interest and enrollment.  Th entire time I planned to go to college, which there was no way we could afford, so I entered the Marines to pay for college - only to have them make me a Refrigeration Mechanic (needs of the Corps!).  I did eventually attend 7 years of night school to earn my Bachelor's of Science in Business Management, working as a Service Tech and Service Manager during the days.  In case you didn't know, the GI Bill doesn't cover all of your education costs, so unless you saved well you will likely need to work after your enlistment too!  After reaching what felt like my finish line, I realized I still had so much more to learn and embraced the HVAC trade.  I later became a Technical Trainer for a Utility Program Implementer, before landing in my latest HVAC industry career stop as an Area Sales Manager for a leading Manufacturer.

 

  I mention my stints in HVAC over the last 20 years not to brag, but instead to show that if you are not comfortable with your current job or apprenticeship role, there is so much more available and don't try to leave!  Whether you are starting as an installer or maintenance technician, working for one of our many distributors behind the counter or in Sales, or even larger commercial/industrial service; there are so many opportunities in HVAC!  I can only speak from personal experience, and hope this spurs a bit of interest.

 

  If you are a student thinking about entering HVAC, looking for your first or next job in the industry, or a Contractor that wants to help our industry grow along with your business, look to get involved locally.  Look for local organizations and events in your state that promote growth and can help at every level.  As an example, I serve on the Board of Directors for ACA New England.  We are hosting a Career Fair in Marlborough, MA on April 24, 2018 (Save the Date!). 

 

  I recently attended an event at ABCO in Somerville, MA that spurred this blog and conversation on LinkedIn. There I saw (350+) students from MA Vocational HVAC Programs.  If you are looking for entry level apprentices, despite the scarcity mindset, there appears to be the next generation being trained and looking for employment.  What was interesting over the last (8) years or so attending this event, the numbers are on the rise and more women every year!  If there ever was an opportunity for women in the trades, HVAC is in dire need...

Let's continue the conversation! If you are a student, tell us what you are expecting coming into the trade.  If you are a contractor, what qualities are you looking for in an apprentice?  Distributor or Manufacturer, what skills are needed to succeed?  Do you not want your children to continue the family business in HVAC - why? 

Views: 363

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros Forum to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Comment by Lucyna de Barbaro on January 2, 2018 at 8:35am

Hi Chris,

I would be interested to hear from you if/to what extent HVAC trades people are trained and embrace the need for energy efficiency in homes... I think quite a lot depends on their work,

Thanks,

Lucyna

Forum Discussions

Mini split installation location

Started by Jan Green in HVAC. Last reply by Franco Oyuela yesterday. 5 Replies

Think of the house as a really big duct

Started by Frank Spevak in HVAC. Last reply by John White yesterday. 2 Replies

Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans

Started by Beverly Lerch in General Forum. Last reply by Beverly Lerch on Thursday. 13 Replies

Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom

Started by Jerry Needham in General Forum. Last reply by John Nicholas on Thursday. 10 Replies

What's the Most Profitable HVAC Job for Your Company?

Started by Wayne Melancon in HVAC. Last reply by Franco Oyuela on Tuesday. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

Franco Oyuela commented on David Byrnes's video
Thumbnail

Why One Room Is Hotter Than Others

"If the temperature difference between your bedroom and your living room feels like walking from a…"
yesterday
Franco Oyuela replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"First: Mini split are a great option. Second:vI agree with David that installing on the south…"
yesterday
Pearl Home Certification's blog post was featured
yesterday
John White replied to Frank Spevak's discussion Think of the house as a really big duct
"Thanks for sharing this helpful information. Want to read more on duct cleaning pros and cons.…"
yesterday
Jan Green replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"Thank you, thank you!  I appreciate your insights.  I agree with the idea that installing…"
Thursday
David Butler replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"Hi Jan, in a room like that with a relatively balanced aspect ratio, flat ceiling and not much…"
Thursday
Rick Blair joined Kyle Brown's group
Thumbnail

Wrightsoft - Manual J / Manual D

If you use Wrightsoft to calculate loads or design ducts, you likely have questions.  Get answers…See More
Thursday
Jan Green replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"This is a very rough diagram of the detached casita.  There are currently no windows in this…"
Thursday
Sean Wiens liked Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
Thursday
Andrea Simmonsen liked David Byrnes's video
Thursday
Beverly Lerch replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Thanks.  A very reasonable, practical answer.  We have done our experimenting and ceiling…"
Thursday
Pearl Home Certification posted a blog post
Thursday
John Nicholas replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
"Jerry, ;Have you opened the cathedral ceiling?  "
Thursday
Blake Reid replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Good opinions in these replies!  I'll just add a few: * Experiment.  It's your…"
Wednesday
John White replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
"Condensation on ceiling occurs when the attic space above is poorly ventilated or insulated. The…"
Wednesday
Joshua P Murphy is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
Tuesday
Franco Oyuela replied to Frank Spevak's discussion Think of the house as a really big duct
"THANKS for the information. Ducted mini splits offer hidden benefits."
Tuesday
Franco Oyuela replied to Wayne Melancon's discussion What's the Most Profitable HVAC Job for Your Company?
"Get into commercial, it's more money!"
Tuesday
David Byrnes's video was featured

Why One Room Is Hotter Than Others

Ever wonder if your air conditioner is working right because one room never gets a cool or warm as others? Do you need a bigger air conditioner to fix a room...
Tuesday
Profile IconEric MacCallum, Adam Morgan and Caolan Hutchens joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Monday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service