Pros and Cons of Working as an HVAC Technician

Air conditioning, heating and refrigeration are components of our homes and other buildings that we don’t think much about—that is, unless something goes wrong. When mishaps occur, we rely on a special group of skilled trade professionals to restore these systems to working order. Who are they, you ask? HVAC technicians.

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) technicians spend their workdays installing, maintaining and repairing various indoor climate control systems that we often take for granted. If not for these dedicated professionals, these life-improving conventions would not be as common as they have become.

You will see HVAC technicians working in a variety of settings, from schools to factories to, yes, residential buildings. They play a vital role in the construction of any building that is going to include HVAC systems because they handle the installation. The systems installed in a building dictate what it can be used for. 

The duties HVAC technicians perform are important because help maximizes efficiency of HVAC equipment, which ensures the optimal function of such systems throughout their respective buildings.

If you want to become an HVAC technician, typically you will want to enroll in and complete an HVAC training program at a community college or vocational school. The good thing is that you will have no problem finding such a program since they are growing in number to meet the increasing demand for experienced HVAC professionals.

HVAC training programs tend to last anywhere from six to 24 months to finish, though it depends on the program.

As a student in an HVAC training program, you will learn the basics of the HVAC trade that will prove invaluable during your apprenticeship. Following the completion of a program, you will receive further training on the job. There are aspects of the work you simply need to learn on the job.  

With some basic information about the occupation out of the way, we shall now dive into some pros and cons of choosing the HVAC technician career path.

PRO: HVAC Has Great Job Outlook and Compensation

It is certainly no secret that people will be using refrigerators, heating systems, and air conditioners into the foreseeable future. Because of this fact, the employment prospects of HVAC technicians are expected to burn brightly for quite some time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC technician employment is expected to increase by 15 percent through 2026. 

The continuing growth of construction, both commercial and residential, is a factor in the projected growth, in addition to the increasing prevalence of service contracts. These contracts help stabilize the workload and income for technicians year-round by scheduling maintenance appointments.  

To complement the anticipated job growth in the field, HVAC technicians also receive higher salaries compared to those of workers in many other occupations across America. Per BLS data, the median salary of HVAC technicians as of May 2016 was $45,910. The highest 10 percent of earners in the HVAC field earned upwards of $73,000.

The BLS notes that the job prospects for aspiring HVAC technicians who finished an educational training program were more promising than those of their peers who did not complete such a program. The point is that if you wish to succeed in your career as an HVAC technician, a training program will help provide the base on which you can build your rewarding career.

PRO: HVAC – Work and Live Almost Anywhere

Keeping in mind that heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration are utilities most of us use on a daily basis, the number of these systems in the United States is massive. To keep all of these systems up and running, HVAC technicians and the services they render are needed across the country.

Paired with the growing demand, the commonness of HVAC systems will allow you to work and live practically anywhere you want to. With this abundance of geographic options to choose from, it is worth noting that California, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Illinois have been dubbed the five best states for HVAC technicians to work in.

PRO: With HVAC – Get Paid While You Learn the Job

As we mentioned in the opening section, if you choose to become an HVAC technician you will receive extensive training on the job as an entry-level employee following the completion of your training program. During this time, you will earn approximately half of the salary that your fully trained journeyman counterparts do.

The great part about it, however, is that you will typically receive pay raises as you master more and more skills of the job. The experienced professionals from whom you learn will transform you from a novice who is right out of a training program into a full-fledged HVAC technician with a wealth of practical knowledge.

PRO: HVAC Makes a Difference in the Environment and in the Lives of Customers

Many of the jobs HVAC technicians do are aimed at improving the efficiency of HVAC systems and reducing the negative effects their operations have on the environment. HVAC technicians execute a variety of tasks to meet these environmentally friendly ends, including:

  • Swapping out old filters for new ones
  • Installing dehumidifiers where they are needed
  • Installing thermostats that help save energy and money
  • Installing heat pumps to help reduce carbon emissions

Properly functioning HVAC systems not only reduce environmental impact, they also help save consumers money and provide them with optimal comfort in their homes and work settings. This improves their quality of life, which is invaluable.   

CON: HVAC Occasionally Has Long Hours

As with many other workers, HVAC technicians have times of the year that are busier than others. HVAC technicians commonly work heavy amounts of overtime during peak heating and cooling seasons. 

Logging long work hours is undoubtedly strenuous for HVAC technicians and their bodies, though it is not without benefit, as they are compensated accordingly to reward their hard work. Think of it as a double-edged sword.

CON: HVAC Has Occupational Safety Hazards

Working as an HVAC technician does involve some risk of bodily harm. HVAC technicians suffer more on-the-job injuries than workers in many other professions because they are often working with heavy equipment, extreme heat and/or cold, not to mention they are subjected to hazardous materials from time to time.

HVAC technicians can achieve an excess of different certifications signifying competence in working with different machinery. That definitely helps cut down on injuries. Those who work with refrigerants are required to pass a test given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Certifications help make HVAC work environments safer, but they don’t eliminate workplace mishaps completely, so just be aware of this when considering a career as an HVAC technician.

Now that we have laid out some of the pros and cons of the profession, all you need is a place to start your education and your career.

Start Your HVAC Career the Right Way at Coyne Collge

Coyne College is one of the best-skilled trade schools in Chicago and surrounding area Coyne is proud to maintain this status by thoroughly training aspiring HVAC-R technicians in its diploma program in the skilled trade.

Coyne College offers its HVAC-R program during the day and at night to accommodate your busy schedule. The program can be completed in as few as 42 weeks and is offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison.

Coyne College’s HVAC-R program will prepare you to perform the essential functions of an HVAC-R technician, such as installing, maintaining and repairing HVAC-R systems in a multitude of settings.

In Coyne College’s HVAC-R program, you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the HVAC-R profession. Some of the required courses in the program’s curriculum include:

  • Gas Heating
  • Commercial Controls and Applications
  • Troubleshooting Systems and Installation
  • Air Conditioning, Electric Heat and Heat Pumps
  • And More!

In the program, you will become well experienced in the intricacies of HVAC-R by learning from experienced instructors who have significant experience in the field. At the end of the HVAC-R program, you will be ready to enter the workforce as an HVAC-R technician.

With 118 years of experience in helping aspiring skilled trade professionals become competent members of the labor force, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students gain employment at the conclusion of their training programs. 

Coyne College also offers its students career assistance, including mock interviews, externships and resume help. These resources can help students secure apprenticeships after completing the program.

At Coyne College, you’ll receive a well-rounded education that will serve as the foundation of your skilled trade career. What are you waiting for? Schedule a tour or start your HVAC career today by visiting