If you’re looking for a solid, well-paying career path in Salem that will always keep you in demand, you should definitely consider becoming an HVAC technician.
The work is fascinating, the prospects are excellent, and there are great companies like 128 Plumbing that will give you plenty of opportunities in towns like Salem once you get hired, so let’s look at the training that’s involved and some of the services you’ll be providing.
The acronym stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, so obviously, there’s plenty to learn. We’ll start with the education you’ll need, then move on to cover the training.
One of the great things about becoming an HVAC tech is that you don’t need a college degree, which means huge education bills won’t be a problem.
The requirements are both simple and basic, actually. You’ll need a high school degree, of course, but if you don’t have that you can get by with a GED equivalence, which can be earned in most states for under $200.
The HVAC training is both straightforward and self-contained. You can enter an HVAC program that will train you with a certificate or a diploma in as little as six months, and with a cost as low as $1200.
If you’ve got the time and the money and you want to start a little further up the ladder, you can get an associate degree. These typically take two years to finish at an average starting cost of about $7,500, and you can even get a bachelor’s degree in HVAC if you’re so inclined, although bachelor’s programs are rare and much more expensive.
So what will you be learning?
Typically, you’ll study residential systems and the HVAC controls that regulate them, including voltage, airflow, air quality and resistance. You’ll also have to bone up on how to use a variety of specialized tools, some of which are more sophisticated than you’d think.
The HVAC Apprenticeship
If you go by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an HVAC apprenticeship program typically takes 3-5 years to complete.
You can shorten that period by taking more courses or doing longer training at the vocational school level, but you’ll still need plenty of on-the-job training.
How do you get into an apprenticeship program?
The typical path is through contractor associations or local unions, and in many cases, you can earn a stipend while you’re training.
The hands-on training will include things like reading blueprints, more work with specific tools, and how to follow specific safety and code requirements when you’re on the job.
Once you get trained and complete your apprenticeship, the next step is certification. Certificates are offered by community colleges, tech schools and trade schools, with the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certificate being the most common national source.
To bump up your pay and increase your knowledge level, you may want to continue your training. Many HVAC techs do specialized study in systems like commercial furnaces, residential boilers, unit ventilators, and so on, and this kind of study usually gets you another certificate to add to your qualifications.
What Services Do HVAC Techs Perform?
If you’re looking for variety, you’re in the right profession. In addition to ordinary service calls to maintain or fix an HVAC system, you may be required to handle electrical issues, work with heat pumps or refrigeration units, analyze the energy efficiency of an HVAC system, and so on.
Depending on your level of expertise and the choices you make when it comes to specialization, these jobs can take place in either a residential or a commercial setting, so there’s plenty of variety in the setting as well.
When it comes to pay, you can do surprisingly well as an HVAC specialist. The average annual salary is approximately $50K, but the growth paths are surprising, to say the least.
If you choose to become a thermal engineer, for instance, your salary range will go up to $94-130K per year, ballpark. Project managers make nearly as much money, and CFD engineers handle complex computer-controlled fluid dynamic systems that come with a nearly six-figure income as well.
As you can probably guess from all that variety, the HVAC field is experiencing explosive growth right now. The number of jobs is expected to grow by 15 percent by 2026, according to the BLS, so you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to potential opportunities, especially as the post-pandemic economic recovery continues to solidify.
Consider 128 Plumbing
To get the most out of your education and expertise, though, you’ll want to consider working with the best companies out there—and that means you need to take a close look at 128 Plumbing.
Why 128 Plumbing?
Because 128 Plumbing offers an outstanding salary, great benefits and a supportive, inclusive work environment.
In addition, if you’re looking to branch out into electrical work or take on jobs that involve some level of plumbing expertise, you’ll have the resources and qualified professionals on hand to get you whatever training you need.
To get access to those opportunities, though, you need to take action, so if you’re looking for HVAC jobs in the Salem area, fill out an application and get the hiring process started.