Is HVAC a good career? Absolutely. Jobs in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry are expected to grow by 14% nationwide through 2024—twice the average of all jobs combined. Since heaters, air conditioners, and other HVAC equipment are installed, maintained, and repaired on-site, these jobs are unlikely to ever be outsourced. The HVAC career outlook, however, is better in some states than others. When it comes to a great place for an HVAC mechanic to live and work, Washington is hard to beat.
The Evergreen State Is One of the Best to Earn a Living
Where you live can impact your opportunities for career advancement and achieving major goals like buying a home and starting a family. After evaluating factors like average wages, state tax rates, cost of living, unemployment rate, and workplace safety, MoneyRates ranked Washington the second best place to earn a living in 2015; the state was first place the year before. Income and taxes were two factors that influenced Washington’s rating: not only do workers there enjoy one of the highest average wages in the nation, but they’re also able to save more of their paychecks because there is no state income tax. Several sectors are projected to experience high employment growth in the coming years, including HVAC/R. The HVAC and Boilermaker trade is expected to face a shortage of technicians with the skills to work on eco-friendly equipment.
HVAC Mechanics Make More in Washington
HVAC mechanics enjoy higher salaries in Washington than those with HVAC training in other states; the national average salary for these professionals is $46,880, but in Washington they pull in $55,770. Three of the top ten metropolitan areas with the highest compensation for HVAC technicians are located in the Evergreen state: Tacoma with a mean annual wage of $64,840 the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett region at $63,260, and the Bremerton-Silverdale area at $61,660. Demand can influence the salaries of a particular sector, and in Washington it surpasses the national average, with 1.4 HVAC/R technicians per every 1,000 jobs.
Major Industries that Employ HVAC Mechanics
Washington is home to some big brands, such as Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing. With technology enterprises composing 21% of public companies, Bloomberg recently deemed Washington the most innovative state. Individuals with HVAC training, however, supply their trade in a variety of thriving industries.
Washingtonians enjoy excellent living and working conditions. Perhaps this is why so many people have moved there in recent years. The state recently experienced the largest spike in population growth since 2008. Through 2020, the population is predicted to increase at a rate of about 80,000 people per year. These residents will need houses and buildings to live and work in—and that’s where construction comes into the picture. It’s no wonder then that 61% of HVAC/R positions are in the construction field.
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Technology and Aerospace Manufacturing:
Two sectors that play a significant role in Washington’s economy, technology and aerospace manufacturing require specialized HVAC/R services. HVAC/R mechanics ensure the equipment in the data centers and aerospace plants is kept at specific temperatures. Fact: The world’s largest building, Boeing’s final assembly plant, is located in Everett.
More than half of the apples consumed throughout the country come from Washington, and agriculture accounts for 11% percent of the state’s economy. Men and women with HVAC training make sure these fragile, valuable commodities reach Americans year-round. Fact: even though apples turn ripe in the fall, they may stay in cold storage for up to a year before reaching your kitchen.
The Evergreen State leads the nation in conservation and modernization initiatives. Since HVAC equipment can account for about 48% of a family’s utility bill, efforts have been made in recent years, such as the Energy Star program, to make it more efficient. Consequently, HVAC is considered a green career choice and represents 3% of all green jobs in the state.
How to Start a Career in HVAC
Are you sold on pursuing a career in HVAC in Washington but wondering where to start? While the state only requires a general electrician license to work in the field, pursuing specialized instruction through an accredited HVAC and refrigeration school can equip you with the skills to work on sophisticated equipment. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employers struggle to find technicians with the skills to work on complex new systems 1, so they prefer to hire those with HVAC training.
You can complete HVAC training in 6 months, enter the field, and start earning. It’s a career path with plenty of room for advancement. Whether you seek additional certifications or decide to go back to school to become an HVAC Engineer, you’ll find numerous career opportunities in the field of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration—especially in Washington.
To get started on this exciting career path, contact The Refrigeration School today to learn more about their HVAC training programs. RSI has been training individuals to become HVAC/R technicians for over five decades and can ensure you’re prepared to successfully enter this growing field.