We live in a time of significant disruption. Workers in many professions are wondering if their jobs will be automated, sent offshore, or simply eliminated. But not every profession is facing that sort of uncertainty. Skilled trades are not only secure, but some are also growing in demand. There is currently a high demand for HVAC technicians, and the need will continue to grow in the coming years.
In an economy where wages are trending down in many segments, HVAC technicians are still paid a respectable wage from the start. That wage can grow with experience with many seasoned techs making a very comfortable living. According to research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), the median annual salary for technicians is just over $45,000, with the top 10% of earners making an average of over $75,000.
Here are some of the reasons HVAC technicians continue to be in high demand.
1. The Advancement of HVAC Technology
The improvement of HVAC technology means a greater need for trained professionals who can install, maintain, and repair complex systems. More and more homes and businesses continue to replace older systems with new, more efficient systems, and the rapid improvements in efficiency and convenience mean that upgrades are happening more frequently.
As systems are designed to save money and energy, they are also increasingly complex in their efforts to become smarter and more convenient. With more smart homes and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, there are more components to connect, program, and troubleshoot.
2. The Many Roles of HVAC Techs
HVAC techs continue to be in high demand due to the wide range of needed skills and responsibilities. What does an HVAC tech do? HVAC technicians handle a multitude of tasks related to heating, ventilation, and cooling systems in residences and commercial spaces.
Responsibilities include the installation of new systems, troubleshooting, repair, technical support, and system design. While brand-new technicians may begin by assisting with installations, seasoned techs may perform complex system troubleshooting and even oversee major commercial installations from initial planning to final testing.
3. A Growing Skills Gap
Another reason the future is bright for trained HVAC technicians is the growing skills gap in the industry. The number of long-tenured, veteran techs reaching retirement age is higher than ever. HVAC companies are having trouble replacing retiring HVAC technicians fast enough to the growing skills gap.
Even when they can be replaced, a skills-gap remains between the level of competency of those retiring and the brand-new techs entering the business. This means that employers will be looking for technicians with the best possible training and techs that are willing to quickly learn new skills.
4. Improvement in Training
While there are abundant opportunities for careers in the HVAC field, the best positions will be filled by technicians willing to invest in their own future. As HVAC owners and managers are struggling to deal with the skills-gap, they will be looking for techs who can quickly learn new skills and gain proficiency in the field.
Fortunately, technology now allows hands-on training in 3D and virtual reality. It wasn’t long ago that simulator programs, especially virtual reality simulators, were only available to the military, aviation, and medical fields.
Thanks to massive reductions in the cost of hardware, there are some fantastic HVAC simulators that are available to HVAC business of all sizes and even to individual technicians looking to get ahead.
This new technology can allow technicians to learn essential skills on their own time and at their own pace. With virtual reality HVAC training technicians can choose from courses designed by top industry professionals and available from entry level topics all the way up to advanced troubleshooting. Motivated technicians can take these courses anywhere and anytime on a PC, smartphone, or tablet.
A Bright Future
VR training for HVAC is a massive improvement over traditional classroom learning. That is because it is immersive, and this type of training has been proven to be significantly more effective in learning new skills.
Not only can techs learn faster and retain more, but they can also be immersed in VR based HVAC simulation to repeat everyday tasks over and over in a virtual field-like setting until they are absorbed into muscle memory.
VR training for HVAC technicians means that new, motivated technicians, can learn and master skills faster and help close the skills gap in their organization. Techs trained in with VR will be in even higher demand in the robust market now and in the future.
The future is bright for the HVAC industry and HVAC technicians. A rewarding profession, a stable income, and long-term job satisfaction are in store for those who choose this career.
Thanks to advances in VR technology, HVAC technicians who want to be a part of the creative ways to enrich their HVAC skills now have access to more immersive HVAC training than ever.
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