Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) contractors looking for plentiful job opportunities, high salaries, available training and large numbers of service calls should head for the Golden Coast or the Buckeye State, according to a list of top states to work in HVACR complied by Emerson Climate Technologies, a business segment of Emerson.
One of the key challenges facing the HVACR industry is a shortage of qualified technicians. Emerson created the list after talking to contractors and HVACR students and instructors about what motivates young people to pursue careers in this industry. According to the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), an estimated additional 57,000 skilled workers are needed each year to work in the HVACR industry.
“I've talked to contractors from all 50 states during my career at Emerson and I have found a lot of pride in the work, whether they’re keeping up with the demand for residential air conditioning in the southwest or working to keep food safe in northeast population centers,” said Bob Labbett, Vice President, Marketing, Distribution Services, Emerson Climate Technologies. “This list is an interesting way to draw attention to the important issue facing our industry—recruiting talented people from across the country to take the place of an aging workforce.”
Emerson’s top 10 ranking draws on HVACR salary and employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor; trade school locations recognized by the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation; heating and cooling degree days calculated at DegreeDays.net; residential home values from the U.S. Census, and certified contractors by state from North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Emerson also draws upon its own data to look at wholesaler locations and commercial service volumes from its ProAct™ Service Center.
Emerson Climate Technologies Top 10 States to Work in HVACR
“Illinois is a great state to work in the HVACR trade. Commercial refrigeration service is in high demand due to all the businesses related to food service and the restaurants in the Chicago area. We stay busy year round thanks to Chicago's extreme weather conditions,” said Mitch Byrne of Northeast Cooling, LLC.
“Working in the trade is an adventure every day. We may start off the day working in a max security prison and then end up working on a cruise ship docked at Navy Pier! You never know what the day will bring when working the trade in Illinois and that's what keeps it interesting," Byrne said.
Top States Boast Salaries, Training, Sunny Days
#1 - California tops the list with more than 2,000 NATE certified technicians, many cooling degree days to drive air conditioning and refrigeration demand, high employment (more than 16,000 HVACR techs, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor) and some of the highest wages in the country.
#2 - Ohio comes in second with fewer sunny days but many more opportunities for training, with the most accredited HVACR schools in the country. The state is also in the top ten in the country for number of wholesaler locations.
#3 - Florida also offers many HVACR employment opportunities but much lower wages than California. The state boasts a high number of cooling degree days but was edged out by Ohio’s better training environment.
#4 - Texas ranks similar to Florida in many areas; both are in the top ten states for residential air conditioning sales. However, Texas does not have as much commercial service volume, according to Emerson.
#5 - Illinois does not employ as many techs, although they are paid better than techs in the three states above. The state offers more wholesaler locations than Ohio and more commercial business than Texas.
In rounding out the Top 10, the next states fall behind in employment, training schools and cooling degree days, while offering high numbers of certified technicians, large numbers of wholesaler locations and valuable commercial service opportunities.
Top 20 Standouts
Tennessee is among the top ten states for air conditioning sales but falls behind in economic indicators like home values and wages.
Oklahoma has the second most trade schools, seven, but technician employment below the states making up the top 10.
What Indiana lacks in accredited schools (it has none), it makes up for in NATE certified technicians, ranking 10th in the country.
To learn more about Emerson Climate Technologies "Top 10 States to Work in HVACR," visit the company’s blog, Emerson Climate Conversations.