Demand for HVAC Technicians in Alabama
HVAC is a high-growth and relatively lucrative industry, especially for an occupation requiring only one to two years of postsecondary training. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Dec. 2015) projected a 14 percent explosion in HVAC job openings nationwide between 2014 and 2024, double the average growth (7 percent) expected across all occupations during that time period. This rate is roughly the same for AL HVAC opportunities, as Projections Central (Dec. 2016) reported an anticipated 13.3 percent increase in job openings in this field within the state. With the predicted addition of 670 fresh HVAC positions in AL and 39,600 openings nationwide, there’s ample evidence that this is a promising profession in AL and elsewhere.
There are several reasons for the healthy employment outlook in HVAC. First, HVAC systems typically have a 10 to 15 year lifetime, after which they need to be replaced. Second, with the rise of manufacturer warranties and regular service contracts, these workers are generally guaranteed work throughout the year, even during the low seasons. Third, the growing interest in energy efficiency and evolving legislation contributes to a trend in retrofitting or upgrading old systems to be in compliance with new standards. Lastly, almost all new structures across the US have climate control systems, and as a result, areas of high construction generally have a high demand in this field, particularly for installation specialists.
The BLS (Dec. 2015) notes that 63 percent of HVAC workers around the country were employed in plumbing, heating, and A/C contractors organizations. Also, while some HVAC mechanics and installers work regular business hours, others may be called upon to work evenings, weekends, or holidays during the high summer season in the Yellowhammer State, when demand for A/C services peaks.
It’s important to point out that people the HVAC field incur a relatively high rate of injury and illness compared to other occupations. This is due to the physical nature of the work, which often requires the lifting of heavy objects, dealing with electrical wiring, soldering parts, or handling refrigerants, to name four risky work-related activities. The threat of muscle tears, electrical shocks, or chemical burns can generally be kept to a minimum with the use of safety equipment and rigorous training standards.
Finally, as evidence of a thriving HVAC industry in Alabama, one need not look further than common job posting websites. For example, Indeed (Dec. 2016) had 453 HVAC job openings in AL, including opportunities at the University of Alabama—Birmingham, Kemco Facilities Services, Myers Comfort Specialists, MAA, Johnson Controls, Team Bob’s Heating, Sealy Management Company Inc., Lennox International, Medxcel Facilities Management, H & M Mechanical Inc., Western Sales & Service Inc., Burger King, Meyers Comfort Specialists, Perfect Service Heating & Air, MinitMan, Premier Service Company, and Calhoun Community College, among others. Monster (Dec. 2016) had an additional 25 positions at facilities such as Southeast Alabama Medical Center, BCH Mechanical Inc., Lyons HR, Randstad, Burch Corporation, Algeco Scotsman, and Diversicare Healthcare Services & Therapy Services.