Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Oregon
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Dec. 2015), the career outlook is particularly bright for HVAC workers. In fact, the BLS projected a 14 percent explosion in HVAC openings nationwide between 2014 and 2024, significantly higher than the 7 percent average growth anticipated across all American occupations during that time period. And there’s evidence that the prospects are slightly better for HVAC openings in Oregon. Projections Central (Dec. 2016) reported that during that same decade, there will be a 16.3 percent increase in OR HVAC positions. With the expected addition of 490 fresh opportunities in the state, HVAC workers should have a wealth of jobs to choose from across the state.
So why is the HVAC industry booming in Oregon and beyond? There are many reasons for the high growth in this field. First, HVAC systems generally need to replaced every 10 to 15 years and require regular maintenance—typically stipulated through service contracts—which keeps work steady throughout the year. Second, a majority of all modern structures have climate control systems. Third, many older buildings require upgrades or the retrofitting of old HVAC systems. Fourth, there are many other industries which rely on HVAC systems, including medicine and food storage, and they too depend on the availability of these skilled professionals. And lastly, the legislation surrounding climate control systems is continually evolving, and within certain jurisdictions, homeowners and commercial property managers need to ensure that they’re in compliance with all local ordinances, not to mention enjoying the most cost-effective and energy-efficient systems available.
Some HVAC workers in Oregon work typical business hours, while others may be called upon to service equipment on evenings, weekends, or holidays, especially during seasonal temperature extremes. The BLS (Dec. 2015) found that roughly one in ten HVAC mechanics and installers were self-employed, and 63 percent were working in the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors industry.
It’s worthy of note that HVAC professionals suffer a higher-than-average rate of injury and illness compared to other US occupations. This is due to the physical nature of the work and equipment used as HVAC workers may lift heavy objects, deal with electrical wiring, or handle refrigerants, dangerous chemicals which can cause burns or frostbite. Also, since most systems have components outside or located in cramped, uncomfortable spaces, HVAC professionals may find themselves with muscle strains or aches. While there’s always a risk for these and other maladies, HVAC mechanics and installers can generally keep these problems to a minimum with proper training and safety equipment.
As proof of the booming employment climate in Oregon for HVAC workers, one need not look further than job post websites such as Indeed and Monster. As proof of point, Indeed (Dec. 2016) had an impressive 246 HVAC openings in OR, including opportunities at Jet Industries, Captive Aire Systems Inc., Air Tech HVAC/R Inc., Pace Heating & Air, Jahnke Heating & Air Conditioning, Innovative Air Inc., Air Tech HVAC/R Inc., Evergreen Gas Inc., Comfort Solutions Heating & Cooling Inc., Central Air Inc., Rogue Valley Heating & Air, General Parts LLC, North Clackamas School District, Ponderosa Heating & Cooling, Home Heating & Cooling, Ben’s Heating & A/C, and The Heating Specialist. Monster (Dec. 2016) boasted an additional 24 positions with employers such as Jones Lange Lasalle Inc., JLL, Centerra Group LLC, Tradesmen International Inc., Sears Holdings Corporation, Andersen Mechanical Inc., Aladdin Heating & Air Conditioning, Madden Industrial Craftsmen Inc., Innovative Air Inc., Marshall’s Inc., and Multnomah County.