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 2017) projected a 15 percent growth rate in HVAC job openings nationwide between 2016 and 2026, more than 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 (2017) reported an anticipated 13.6 percent increase in job openings in this field within the state. With the predicted addition of 685 fresh HVAC positions in AL and 48,800 openings nationwide, there is ample evidence that this is a promising profession in AL and across the country.
There are several reasons for the healthy employment outlook in HVAC. First, HVAC systems typically have a 10 to 15 year lifespan, 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 (2017) notes that 64 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 air conditioning services peaks.
It is 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, and handling refrigerants, all work-related activities that come with risks. 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 (Sept. 2018) had 340 HVAC job openings in AL, including opportunities at the University of Mobile, Springhill College, and Rheem Manufacturing Company, among others. Monster (Sept. 2018) had an additional 21 positions at organizations such as Advantage Resourcing and the City of Huntsville.