Demand for HVAC Workers in AR
As mentioned above, there is excellent news for people looking to enter the HVAC field: it is high-growth and relatively lucrative. By illustration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2017) predicted a 15 percent explosion in HVAC openings across the country between 2016 and 2026, more than double the average growth projected across all occupations during that time period (7 percent). With the expected addition of 48,800 fresh openings nationwide, skilled HVAC professionals are likely to have plenty of opportunities in the coming decade and beyond. In AR, there is evidence that the prospects are even brighter. Projections Central (2017) reported that there would be a 17.7 percent increase in HVAC openings in AR (560 additional jobs) in the coming decade, slightly higher than the national figures.
There are varied forces contributing to this booming employment climate. First, a majority of structures have climate control systems, particularly in areas with seasonal temperature extremes — and the hot, humid summers in Arkansas would certainly qualify. Second, HVAC systems generally need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. Also, with the rise of manufacturer warranties and service contracts, people in this industry may expect regular work throughout the year.
HVAC professionals sometimes work normal business hours, although others may be called upon to work weekends, holidays, or evenings according to the needs of their customers, especially during the high summer season.
Underscoring the healthy demand for HVAC services in AR is the flurry of openings across common job post websites. For example, Indeed (Sept. 2018) had 162 relevant HVAC postings in the state at places such as Baptist Health, Bennett’s Commercial Refrigeration, and Ingersoll Rand. Monster (Sept. 2018) had additional job posts for North Little Rock School District, Bud Anderson Heating & Cooling, and Glen Mechanical, among others.
While the future looks bright in this field, it is important to note that HVAC workers suffer a higher-than-average rate of injury compared to other American occupations. Since these professionals lift heavy equipment, they are at an increased risk for muscle strains and tears; additionally, refrigerants and other chemicals can expose people to burns, and electric systems may deliver shocks. If HVAC workers don the proper safety equipment and are trained adequately in proper procedures, these issues can generally be kept to a minimum.