Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Oregon
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2017), the career outlook is particularly bright for HVAC workers. In fact, the BLS projected a 15 percent growth rate in HVAC openings nationwide between 2016 and 2026, 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 (2017) reported that during that same decade, there will be a 19.9 percent increase in OR HVAC positions. With the expected addition of 340 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 not only for climate control but also safe medicine and food storage. 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 (2017) found that roughly one in ten HVAC mechanics and installers were self-employed, and 64 percent were working in the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors industry.
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 (Nov. 2018) had 290 HVAC openings in OR, including opportunities at Day Heating Company, Retronix Semiconductor, Siemens, the State of Oregon, and Oregon Health & Science University. Monster (Nov. 2018) boasted an additional 22 positions with employers such as the City of Eugene, Tradesmen International, Inc., Innovative Air, Inc., and Pyramid Heating & Cooling.