If you like figuring out and fixing things hands on, a career in HVAC will offer you the most blended mixture of all of the construction trades.
Even at an entry level there are jobs that require you to learn and practice all or most of the following:
- Sheet metal
- Gas piping
- Customer Service Skills
I’ve always believed that when choosing a career, you should select one that serves a popular and basic need. A career that serves a need will never go out of style and will offer job security even in the toughest of times. It would be hard to argue that the need for heating and air conditioning will ever go away when you think of Winnipeg temperature extremes that range from +30c to -40c.
Whether it be through an apprenticeship program or starting on the bottom rung of the ladder as a helper and earning your way through the ranks, the residential part of the trade is relatively easy to enter. That being said all areas of HVAC require a fair amount of dedication and smarts to be successful. The service and maintenance side of the industry typically provides a steadier workflow while the installation side can be affected both seasonally and with weather conditions.
Commercial HVAC describes the area of the business that serves warehouses, office buildings, factories, restaurants and more. These days being successful in the commercial part of the trade usually involves some level of higher education, years of experience and a completed apprenticeship program. Commercial development in Manitoba will typically pull from Winnipeg based establish
ed Contractors. This of course will lead to most entry level and apprentices having to work in remote areas away from Winnipeg to get their hours and experience.
What is It like Working in HVAC?
There is little monotony in the HVAC trade. This is a perfect career for those who don’t like to be in the same place day after day. Nearly every day brings a new place to work and new customer issues to deal with. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and success on a daily basis. Whether it’s seeing a system built from scratch or the appreciation received from a satisfied customer, there is almost always something to be proud of every day. There is a certain amount of hard work and danger involved but this is true of any trade. With the proper tools and training to follow safety regulations, you can enjoy a long, stable, and rewarding career in HVAC.
What Income Can You Earn From an HVAC Career?
First take into consideration the diverse knowledge that you can learn. This may not come with a dollar amount attached to it but the value is yours to keep for the rest of your life. Whether it is used to enter into another trade or to continue your education further in the field, HVAC can offer a wide variety of career choices later down the road. Not to mention the money you’ll save not having to pay another service company for just about anything that you may need to fix for yourself.
The income from an HVAC career isn’t anything to sneeze at. Starting out, you’re likely to see about $35,000/yr. but after a few years of experience, good HVAC professionals will earn about $60 – $70,000/yr. based on their field and knowledge. I’ve known techs to make more than $100,000 a year when they become more skilled and experienced with controls in more specialty areas of the trade.
Most of the more reputable companies provide their techs with company vehicles, cell phones, laptops, tool allowance, uniforms, and a training program to provide updated codes and technical information on best practices and industry standards. Along with your income, a typical HVAC job will come with fairly standard benefits like insurance, holidays, and vacation but there are often some perks too.