There has been much concern that skilled trade careers are not as popular as they used to be, with many college-bound students choosing graphic design or information systems instead. Technology has impacted career choices, but there will always be a need for skilled workers, whether it is fixing cars or air conditioning units. Here are six reasons why you should consider making a move into an HVAC career.

Shorter Education Requirements

Many students are plagued with massive debt when they graduate college but entering an HVAC program doesn’t carry that same financial burden. The industry relies on hands-on training and some textbook information, but more importantly, it needs technicians who have the initiative to grasp skills and elements from on-the-job training. Formal vocational programs often lay the groundwork for an HVAC career, and these programs don’t have general education or highly specialized course requirements or more traditional four-year degrees. Since there is a lot of training that occurs while actually working as a technician, you don’t have as long to wait before you can find a job.

High Demand and Free Training

With a need to convert homes to more environmentally friendly HVAC systems, as well as a booming construction industry, the demand for skilled HVAC technicians is high. In fact, employment in the field is expected to grow over 15% over the next five to six years. Because of this demand, there are many HVAC companies sponsoring training courses for the general public. There are no out-of-pocket expenses to those who wish to pursue this career path, but those that are able to finish the course successfully can find employment with the company that sponsored the training program.

Valuable Cognitive Development

College degrees teach you many things, but nothing prepares you for the mental strain of sitting in a cubicle and dealing with paperwork and reports day in and day out. The repetition of these tasks can wear your down and make life seem mundane, but with HVAC, you don’t have to worry about losing motivation. You are constantly applying a set of skills to new problems in new situations. You become a critical thinker, analyzing symptoms to troubleshoot a real issue. This provides cognitive training and development that is useful in other areas of life.

Interpersonal Skills Training

Instead of being stuck behind a computer screen all day, HVAC technicians get to interact with several different people throughout the day. They help customers who have a problem, or they help a new homeowner understand their unit. They call vendors for parts or talk to the office dispatcher to find out where they are headed next. Every day brings new faces and conversations, giving you an opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills. Not all customers are happy to hear that their units need to be repaired or that the fix will cost hundreds of dollars, leading you to focus on your conflict resolution skills, your empathy, and your negotiation tactics. It isn’t always easy dealing with customers who are complaining and frustrated, but these are opportunities to fine-tune your people skills.

Mechanical Aptitude

There are many components to an HVAC system, and as a technician, you need to be familiar with all of them. Not only do you have to know what the parts do, but you also have to know what it might look like or sound like when the parts are malfunctioning. You need to connect the dots between failed parts and machine functions. You become skilled in the mechanics of HVAC operations, and you become more accurate in your diagnostic evaluations of a problem. This leads to greater efficiency in repairing a unit, saving time while saving the customer money.

Portable Skillset

These areas of development aren’t just needed in the HVAC industry. The skills can go with you into other areas of life. The heavy demand for HVAC technicians indicates a field with plenty of job security, but if you decided to change careers or move across the country, you have abilities that can go with you.

The sky is the limit when it comes to pursuing a career as an HVAC technician. You have a number of educational opportunities, but more importantly. the job market is wide open. Give HVAC a serious thought if you are looking for a challenging but rewarding career.