Thinking about going into the heating and cooling trade? Wondering what the career outlook is like for HVAC technicians in Ontario?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) techs install and service the systems that control temperature, air quality, and humidity.
They’re the pros who keep indoor spaces comfortable, regardless of the weather.
So it shouldn’t be too surprising that HVAC technicians are in big demand all over the province. And the need for their skills isn’t going away anytime soon.
We looked at the latest data on HVAC techs and the factors driving employment growth in this trade.
Here’s what you need to know.
current & Future DEMAND FOR HVAC TECHNICIANS
Demand for HVAC techs is often tied to the fate of the construction industry, which is one of the only industries that grew in Ontario during pandemic-ravaged 2020.
In fact, the pandemic actually drove up demand for HVAC techs, thanks to a new focus on improving building air quality to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
For instance, Toronto Public Health directed businesses to make sure their HVAC systems were properly maintained and using high-efficiency filters.
Plus, in April 2021, the federal and provincial governments announced close to $450 million in funding to upgrade the HVAC systems in thousands of schools throughout Ontario.
Looking ahead, the Ontario government estimates that as many as 4,000 jobs for HVAC techs will open up between 2019 and 2025.
HVAC expert Darren Fearnley says this is a trade with excellent career prospects.
“I think the biggest advantage of becoming a tech is steady employment. HVAC is one of the few recession-proof trades. People will always need heating and cooling. There will always be jobs in this field.”
FAST-GROWING AREAS OF HVAC
Clearly, there are plenty of career opportunities for HVAC technicians. But which specific areas within the trade have the best prospects?
Here are three examples:
☑️ Eco-friendly HVAC systems
The move toward energy efficiency and greener technologies is having a big impact on the HVAC industry.
The Government of Canada Job Bank says HVAC techs in Ontario will likely find more opportunities working on newer, more eco-friendly systems.
These include things like heat recovery ventilators (which extract heat from outgoing air to warm incoming air) and geothermal systems (which harness energy from the earth to heat indoor air).
☑️Ductless HVAC systems
Many homeowners and businesses are turning to ductless systems, which use a series of wall-mounted units in individual rooms that are all connected to an outside compressor.
Because there are no ducts that share air throughout the building, each room can be its own climate zone with its own controls.
Ductless systems are becoming increasingly popular among people who are spending more time at home due to remote work, for example. They allow a home office to be heated or cooled separately from the rest of the empty house.
They’re also a top choice for many large commercial buildings that might only have a few rooms occupied at any given time.
Building automation systems (BAS) are making it possible to manage temperature and humidity levels through a system of sensors and alerts.
While the building controls are becoming more automated, technicians are still needed to install and maintain those increasingly complex systems.
So HVAC technicians who are familiar with BAS technology will likely find their expertise in demand.
HOW MUCH DO HVAC TECHS MAKE IN ONTARIO?
In addition to a solid employment outlook, HVAC technicians typically enjoy comfortable incomes.
According to Job Bank data, the median salary for HVAC techs in Ontario is roughly $67,000.
As you gain experience, your earning potential can rise significantly. The Job Bank says the top HVAC techs in the province make over $100,000.
HOW TO BECOME AN HVAC TECHNICIAN IN ONTARIO
HVAC is a compulsory trade in Ontario. If you want to work as an HVAC technician, you must complete an apprenticeship and earn your Certificate of Qualification.
But you will probably be competing for an apprenticeship with many other people. You can help yourself stand out as a candidate by taking pre-apprenticeship HVAC training through a college or trade school.
A good program will teach you the fundamentals of installing, troubleshooting, and repairing HVAC systems so you can be an asset on a job site right from day one.
Darren says having that basic knowledge can help you get hired.
“There’s no law that says you have to do an HVAC pre-apprenticeship program. But in today’s job market, it really helps give you an edge.
As an HVAC business owner for the past 30 years, I have hired many apprentices. And I would not hire anybody these days that has not completed some level of training.”
WANT TO BECOME AN HVAC TECHNICIAN?
Hoping to capitalize on the demand for HVAC techs in Ontario? Begin by finding quality pre-apprenticeship training.
Check out the 52-week HVAC course offered by Herzing College. It’s designed to help you land your first apprenticeship.
Our students get hands-on training in HVAC installation and maintenance techniques PLUS preparation for gas technician certification.
Click below to get more details on the program and chat live with an Admissions Advisor. We’re here to help!