In the commercial HVAC industry, careers for women have traditionally been few and far between. Now, in 2018, as the baby boomers start to shift out of work and the population ages, more and more jobs are becoming available to everyone in the HVAC industry.
According to EMSI, 53% of skilled trade workers are over the age of 45 and 18.6% of workers are between the ages of 55-64. That means that in the next 5 years we can expect to see at least 100,000 new jobs emerging in the HVAC industry, creating a huge need in the industry for new and experienced workers.
As an industry, HVAC is scrambling to attract women of all ages to begin a career in the HVAC field, a traditionally male dominated field that desperately needs women employees to stay afloat.
Here are a few things women should consider before getting into heating and AC maintenance.
In the past it has been fairly rare to see a woman working on heating and air conditioning systems and exceedingly rare for one to own their own contracting business, but times have changed.
According to the 2017 State of Women Owned Business Report female owned firms have increased by 114%, giving women a much larger stake in the game across all industries. While this trend is immensely positive, the construction industry has been historically slow to keep pace, with only 7.4% of businesses in the industry owned by women.
The good news is that this trend is being actively fought within the industry.
As more women take the helm of major HVAC contracting companies and more women are emerging as leaders in the industry, they are presenting themselves as positive role models for other women and proving that this career is definitely not “Just for men.” Additionally, trade schools, local and federal governments and private institutions are making it easier for women to train for jobs and enter the world of AC maintenance, industrial air conditioning and more.
There are also organizations like Women in HVACR that allow women to network, receive mentorship, and get an education from other women in the industry. These organizations are building the strength of the female workforce and truly breaking down barriers that previously stood as a resistance towards women in HVAC.
The Industry Needs Women
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the HVAC industry is projected to have a need for an additional 15% of their current workforce in the next 8 years. This estimated growth mixed with the predicted retirement of such a large percentage of the current workforce means the industry desperately needs women to survive.
Not only are organizations like Women in HVACR helping to attract women to the industry, the HVAC companies themselves are building programs to help women succeed in their careers. HVAC companies are awarding scholarships and hosting career fairs for women in an effort to keep women funneling into an industry in which they are desperately needed.
Education in HVAC
One of the most appealing reasons for anyone to consider a career in the HVAC industry is the education process. Training in HVAC certification is easily accessible across the United States, especially in Ohio, from community colleges and even online programs. This not only means that training is affordable for almost anyone, but training just takes 6 months to 1 year. Depending on the state, this training may be followed by an apprenticeship to gain your license where you can follow an expert in the field and learn real world tricks of the trade.
There is a dire need for HVAC specialists ranging from state to state, with most states having over 50% of their skilled trade workers over 45 years old. The HVAC industry needs YOU, it needs women and men that want to launch a new and exciting career and build a future for themselves.