How an impending HVAC worker shortage will impact you

Future of HVAC industry amid worker shortage
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -You’re likely going to be paying more in the years ahead for work on your home heating and cooling systems.

One industry expert is now telling us the industry could be 40% short on necessary workers in the next decade.

Between the younger generations perceived lack of interest in joining the field, and the veterans retiring, On Time Service Owner Kerry Adkins is concerned for his industry’s future.

“Eight to 10 years from now, if something doesn’t change and change pretty soon. We are going to have about a 40% shortage of skilled labor. That is a trainwreck,” said Adkins.

Adkins says the average age of plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians is about 57 years old.

“They estimate that in the next 10 years, 22% of the people that are doing it today wont be doing it anymore because they will be dead or retired.”

The industry is growing at 15 to 20% a year according to Adkins. And when you factor in the expected surge in retirement, Adkins says the quality of work you can expect will inevitably go down.

“It doesn’t mean that 40% of the work is not going to get done. It means 40% of the work is going to get done by people that really don’t know what they are doing and because they don’t really know what they are doing the systems are not going to be as reliable and efficient as they should be.”

Due to the law of supply and demand that HVAC work will also cost you more. Adkins hopes that by talking about the problem, more will consider a career in the heating and cooling industry.

“If a person is really good at this, six figures is reasonable in our industry now.”

Adkins believes to counter the problem we must raise awareness that there are viable careers in the trades and in his eyes that starts in schools.

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