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HVAC Technician Salary

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Grant Aldrich

HVAC Technicians, known as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning technicians, assist their customers with various technical tasks. An HVAC Technician is actively involved in installing, fixing, and repairing HVAC systems.

If you’re interested in making a career in this field, then you would want to know more about it. 

In this article, we will be talking about the below-mentioned concepts:-

  • HVAC Technician Salary & Pay: Overview
  • How Much Does an HVAC Technician Make Per Hour
  • Top Paying Industries for HVAC Technician
  • HVAC Technician Salary – By State
  • How Much Does an HVAC Technician Make In Top Cities 
  • HVAC Tech Salary By Experience
  • HVAC Tech Salary (Vs Other Careers) 
  • Top Certifications for HVAC Technicians
  • How to Increase Your Salary as an HVAC Technician

See more on: What is an HVAC technician?

Builder counting his salary standing at the construction site indoors

HVAC Technician Salary and Pay: Overview

According to the data reported by the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the median salary for an HVAC Technician is $23.38 per hour or $48,630 per year. The lowest 10 percent have earned less than $34,320, but with time, these figures can reach up to $78,210.

The job outlook also looks promising, with an expected rise of 5% till 2031. 

How Much Does an HVAC Technician Make Per Hour?

An HVAC Technician makes around $23.38 per hour, which can vary according to experience and the number of certifications.

Also read: What does an HVAC technician do?

Top Paying Industries for HVAC Technicians

Let’s have a look at the top-paying industries for HVAC Techs. In the following table, you’ll find data for specific industries that have job openings for HVACs.

This is completely independent of HVAC companies and independent contractors, which create the majority of the job opportunities for HVAC Techs.

IndustryNo. of JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing8$ 45.45$ 94,540
Scheduled Air Transportation50$ 45.38$ 94,390
Natural Gas Distribution1,640$ 43.28$ 90,020
Telecommunications170$ 39.42$ 82,000
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing280$ 39.35$ 81,840

Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing

With a high salary, the Navigational, Measuring, or Electromedical sectors can seem appealing.

But the job opportunities in this sector are next to nothing. Less than 50 jobs are created every year in this sector.

Scheduled Air Transportation

If you want to work around airports, then working in the Schedule Air Transportation Industry might be best suited for you.

This industry creates 50 jobs every year for HVAC Technicians and is set to increase in the near future.

Natural Gas Distribution

An HVAC Technician can also choose to work in the Natural Gas Distribution Industry, wherein they can work on various tools and machines.

Currently, there is a high demand in this industry, with 1640 jobs for HVAC Technicians. (Created Every Year)

Pharmaceutical and Manufacturing

An HVAC Technician is needed in almost every industry, and they can build a great career in the Pharmaceutical and Manufacturing Industry as well. 

Presently there are 280 jobs for HVAC Technicians, and it is expected that this will increase in the future.

HVAC Technician Salary- By State

Here’s the median HVAC technician salary in different states. (Ranked from highest to lowest)

Name of StateSalary 
New York$69,540
New Jersey$68,510
North Dakota$63,720
Rhode Island$62,580
New Hampshire$61,660
South Dakota$55,650
North Carolina$49,380
South Carolina$48,170
New Mexico$48,160

Also read:

Top-Paying Cities for HVAC Technicians

Metropolitan areaEmployment Hourly mean wageAnnual mean wage 
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA2,310$ 42.79$ 88,990
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA4,540$ 38.61$ 80,300
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI2,910$ 36.29$ 75,490
Fairbanks, AK90$ 36.05$ 74,990
Anchorage, AK300$ 35.42$ 73,660
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI130$ 35.32$ 73,470
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA19,480$ 35.01$ 72,820
Urban Honolulu, HI990$ 34.94$ 72,660
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH4,730$ 34.73$ 72,230
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA160$ 34.65$ 72,060

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

If you want to earn better as an HVAC Technician, then San Jose- Sunnyvale-Santa Clara pays the highest average salary consisting of $88,990. However, you should also bear in mind additional costs, such as living and moving costs, before you decide to move.

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

This is the second city that pays the highest for HVAC technicians, with an average salary of $80,300.

Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis is another city where you can expect to earn more than the average salary as an HVAC Technician. You can earn anywhere around $ 75,490 annually in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Fairbanks, AK

Fairbanks, AK, pays $74,990 annually to HVAC technicians, which is significantly more than the average.

Anchorage, AK

Anchorage, AK is another city that pays HVAC technicians well, with an annual salary of $73,660. 

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI

As an HVAC Technician, in Kanului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI, is another great city that can pay you $73,470 annually.

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

You can get paid around $72,820 annually in New York-Newark-Jersey City, however, it is to be noted that this is one of the most expensive cities to live in.

Urban Honolulu, HI

Urban Honolulu is also a convenient city when it comes to how much salary they pay for HVAC Technicians. This city pays an average salary of $72,660.

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH

You can expect an annual salary of $72,230 in Boston-Cambridge

Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

If you’re looking to make a career as an HVAC Technician in Santa Cruz- Watsonville, CA, then it might be favorable for you, as you can expect to be paid around $72,060 annually.

HVAC Tech Salary By Experience 

Experience plays a vital role when it comes to salary for HVAC Technicians. For example, the salary earned by HVAC apprentices is nearly half as compared to full-time HVAC Technicians. 

The salary on an average basis earned by an HVAC Technician according to their experience can be seen below:-

Entry Level (0-5 years of experience)

The salary for an entry-level HVAC Technician is $22 per hour and $45,750 per year.

Senior (6-9 years of experience)

The average salary for a senior-level HVAC Technician is $27.65 per hour and $57,512 per year.

Manager (10+ years of experience)

The average salary for an HVAC Technician Manager is $32,83 per hour and $68,286 per year.

HVAC Tech Salary (Vs Other Careers) 

Occupation2021 Median Pay
General Maintenance and Repair Workers$43,180
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters$59,880
Sheet Metal Workers$53,440
Solar Photovoltaic$47,670
Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators$63,500
Wind Turbine Technicians$56,260

HVAC technicians make a comparable wage to electricians, who make $27.01 on average.

However, HVAC technicians with 10+ years of experience average a higher salary ($32.83 per hour) than plumbers’ salaries ($31.16 per hour) and electricians’ salaries ($29.62 per hour) with the same amount of experience.

Read more on: HVAC technicians vs Electricians

Top Certifications for HVAC Technician

There are some certifications that you can opt for to increase your starting salary as an HVAC Technician.

Below are those certifications:-

EPA 608 Certification

As an HVAC Technician, you need to have EPA 608, which is mandatory in every state.

NATE Certifications

This certification is not mandatory, but it highlights your skill, knowledge, and expertise in this industry.

HVAC Support Technician Certificate

This type of certification works best for beginner HVAC technicians in the first six months to one year in the industry.

NATE Core & Specialty Tests Certification

There are two routes you can take to obtain the primary NATE Certification: the CHP-5 pathway and the Traditional Core & Specialty pathway.

These are for experts with over two years of work experience. In addition, obtaining this certification is necessary prior to applying for any North American Technician Excellence (NATE) specialization certifications.

Installation Specialty Certifications

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Distribution
  • Air-to-Air Heat Pump
  • Gas Heating (Air)

Service Specialty Certifications

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Conditioning – Spanish
  • Air Distribution
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Heat Pump (Air to Air)
  • Heat Pump (Air to Air) – Spanish
  • Gas Heating (Air)
  • Gas Heating (Air) – Spanish
  • Hydronics Gas
  • Hydronics Oil
  • Light Commercial Refrigeration
  • Oil Heating (Air)

Also see: HVAC service technician

Senior Level Efficiency Analyst Certification‍

The NATE Senior Level Efficiency Analyst Certification ‍ is for air conditioning professionals who have over five years of work experience and around two NATE specialty accreditations. The following is a list of NATE certification examples-

HVAC Excellence

HVAC Excellence provides technicians with progressively higher certification levels that indicate a technician’s expertise and knowledge as they advance in their career.

Also read: HVAC technician certification

How to Increase Your Salary as an HVAC Technician

1. Get Certified

There are a few ways that you can try to increase your salary as a beginner HVAC Technician, and getting further certifications can be a good start.

2. Entry-level certification (Section 608 & NATE)

So as an HVAC Technician, you can opt for EPA Sec 608 Certification, which is usually necessary for all states. 

While EPA is one of the most accepted HVAC certifications, NATE certifications are also in demand for HVAC Technicians. NATE Certifications help if you want to demonstrate your knowledge, skill, and expertise as an HVAC Technician.

3. Learn a second language

As an HVAC Technician, there can be clients from different parts of the world. Hence, it’s always helpful to learn a second language which can further increase your earning potential as well.

4. Learn management skills

When you gain experience and knowledge as an HVAC Technician, you will be tasked with managerial roles as well. As an HVAC Technician who has gained experience and skills, you must be able to handle more responsibilities. Therefore, it’s always preferred to take a short management course and learn some managerial skills.

5. Improve your communication skills 

As an HVAC Technician, you also have to interact with customers regularly. You will be expected to talk to customers, contractors, and other people, hence it’s always recommended to have great communication skills.

Related Resources:

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Grant Aldrich

Preppy was founded by higher education expert, Grant Aldrich, who’s work on college affordability and accessibility has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader’s Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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