An HVAC technician's primary responsibility is to make sure people are comfortable in their homes, whether it's from the sweltering summers in Florida to the freezing winters in Wisconsin. Rapid changes in the weather and the fact that more people are spending time in their homes are just a few reasons why HVAC techs are in such high demand.
Several factors can influence the decision to become an HVAC tech or why an HVAC tech signs up or stays with your company. However, at the top of the list is salary. So, how much do HVAC techs make across the US?
This guide provides some insights into what HVAC employees are earning and other important information helpful for techs, owners, and operators.
What is an HVAC technician?
Let’s first discuss what HVAC stands for. HVAC simply means Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. An HVAC technician is someone who works in this industry. You may also come across HVAR or HVAC/R technicians. These are professionals that install and upkeep refrigeration units.
What Does an HVAC Technician Do?
An HVAC technician may be responsible for:
An HVAC tech may be tasked with testing several different units, components, and electrical circuits. This ensures that they are fit for installation in both residential and/or commercial settings.
This can include:
Testing HVAC components and systems following the manufacturer’s specifications
Testing piping or tubing joints for leaks
They may have to install climate control systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and refrigeration systems in homes and commercial spaces.
Assembling and installing HVAC/R units
Reading HVAC equipment specifications and blueprints
Cutting and drilling holes in buildings.
Installing solar panels, thermostats, humidistats, and timers
Connecting HVAC systems to fuel, water, and electrical sources
3. Maintenance and Servicing
HVAC techs need to perform regular maintenance and servicing of the installed HVAC or HVAC/R units by visiting the sites.
They may need to:
Make sure the HVAC units are working as they should
Clean and replace air filters as well as other faulty parts
Inspect, unclog, and clean ducts
4. Troubleshooting and Repair Work
They may need to answer calls from customers, resolve common and any other HVAC issues and identify snags or glitches in the HVAC equipment.
The main responsibility here is to:
Troubleshoot and solve common HVAC system problems
An HVAC technician may also have to gauge when to replace HVAC parts or convince customers to buy a new HVAC system.
They may have to:
Sell service contracts or Annual Maintenance Contracts for HVAC equipment maintenance or servicing
Common Benefits for HVAC Technicians
The most common benefits for HVAC technicians are:
Paid time off
Paid sick leave
Free flu shots
Of course, these benefits will differ from job category, years of experience, state to state and employer to employer.
How Much do HVAC Technicians Make?
HVAC positions range from apprentice to service technician to senior service specialist. Due to this range, salaries differ. According toIndeed, the national average HVAC technician salary in the US is:
Average HVAC hourly salary: $24.24
Average HVAC daily salary: $251
Average HVAC weekly salary: $889
Average HVAC monthly salary: $3440
Average HVAC yearly salary: $48,593
Here’s a breakdown of the HVAC pay scale by state using statistics from Indeed last updated January 21, 2022.
AVERAGE EARNINGS PER HOUR
AVERAGE EARNINGS PER DAY
AVERAGE EARNINGS PER WEEK
AVERAGE EARNINGS PER MONTH
AVERAGE EARNINGS PER YEAR
According to the data by state:
Delaware has the highest average salary at $30.54 per hour.
Minnesota, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin has the average median salary at $25.69
Missouri, Kansas and Alabama have the lowest average salary at $20.36 per hour.
Again, this data represents a wide range of job titles and functions including administrative assistant to senior HVAC techs so the salary range reflects this variety as well.
HVAC Salaries by Years of Experience in the US
Here’s a further breakdown fromIndeed to give you a better idea of what to expect based on years of experience. Unfortunately, there seems to be some information missing for HVAC technicians with 1-2 years of experience. Nonetheless, here are their findings.
AVERAGE SALARY PER HOUR
AVERAGE SALARY PER DAY
AVERAGE SALARY PER WEEK
AVERAGE SALARY PER YEAR
Less than 1 year
10 years and more
Highest Paying Cities for HVAC Technicians in United States
AVERAGE PER HOUR
AVERAGE PER DAY
AVERAGE PER WEEK
AVERAGE PER MONTH
AVERAGE PER YEAR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
The data shows:
New York, NY is 39% above the national average.
Phoenix, AZ is about the same as the national average
Austin, TX is about the same as the national average
Tampa, FL is about the same as the national average
Houston, TX is the same as the national average
Cincinnati, OH is the same as the national average
San Antonio is the same as the national average.
Las Vegas, NV is 7% below the national average
Orlando Florida is 10% below the national average
Average Salary By Job Category
Salaries vary in the HVAC industry and are determined by job category and years of experience. The table below reflects Indeed statistics on the average salaries based on job category.
AVERAGE PER HOUR
AVERAGE PER DAY
AVERAGE PER WEEK
AVERAGE PER MONTH
AVERAGE PER YEAR
AIR CONDITIONING TECHNICIAN
As the table demonstrates:
An HVAC supervisor salary is the highest at $32.70 per hour
A Air Conditioning Technician falls in the middle with $22.38 per hour
A Service technician salary is the lowest at $18.93 per hour.
How long is HVAC school?
HVAC technician salaries, like all jobs, are tied to supply and demand. HVAC business owners sometimes struggle to find qualified employees. They also worry about investing time and money in training employees. This is because some employees go off on their own or work for another company after receiving training.
If a company refuses to train employees, candidates need to obtain proper certification from an accredited college or trade school to gain employment as an HVAC technician. Post-secondary education usually takes around 6 months to 2 years. It also comes with the option of following through with an apprenticeship program for 3 to 5 years.
Education Level Required for HVAC Technicians
According toIndeed, based on job openings in the United States within the last 3 years:
85% of HVAC businesses required a High School Diploma or GED.
10% required an Associate’s Degree
5% required a Bachelor’s Degree.
1% required a Master’s Degree
Most HVAC technicians will have their training done on the job. It can be through a formal apprenticeship or as a helper. Some employers may even offer internal training programs to help you learn the skills you need to succeed.
Certifications & Licenses
EPA 608 Certificate
HVAC/R technicians who handle refrigerants are required to get their EPA 608 certification. This certificate states that those who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified by the EPA.
The EPA 608 offers four types of certification:
Type I - for servicing small appliances
Type II - for servicing or disposing of high or high-pressure appliances except for small appliances and MVACs
Type III - for servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances
Universal - for servicing all types of equipment
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Certification
NATE helps HVAC technicians demonstrate their knowledge of a particular skill to both employers and clients. NATE was developed with the support of the HVAC industry. It is a non-profit organization that offers several certificates based on your skills.
The NATE is for technicians that have two or more years of experience. There are two ways you can obtain your Nate Certification:
CERTIFIED HVAC PROFESSIONAL (CHP-5)
HVAC technicians will need to pass a series of five exams to obtain this certification. Each exam covers different topics like:
Electrical and Controls
Comfort and Airflow
CORE AND SPECIALTY EXAM
HVAC technicians can also go the more traditional route that requires them to pass a Core exam and a Specialty exam. Below is a list of available specialty certifications:
Air to Heat Pump
Gas Heating (Air)
Heat Pump (Air to Air)
Gas Heating (Air)
Light Commercial Refrigeration
Oil Hearing (Air)
Senior Level Efficiency Analyst Certification
NATE also offers this certificate to HVAC technicians who are looking to demonstrate their expertise in the field. It is the highest certification by NATE, and an HVAC technician needs two or more service specialty certifications before obtaining this one.
The Ready-to-Work certificate is for anyone entering with no prior education or training. The exam to obtain this certificate will test you on the fundamentals and skills required to work in the HVAC/R industry.
HVAC Support Technician Certificate
This certificate is for HVAC technicians with 6-12 months of experience. The exam tests your general knowledge and HVAC-specific expertise in the specific areas. These include safety, tools, heat transfer, comfort, basic science, basic electrical, installation, planned maintenance, system components, and design considerations.
HVAC Excellence was established in 1994 by the ESCO Group. They offer several certifications and assessments for HVAC professionals. Most of these are optional certifications, but they can help you demonstrate your commitment and mastery of the trade.
Master Specialist Hands-On
Master Specialist certifications are the highest-ranked certifications available to technicians through HVAC Excellence. Technicians with three more years of experience and a professional technician certification can obtain a master specialist certification.
Employment Ready certifications may help instructors and employers evaluate the level of knowledge you possess. The assessment evaluates your knowledge over a standard set of topics. These may include electrical, electric heat, gas heat, oil heat, air conditioning, light commercial air conditioning, and more.
These certifications are for HVAC technicians who possess 2 or more years of experience and wish to demonstrate their expertise. An HVAC technician can earn several certifications such as electric heat, combustion analysis, residential air conditioning, light commercial refrigeration, etc.
Let Scorpion Help Your HVAC Business
The HVAC industry is expected to grow 5 percent from 2020 to 2030 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is much slower than the average for all other occupations.
However, about 38,500 openings per year are expected in the industry. This is because the openings are expected to result from replacing workers who switch occupations or retire.
To capitalize on this opportunity and scale your HVAC business, contact the experts at Scorpion for help.
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