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Your HVAC Salary Guide

hvac salary guide money map
Rebecca Riserbato

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.

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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:

1. Testing

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

2. Installation

They may have to install climate control systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and refrigeration systems in homes and commercial spaces.

Examples include:

  • 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

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5. Sales

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:

  • Fuel discounts

  • Paid time off

  • Life insurance

  • Health insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Flexible schedule

  • 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 to Indeed, 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.

US STATE

AVERAGE EARNINGS PER HOUR

AVERAGE EARNINGS PER DAY

AVERAGE EARNINGS PER WEEK

AVERAGE EARNINGS PER MONTH

AVERAGE EARNINGS PER YEAR

ALABAMA

$20.36

$211

$747

$2,890

$40,818

ALASKA

$29.57

$306

$1,085

$4,197

$59,283

ARKANSAS

$21.57

$223

$791

$3,062

$43,248

CALIFORNIA

$28.36

$294

$1,040

$4,025

$56,854

COLORADO

$26.66

$276

$978

$3,784

$53,452

CONNECTICUT

$30.3

$314

$1,111

$4,300

$60,741

DELAWARE

$30.54

$316

$1,120

$4,334

$61,227

FLORIDA

$22.54

$233

$827

$3,199

$45,191

GEORGIA

$23.76

$246

$871

$3,371

$47,621

HAWAII

$21.82

$226

$800

$3,096

$43,734

IDAHO

$20.60

$213

$756

$2,924

$41,304

ILLINOIS

$24.97

$259

$916

$3,543

$50,051

INDIANA

$23.27

$241

$853

$3,302

$46,649

IOWA

$23.51

$243

$862

$3,337

$47,135

KANSAS

$20.36

$211

$747

$2,890

$40,818

KENTUCKY

$22.79

$236

$836

$3,234

$45,677

LOUISIANA

$24.48

$254

$898

$3,474

$40,079

MAINE

$22.30

$231

$818

$3,165

$44,706

MARYLAND

$28.12

$291

$1031

$3,990

$56,368

MASSACHUSETTS

$28.60

$296

$1,049

$4,059

$57,340

MICHIGAN

$24.24

$251

$889

$3,440

$48,593

MINNESOTA

$25.69

$266

$942

$3,646

$51,509

MISSISSIPPI

$23.27

$241

$853

$3,302

$46,649

MISSOURI

$20.36

$211

$747

$2,890

$40,818

MONTANA

$23.03

$238

$845

$3,268

$46,163

NEBRASKA

$22.06

$228

$809

$3,130

$44,220

NEVADA

$23.27

$241

$853

$3,302

$46,649

NEW HAMPSHIRE

$23.03

$238

$845

$3,268

$46,163

NEW JERSEY

$25.45

$264

$933

$3,612

$51,023

NEW YORK

$24.48

$254

$898

$3,474

$49,079

NEW MEXICO

$24.00

$248

$880

$3,406

$48,107

NORTH CAROLINA

$22.54

$233

$827

$3,199

$45,191

NORTH DAKOTA

$24.72

$256

$907

$3,509

$49,565

OHIO

$24.72

$256

$907

$3,509

$49,565

OKLAHOMA

$20.60

$213

$756

$2,924

$41,304

OREGON

$24.24

$251

$889

$3,440

$48,593

PENNSYLVANIA

$24.72

$256

$907

$3,509

$49,565

RHODE ISLAND

$27.88

$289

$1,022

$3,956

$55,882

SOUTH CAROLINA

$22.79

$236

$836

$3,234

$45,677

SOUTH DAKOTA

$21.57

$223

$791

$3,062

$43,248

TENNESSEE

$21.82

$226

$800

$3,096

$43,734

TEXAS

$22.79

$236

$836

$3,234

$45,677

UTAH

$25.69

$266

$942

$3,646

$51,509

VERMONT

$23.76

$246

$871

$3,371

$49,565

VIRGINIA

$25.69

$266

$942

$3,646

$51,509

WASHINGTON

$26.66

$226

$800

$3,096

$53,452

WEST VIRGINIA

$20.85

$216

$765

$2,958

$41,790

WISCONSIN

$25.69

$266

$942

$3,646

$51,509

WYOMING

$23.03

$238

$845

$3,268

$46,163

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.

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HVAC Salaries by Years of Experience in the US

Here’s a further breakdown from Indeed 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.

YEARS OF

EXPERIENCE

AVERAGE SALARY PER HOUR

AVERAGE SALARY PER DAY

AVERAGE SALARY PER WEEK

AVERAGE SALARY

PER MONTH

AVERAGE SALARY PER YEAR

Less than 1 year

$22.49

$233

$825

$3,192

$45,089

1-2 years

-

-

-

-

-

3-5 years

$22.27

$230

$817

$3,161

$44,644

6-9 years

$27.68

$286

$1,015

$3,929

$55,488

10 years and more

$32.88

$340

$1,206

$4,666

$65,901

Highest Paying Cities for HVAC Technicians in United States

CITY

AVERAGE PER HOUR

AVERAGE PER DAY

AVERAGE PER WEEK

AVERAGE PER MONTH

AVERAGE PER YEAR

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

$33.81

$350

$1,240

$4,798

$67, 765

PHOENIX, ARIZONA

$24.90

$257

$913

$3,533

$49,899

AUSTIN, TEXAS

$24.39

$252

$894

$3,461

$48,882

TAMPA, FLORIDA

$24.24

$251

$889

$3,440

$48,587

HOUSTON, TEXAS

$24.07

$249

$883

$3,415

$48,239

CINCINNATI, OHIO

$23.87

$247

$876

$$3,388

$47,852

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

$23.14

$239

$849

$3,284

$46,385

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

$22.65

$$234

$$831

$$3,215

$45,402

ORLANDO, FLORIDA

$$21.87

$$226

$$802

$$3,103

$$43,832

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.

JOB

AVERAGE PER HOUR

AVERAGE PER DAY

AVERAGE PER WEEK

AVERAGE PER MONTH

AVERAGE PER YEAR

HVAC INSTALLER

$23.07

$239

$1,182

$4,574

$64,598

SERVICE TECHNICIAN

$18.93

$196

$1,059

$4,100

$57,902

HVAC MECHANIC

$24.56

$254

$707

$2,738

$38,666

REFRIGERATION TECHNICIAN

$24.48

$253

$1,073

$4,152

$58,636

HVAC SUPERVISOR

$32.70

$338

$1,398

$5,409

$76,392

AIR CONDITIONING TECHNICIAN

$22.38

$231

$1,064

$4,119

$58,171

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 to Indeed, 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

HVAC Training

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:

  1. Type I - for servicing small appliances

  2. Type II - for servicing or disposing of high or high-pressure appliances except for small appliances and MVACs

  3. Type III - for servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances

  4. 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:

  • HVAC Fundamentals

  • Electrical and Controls

  • Comfort and Airflow

  • Installation

  • Service

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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:

Installation Specialties

  • Air Conditioning

  • Air Distribution

  • Air to Heat Pump

  • Gas Heating (Air)

Service Specialties

  • Air Conditioning

  • Air Distribution

  • Commercial Refrigeration

  • Heat Pump (Air to Air)

  • Gas Heating (Air)

  • Hydronics Gas

  • Hydronics Oil

  • 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.

Ready-to-Work Certificate

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

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

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.

Professional Technician

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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