How Much Do HVAC Installers Make?

How Much Do HVAC Installers Make

If you’re considering a career as an HVAC installer, one of your top questions is likely how much you can expect to earn. HVAC installers are critical to the functioning of buildings, ensuring that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are installed and maintained properly. As such, they play an important role in the construction and maintenance industries, and can earn a comfortable salary.

Key Takeaways:

  • As an HVAC installer, you can expect to earn a solid salary with potential for growth.
  • Earnings can vary depending on a variety of factors, including experience, location, and certifications.
  • Specialized areas within the HVAC industry, such as commercial installation, can offer higher salaries.
  • With projected job growth and opportunities for advancement, HVAC installation can be a fulfilling and financially rewarding career.

Understanding the Factors that Influence HVAC Installer Salaries

As you consider a career as an HVAC installer, it’s important to understand the various factors that can impact your potential earnings. While experience and location are certainly important factors, there are several other considerations that can influence your salary as an HVAC installer.

Education and Certifications

Many HVAC installers start in entry-level positions and work their way up through on-the-job training. However, earning an HVAC certification or degree can help you stand out from the competition and command a higher salary. Certifications from organizations like the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) or the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) can demonstrate your technical expertise and increase your earning potential.


Specializing in a particular area of HVAC installation can also boost your salary potential. For example, installing commercial HVAC systems may require a higher level of expertise and command a higher salary than residential HVAC installation. Additionally, developing advanced technical skills in areas like geothermal or solar energy installation can also lead to higher-paying job opportunities.

Union Membership

Joining a labor union as an HVAC installer can provide additional benefits and job opportunities, including access to higher-paying jobs and negotiated salary rates. Union membership can also offer job security and access to training and professional development opportunities.

Overtime and Benefits

Many HVAC installers have the opportunity to earn additional income through overtime work or by taking on emergency repair jobs. Additionally, benefits like health insurance and retirement savings plans can add significant value to an HVAC installer’s overall compensation package.

By understanding these factors, you can make informed decisions about your education, career path, and job opportunities in the HVAC industry. Keep these considerations in mind as you explore your potential as an HVAC installer.

Average HVAC Installer Salaries in the United States

When it comes to HVAC installer salaries in the United States, the average earnings can vary based on a range of factors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC installers and mechanics earned a median annual salary of $50,590 in 2020.

The BLS notes that the lowest 10 percent of HVAC installers earned less than $31,910 annually, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $80,820 per year. Keep in mind that these figures are for all HVAC installers, regardless of experience, location, or specialization.

Region Average Annual Salary
West Coast $60,410
Midwest $53,440
Northeast $52,770
South $47,950

When looking at regional averages, HVAC installers on the West Coast tend to earn the highest annual salaries, with an average of $60,410. The Midwest and Northeast also offer relatively high average salaries, at $53,440 and $52,770, respectively. The South sees the lowest average salaries for HVAC installers, at $47,950 per year.

It’s important to keep in mind that these averages are based on data from all HVAC installers, so salaries can vary greatly depending on individual factors such as experience, qualifications, and industry specialization.

Entry-Level HVAC Installer Salaries

If you’re just starting out as an HVAC installer, it’s important to have a realistic understanding of entry-level salaries. Entry-level HVAC installer salaries can vary based on factors such as location, employer, and experience. Still, the good news is that there is potential for growth as you gain experience and take on additional responsibilities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for HVAC installers in May 2020 was $50,590. This means that half of all HVAC installers earned more than this amount, while the other half earned less.

However, entry-level HVAC installer salaries tend to fall on the lower end of the scale. The BLS reports that the lowest 10 percent of HVAC installers earned less than $32,470 per year. It’s important to keep in mind that salaries can vary based on location and industry as well. For example, HVAC installers in the construction industry tend to earn higher salaries than those in residential settings.

That being said, entry-level HVAC installer salaries typically range from $14 to $25 per hour. Keep in mind that your specific salary may be influenced by factors such as the size and type of the company you work for, your level of experience, and any certifications or specialized skills you have.

If you’re looking to increase your earnings as an entry-level HVAC installer, there are a few steps you can take. Consider pursuing additional certifications or training to expand your skill set and make yourself more valuable to employers. You may also want to seek out job opportunities with larger or more established HVAC companies, as they may be able to offer higher salaries and more opportunities for growth.

High-Paying HVAC Installer Jobs and Specializations

While all HVAC installers are well compensated for their skills and expertise, certain specializations within the industry can offer even higher salaries and more lucrative career opportunities.

Commercial HVAC Installation

One such specialization is commercial HVAC installation. This involves working on large-scale heating and cooling systems for commercial buildings such as offices, hospitals, and schools. Due to the complexity and size of these systems, commercial HVAC installers are often in high demand and can earn significantly higher salaries than their residential counterparts.

Advanced Technical Skills

Another way to increase your earning potential as an HVAC installer is by developing advanced technical skills. This can include specialized training in areas such as energy-efficient system design, alternative energy sources, or advanced control systems. With these skills, you can position yourself as an expert in the field and command a higher salary.

Keep in mind that the demand for specialized skills may vary by region, so it’s important to research the job market in your area and identify which skills are in highest demand.

Career Outlook for HVAC Installers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for HVAC installers is strong, with a projected growth rate of 4% from 2019 to 2029. This growth is due to the increasing demand for new installations and replacements of HVAC systems, as well as the need for regular maintenance and repairs.

To take advantage of these career opportunities, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest HVAC technologies and advancements. This can be achieved through ongoing training and education programs, which can also lead to higher earning potentials.

If you are interested in advancing your career as an HVAC installer, there are a variety of pathways available. You may choose to specialize in a specific area of HVAC, such as commercial or industrial installation, or you could pursue additional certifications, such as those offered by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) organization.

As your experience and skills grow, you may also consider advancing to a management position, such as a project manager or supervisor. These positions typically come with increased salaries and bonuses, as well as opportunities for professional growth.

Overall, the career outlook for HVAC installers is positive, with strong job growth and potential for advancement. By staying current with industry trends and pursuing additional training and certifications, you can increase your earning potential and enhance your career prospects.

Additional Factors That Can Impact HVAC Installer Earnings

Besides experience and location, there are other factors that can affect how much money you earn as an HVAC installer. Knowing about these factors can help you prepare for the job market and increase your earning potential.

Union Membership

One factor that can impact your HVAC installer earnings is whether or not you belong to a union. Union members tend to have higher salaries than non-union members due to the negotiation power of the union. However, keep in mind that union membership often requires payment of dues.

Overtime Opportunities

Another factor that can impact your earning potential as an HVAC installer is overtime opportunities. Many HVAC jobs require work beyond the typical 9-to-5 schedule, and overtime work often pays a higher rate. If you’re willing to put in extra hours, you could earn significantly more money.


The benefits package provided by an employer can also play a role in your overall earnings. Health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits can add to your total compensation package. It’s important to factor in the value of benefits when comparing job offers.

By considering these additional factors beyond experience and location, you can get a better understanding of how much money you can expect to earn as an HVAC installer. Remember that every job and employer is unique, and it’s important to do your research and negotiate your compensation package to get the best possible salary.

Tips for Increasing Your HVAC Installer Income

As an HVAC installer, your earning potential can be significantly impacted by various factors such as location, experience, and certifications. However, there are steps you can take to increase your income and advance your career. Here are some tips:

1. Pursue Professional Development

Stay current with the latest industry developments and advancements by pursuing continuing education and training opportunities. This can include attending workshops, seminars, or even enrolling in advanced degree programs related to HVAC installation.

By improving your skills and knowledge, you can position yourself as a valuable asset to employers and potentially negotiate higher salaries.

2. Leverage Your Networking Connections

Networking with industry professionals can help you discover employment opportunities and gain referrals, which can lead to higher-paying jobs. Attend trade shows, conferences and join local professional organizations to expand your network. Stay informed on industry trends and news that can help you build relationships with contractors and potential employers.

3. Specialize in High-Paying HVAC Jobs

Specializing in certain areas of HVAC installation can lead to higher salaries. Commercial HVAC installation, for instance, tends to offer higher pay than residential work. Advanced technical skills such as automated control systems or energy-efficient installations are also highly valued by employers.

4. Negotiate Your Salary

Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary when starting a new job or during annual reviews. Research the average salaries for your level of experience and use this information to guide your negotiations. Remember, employers are often willing to pay more for skilled and experienced installers, so be confident in your abilities and the value you bring to the organization.

5. Explore Overtime Opportunities

Many HVAC installation jobs require overtime work, which can provide significant income boosts. Don’t be afraid to take on additional hours, particularly during peak seasons as they could result in increased income. Ensure you understand your employer’s overtime policy before taking on additional hours to avoid any misunderstandings.

By leveraging these tips, you can increase your income as an HVAC installer and advance your career. Remember to stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments, explore specialized areas of the HVAC industry, and be confident in negotiating your salary to improve your earnings potential.


Congratulations! You now have a better understanding of the earning potential for HVAC installers in the United States. By exploring the various factors that can impact salaries, including location, experience, and specialized skills, you can make informed decisions about your career path.

Remember that entry-level salaries may be lower, but with experience and dedication, you can increase your earning potential and achieve a comfortable income in this field. Additionally, pursuing professional development opportunities and staying up-to-date with industry trends can further boost your income and career prospects.

As the demand for HVAC professionals continues to grow, with an expected job growth of 4% by 2029, there are plenty of opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in this field. So whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your career to the next level, the HVAC industry offers a bright future for those willing to work hard and stay dedicated.

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