How Much Do HVAC Make? Explore Earnings in the Industry

How Much Do HVAC Make

If you’re considering a career in HVAC, one of the top questions you’re likely asking is, “How much do HVAC make?” The answer is, it depends. There are a variety of factors that can influence earning potential within the HVAC industry, from experience and location to industry specialization and certifications.

In this article, we’ll explore the earning potential in the HVAC industry, including the average salary for HVAC technicians and factors that can impact income. We’ll also discuss the benefits of pursuing a career in HVAC and potential for career advancement and higher earnings.

Key Takeaways:

  • The average salary for HVAC technicians in the United States varies based on factors like location, experience, and industry specialization.
  • There is job stability and growth potential within the HVAC industry, beyond just earning potential.
  • Career advancement and contracting opportunities can lead to higher earnings for HVAC professionals.

Average HVAC Technician Salary

If you’re considering a career in HVAC, you might be wondering how much you can expect to earn as a technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average HVAC technician salary in the United States is $51,420 per year or $24.73 per hour.

Percentile Annual Salary Hourly Wage
10% $31,910 $15.34
25% $39,290 $18.89
50% $50,590 $24.31
75% $63,250 $30.41
90% $77,920 $37.47

However, it’s important to note that HVAC technician salaries can vary based on several factors. The size and location of the company, as well as the technician’s level of experience, can all impact earning potential. Additionally, certified technicians and those with specialized skills may command higher salaries.

Certifications and Specializations

Technicians who hold certifications in areas like refrigerant handling or gas heating may earn higher salaries due to their specialized skills and knowledge. Additionally, those who specialize in areas like commercial HVAC or solar heating may also see higher salaries.


The longer a technician has been working in the industry, the more experience they have and the higher their earning potential. Technicians with several years of experience may be able to command higher salaries or move into supervisory roles.

Factors Affecting HVAC Salaries

As with any profession, there are a few factors that can greatly impact your earning potential as an HVAC technician. By understanding these factors, you can take steps to increase your salary and advance your career. Here are a few important factors to consider:

Factor Description
Experience Generally speaking, the more experience you have as an HVAC technician, the higher your salary will be. This is because experience is often equated with expertise, which translates to more value for employers.
Certifications Obtaining certifications can also significantly impact your HVAC salary. Certifications such as EPA Section 608, HVAC Excellence, and NATE can demonstrate your knowledge and skills to employers and command higher pay.
Location Where you work can also play a role in your salary as an HVAC technician. Some states and cities have higher living costs, which means employers may pay more to attract and retain skilled workers.
Industry Specialization Finally, specializing in a particular area of HVAC work can also impact your earning potential. For example, those who specialize in installation or commercial HVAC work may earn more than those who focus on routine maintenance.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can proactively work to increase your HVAC salary over time. Whether that means seeking out new certifications, taking on more challenging work, or relocating to a higher-paying area, the HVAC industry offers numerous opportunities for career growth and increased earning potential.

HVAC Income by State

When it comes to HVAC salaries, location plays a significant role in determining earning potential. The average HVAC technician salary varies widely by state due to factors such as supply and demand, cost of living, and industry specialization.

If you’re looking to maximize your earnings as an HVAC technician, it’s important to research the income levels in your state and consider relocating if necessary. Here’s a breakdown of the average HVAC technician salary by state, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

State Average Annual Salary
California $58,830
Alaska $58,350
District of Columbia $57,520
Hawaii $55,220
Connecticut $53,690

It’s important to note that the cost of living in each state can greatly impact your income as well. High-paying states like California and Alaska may also have higher living expenses, which can impact your ability to save money and build wealth. Additionally, certain states may have a lower cost of living but offer fewer job opportunities in the HVAC industry.

Overall, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of relocating for higher HVAC earnings based on your personal goals and financial situation.

Benefits of a Career in HVAC

If you’re considering a career as an HVAC technician, the earning potential is just one of the many benefits. Here are some reasons why pursuing an HVAC career can be an excellent choice:

  • Job stability: HVAC systems are essential for both residential and commercial buildings, which means the demand for skilled professionals is always present. As long as there are buildings with climate control needs, there will be a need for HVAC technicians.
  • Growth opportunities: The HVAC industry is constantly evolving, with new technology and systems being introduced regularly. This means that there are always opportunities to learn and develop new skills, which can lead to career advancement and higher earnings.
  • Potential for career advancement: With experience and additional certifications, HVAC technicians can advance to become supervisors, project managers, or even start their HVAC contracting business.

Overall, the HVAC industry offers opportunities for long-term, stable employment, professional growth, and earning potential beyond the average HVAC salary.

HVAC Wage Trends

If you are considering a career in the HVAC industry, it’s important to stay informed about wage trends. In recent years, the average salary for HVAC technicians has been steadily increasing, with some areas of the country experiencing greater growth than others.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for HVAC technicians in the United States was $50,590 in May 2019. This means that half of all technicians earned more than this amount, while the other half earned less.

However, this figure can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including location, experience, and industry specialization. HVAC technicians in certain regions or with more expertise may earn significantly more than this median.

It’s also worth noting that the HVAC industry is expected to continue growing, which could lead to further increases in wages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of HVAC technicians will grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Keep in mind that wage trends can change over time, which makes it important to stay up to date on industry developments and potential career opportunities.

Advancement Opportunities and Higher Earnings

If you’re looking to boost your earning potential in the HVAC industry, there are many paths to consider. With dedication, hard work, and additional certifications, you can move up the ladder and take on more lucrative roles.


Specializing in a specific area of HVAC can increase your value as a technician and open up new opportunities for higher earnings. For example, if you become an expert in commercial HVAC systems, you may be able to command a higher salary due to demand for these specialized skills.


Obtaining additional certifications can also open doors for higher earnings within the HVAC industry. Certifications like NATE, EPA 608, and RSES are highly valued by employers, and can demonstrate your expertise in specific areas of HVAC systems. These certifications can also lead to promotions and higher salaries.

Management Roles

As you gain experience and knowledge in the HVAC industry, you may be able to take on management roles. With supervisory positions, you can earn a higher salary while also guiding and training newer technicians.

Starting Your Own Business

Many skilled HVAC technicians eventually start their own contracting businesses. While it requires significant financial investment and business know-how, owning a business can be a highly lucrative move in the long term.

Remember, the HVAC industry has many opportunities for advancement and higher earnings. By specializing in a certain area, obtaining certifications, moving into management roles, or starting your own business, you can take control of your career path and reach new heights of success.

HVAC Contractor Earnings

Are you considering becoming an HVAC contractor? While the average salary for HVAC technicians is typically around $50,000 per year, the earnings potential for contractors is even higher.

Position Average Annual Salary
HVAC Technician $50,000
HVAC Contractor $97,000

As a contractor, you have the potential to earn almost double what a technician makes on average. However, it’s essential to keep in mind the costs associated with running a contracting business. You are responsible for purchasing tools, equipment, and supplies, and you may need to hire employees to help with installations and repairs.

To increase your earnings as an HVAC contractor, you can consider specializing in a particular area of HVAC, such as installing and maintaining commercial refrigeration systems or designing and installing custom HVAC systems for high-end residential properties.

In addition, as a contractor, you have more control over your workload and schedule, which can also impact your earnings potential. You can take on more jobs or larger projects to increase your income or balance your workload to maintain a better work-life balance.

Salary Comparison: HVAC vs Other Trades

As you consider a career in the HVAC industry, it’s important to understand how the average salary for HVAC technicians compares to other skilled trades.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for HVAC technicians in May 2020 was $25.80. This compares favorably to other skilled trades such as electricians, who earned an average of $28.89 per hour, and plumbers, who earned an average of $29.39 per hour.

However, it’s worth noting that the earning potential can vary based on location and experience. For example, in some regions, electricians or plumbers may earn more than HVAC technicians.

Other skilled trades to consider for salary comparison include carpenters, who earned an average hourly wage of $24.63 in May 2020, and construction workers, who earned an average hourly wage of $19.02.

While HVAC technicians may not always earn the highest salary among skilled trades, the industry does offer job stability, growth opportunities, and the potential for higher earnings through career advancement and contracting opportunities.

HVAC Salary Negotiation Tips

If you’re looking to increase your earning potential in the HVAC industry, negotiating your salary is a crucial step. Here are some tips to help you secure a higher salary:

  1. Research industry standards: Before negotiating your salary, do some research on what other HVAC professionals in your area are earning. This will give you a better idea of what you can realistically ask for.
  2. Highlight your experience: If you have several years of experience in the HVAC industry, be sure to highlight this when negotiating your salary. Employers are often willing to pay more for experienced professionals who can hit the ground running.
  3. Get certified: Earning additional certifications can demonstrate your commitment to your profession and increase your earning potential. Certifications such as NATE (North American Technician Excellence) or EPA 608 (Environmental Protection Agency) can set you apart from other job candidates.
  4. Be confident: When negotiating your salary, be confident and assertive. Make a clear case for why you are worth the higher salary and provide examples of how your skills and experience will benefit the company.
  5. Consider the job market: In some areas, there may be a high demand for skilled HVAC professionals. Use this to your advantage when negotiating your salary.
  6. Be open to alternative compensation: If an employer is unable to meet your salary demands, consider asking for additional benefits such as increased paid time off, flexible work hours, or bonuses based on performance.
  7. Know when to walk away: If an employer is unwilling to meet your salary expectations, it may be time to consider other job opportunities.

By following these tips and advocating for yourself, you can increase your earning potential and take the next step in your HVAC career.

Job Market Outlook for HVAC Technicians

As a skilled HVAC technician, you may be wondering about the job market outlook for your profession. Fortunately, the future looks bright for those in the HVAC industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of HVAC technicians is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

One reason for this positive outlook is the continual need for HVAC professionals. As technology advances, newer, more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems are being developed, leading to more demand for skilled technicians who can install and maintain them. Additionally, many older HVAC systems are in need of replacement, providing another avenue for employment.

The growing focus on indoor air quality is also driving demand for HVAC professionals. Concerns about air pollution and the spread of infectious diseases have made ventilation and air conditioning systems a high priority for businesses and homeowners alike. This trend is expected to continue as people spend more time indoors, particularly during extreme weather conditions.

Finally, the retirement of experienced technicians and a shortage of new, skilled workers entering the field may create further opportunities for those in the HVAC industry. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it will require a constant supply of qualified professionals to meet the demand.


Congratulations! You now have a better understanding of the earning potential in the HVAC industry. As we have seen, the industry offers a diverse range of career opportunities with varying levels of income. While the average salary for HVAC technicians can be influenced by experience, location, and specialization, the industry provides job stability and growth potential.

Furthermore, pursuing a career in HVAC can lead to increased earning potential through career advancement and contracting opportunities. As you gain experience and acquire additional certifications, you can enjoy higher salaries and benefits.

Not only does HVAC offer the potential for a comfortable living, but it also provides a chance for personal fulfillment. The industry offers the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and make a positive impact on the environment by promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.

Remember – Negotiation is Key

As you continue your journey in the HVAC industry, always remember to negotiate for a fair salary. Use your experience, certifications, and knowledge of market demand to secure a compensation package that reflects your skills and expertise.

Thank you for reading and we wish you all the best in your HVAC career!

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