How Much Do HVAC Technicians Make? Explore Salaries & Earnings

How Much Do HVAC Technicians Make

If you are considering a career as an HVAC technician, it’s important to understand the earning potential in this field. HVAC technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in homes and businesses. The HVAC industry is growing, and there is a high demand for skilled technicians.

Factors such as experience, location, and certifications can all impact how much you can earn as an HVAC technician. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions about your career path and earning potential.

Key Takeaways

  • Salary ranges for HVAC technicians can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and certifications.
  • There are several educational paths to becoming an HVAC technician, including trade schools, community colleges, and apprenticeships.
  • Certifications such as EPA 608 and NATE can lead to higher salaries and job opportunities.
  • The HVAC industry is growing, and there is a high demand for skilled technicians.

Average HVAC Technician Salary in the United States

As of May 2020, the average salary for HVAC technicians in the United States was $51,420 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can vary widely based on factors such as geographic location, years of experience, and education.

In general, HVAC technicians in metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than those in rural areas. For example, the average HVAC technician salary in San Francisco is $73,490, while the average salary in Wichita, Kansas is $45,990.

Experience also plays a significant role in determining HVAC technician salaries. Entry-level technicians with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average of $32,000 per year, while technicians with 20 or more years of experience can earn up to $75,000 per year.

Education can also impact HVAC technician salaries. While a high school diploma is typically the minimum requirement, completing a vocational program or obtaining an associate’s degree in HVAC can lead to higher salaries. Additionally, obtaining certifications such as the EPA 608 and NATE can also increase earning potential.

Factors Influencing HVAC Technician Salaries

The HVAC industry offers a broad range of job opportunities with varying salaries. The factors that impact HVAC technician salaries include geographic location, job specialization, industry demand, and certifications. Let’s explore these factors in more detail.

Geographic Location

Where you work as an HVAC technician can significantly affect your salary. Areas with a higher cost of living usually offer higher salaries, while areas with a lower cost of living offer lower salaries. For instance, HVAC technicians in California typically earn higher salaries than those in Mississippi due to the higher cost of living in California. You are likely to earn higher salaries in urban areas than in rural areas.

Job Specialization

Your area of specialization in the HVAC industry can determine your income level. HVAC technicians who specialize in installing or repairing complex HVAC systems, such as commercial systems or specialized medical equipment, tend to earn higher salaries than those who work on residential HVAC systems. The specialization requires advanced skills and knowledge, which command higher salaries.

Industry Demand

The demand for HVAC technicians in your industry influences how much you can earn. The HVAC industry is continuously growing, and it’s expected to keep growing as people and businesses continue to rely heavily on HVAC systems. However, the demand for technicians can vary depending on the region and the season. You are likely to earn higher salaries in areas with high demand for HVAC services.


Having the right certifications can increase your earning potential as an HVAC technician. Certifications such as EPA 608 and NATE are highly valued in the HVAC industry and can lead to higher salaries and job opportunities. Certifications demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform your job competently and safely, which can translate into higher wages and a better position.

Education and Certification Requirements for HVAC Technicians

If you’re considering a career as an HVAC technician, you likely want to know what education and certifications are required to work in the field. While there is no formal degree required, you will need to complete some level of training to get started. This can include trade school programs, community college courses, or an apprenticeship with an experienced technician.

Many employers prefer candidates who have completed some form of training in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. This can include coursework in electrical systems, air distribution, and refrigeration theory, which can help you better understand how HVAC systems work and how to diagnose and repair problems.

Along with training, some HVAC technicians may need to obtain certifications in order to work on certain systems or equipment. One of the most common certifications is the EPA 608, which is required for anyone handling refrigerants. Other certifications that may be beneficial include NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification, which tests technicians on their knowledge of HVAC equipment and systems, and HVAC Excellence certification, which is recognized by many employers as a sign of a technician’s expertise.

Keep in mind that while there are no formal education requirements for HVAC technicians, having some level of training and certification can help you stand out to employers and increase your earning potential.

HVAC Technician Salary by Experience Level

As an HVAC technician, your salary can increase as you gain more experience in the field. Here is a breakdown of the average salary for HVAC technicians by experience level:

Experience Level Average Salary Range
Entry-level (0-1 years) $31,000 – $45,000 per year
Mid-level (1-5 years) $35,000 – $55,000 per year
Experienced (5-10 years) $45,000 – $75,000 per year
Senior (10+ years) $60,000 – $100,000+ per year

It’s important to note that these numbers are just averages and can vary based on location, education, certifications, and other factors. Additionally, some HVAC technicians may earn more by specializing in certain types of systems or by taking on managerial roles within their company.

If you’re interested in advancing your career and increasing your earning potential as an HVAC technician, consider pursuing a higher level of education or obtaining additional certifications. These can open up opportunities for higher-paying positions and more complex job responsibilities.

Regional Differences in HVAC Technician Salaries

While HVAC technician salaries can vary based on a variety of factors, such as experience, certifications, and industry demand, geographic location can also play a significant role in determining earnings.

In general, HVAC technicians working in areas with a higher cost of living or a higher demand for HVAC services tend to earn more than those in areas with a lower cost of living or less demand. For example, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC technicians in California and Massachusetts tend to earn higher salaries than those in states like Mississippi or Arkansas.

Region Average Salary Range
West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) $45,000 – $75,000
Northeast (New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut) $40,000 – $70,000
South (Florida, Texas, Georgia) $35,000 – $60,000
Midwest (Illinois, Michigan, Ohio) $35,000 – $55,000

Of course, these ranges are just a general guideline and do not take into account specific factors like experience and education. It’s important to conduct research to determine the specific salary range for HVAC technician positions in your region.

However, even if salaries in your region may be lower than others, the demand for HVAC technicians and the potential for career growth should not be overlooked. With continued growth in the industry and a need for experienced professionals, there is potential for earning potential and career advancement no matter what region you reside in.

Job Outlook and Career Growth Potential for HVAC Technicians

Are you considering a career as an HVAC technician? With the growing demand for skilled technicians, there has never been a better time to enter the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of HVAC technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

In addition to job security, there is also potential for career growth and earning potential in the HVAC industry. As you gain experience and expertise, you can advance to higher-paying positions such as HVAC supervisors or project managers. Specializing in specific areas such as solar thermal or geothermal systems can also increase your earning potential.

If you are interested in owning your own business, becoming an HVAC technician can provide a pathway to entrepreneurship. With proper training and certification, you can start your own HVAC company and have the potential for even greater earnings.

Overall, the HVAC industry provides an exciting and rewarding career path with opportunities for growth and advancement. Consider becoming an HVAC technician to take advantage of the increasing demand for skilled workers and the potential for a fulfilling and lucrative career.

Other Factors That Affect HVAC Technician Salaries

In addition to experience level, education, and certifications, there are other factors that can impact an HVAC technician’s salary.

Union Membership If you belong to a union, you may have access to better pay, benefits, and working conditions.
Overtime Opportunities Many HVAC technicians have the opportunity to work overtime, which can significantly increase their income.
Types of HVAC Systems Worked On Technicians who work on more complex HVAC systems, such as those in industrial or commercial buildings, may earn higher salaries.

Keep in mind that factors such as union membership and overtime opportunities may not be available to all technicians or in all regions. It’s important to research these factors and the potential impact they may have on your income and overall job satisfaction.

By understanding the various factors that can influence HVAC technician salaries, you can make informed decisions about your career path and earning potential.


Now that you have a better understanding of HVAC technician salaries, you can make informed decisions about your career. Keep in mind the various factors that can impact earnings, including experience, location, and certifications.

Remember that the HVAC industry is experiencing steady growth, with increasing demand for skilled technicians. This means there is potential for career advancement and higher earning potential.

Consider pursuing education and certifications to broaden your skillset and increase your value to employers. Look for opportunities to specialize in areas like commercial HVAC or renewable energy systems. And don’t forget about the potential for business ownership and entrepreneurship in the industry.

Take charge of your HVAC career and aim high!

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