HVAC Tech Salaries: How Much Does an HVAC Tech Make?

HVAC Tech Salaries: How Much Does an HVAC Tech Make

If you’re considering a career as an HVAC technician, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to make. The truth is, HVAC tech salaries can vary depending on several factors. In this article, we’ll explore the average salary range for HVAC technicians, as well as the many factors that can influence their pay.

Key Takeaways

  • The average salary range for HVAC technicians in the United States varies based on a number of factors.
  • These factors include experience, certifications, location, industry specialization, and job outlook.
  • Acquiring additional certifications, gaining specialized skills, and pursuing higher-level positions can help maximize your earning potential as an HVAC tech.

Factors Affecting HVAC Tech Salaries

When it comes to HVAC tech pay, several factors come into play. Your earnings as an HVAC technician can vary significantly, depending on certain key factors.


Your level of experience is one of the most significant factors that can impact your HVAC technician earnings. Generally, the longer you’ve been working in the field, the higher the pay you can expect. As you gain experience, you’ll become more skilled and knowledgeable, which can make you a more valuable employee to HVAC companies.


Many HVAC companies place a high value on certification. If you have earned additional certifications beyond the basic requirements, you’re likely to earn more money than someone without those credentials. Some of the most highly valued certifications include North American Technician Excellence (NATE), HVAC Excellence, and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES).


Where you live and work can also play a significant role in determining your HVAC technician wage. In general, HVAC techs in urban areas tend to earn more than those in rural areas. Additionally, certain regions of the United States may have a higher demand for HVAC services, which can translate to higher pay.

Industry Specialization

The industry or type of HVAC work you specialize in can also impact your earnings. For instance, HVAC technicians who work in the commercial sector may earn more than those who work in residential. Specializing in areas such as industrial refrigeration or geothermal heating and cooling can also lead to higher wages.

Average Salary Range for HVAC Technicians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for HVAC technicians in the United States is around $53,410 as of May 2020. This equates to a median hourly wage of $25.67.

Percentile Annual Wage Hourly Wage
10% $31,910 $15.35
25% $41,680 $20.03
50% $50,590 $24.33
75% $63,250 $30.42
90% $79,040 $38.01

The entry-level salary for HVAC technicians typically falls within the 10th percentile, while experienced technicians who have been in the field for a long time and have developed specific skills may fall into the 90th percentile.

It is worth noting that salaries can vary greatly depending on factors such as location, industry specialization, and certifications. Further details on these factors can be found in the following sections.

HVAC Tech Salaries by Experience Level

As you gain more experience as an HVAC technician, you can expect to see your salary grow. According to industry data, entry-level HVAC technicians with less than one year of experience earn an average of $15.71 per hour, or $32,670 per year.

However, HVAC technicians with five years of experience or more can earn significantly more. The average salary for HVAC technicians with five to nine years of experience is $22.25 per hour, or $46,243 per year. Those with 10 to 19 years of experience can earn an average of $25.27 per hour, or $52,554 per year. HVAC technicians with 20 years of experience or more can earn an average of $27.96 per hour, or $58,138 per year.

It’s important to note that experience alone may not be the only factor impacting your salary as an HVAC technician. Other factors such as certification, industry specialization, and location can also play a role in determining your earning potential.

HVAC Tech Salaries by Certification

While experience is a significant factor in determining HVAC tech salaries, certifications can also play a critical role in increasing earning potential. Holding specific certifications can demonstrate expertise in a particular area, making you a more valuable candidate for hiring managers.

The most highly regarded certifications in the HVAC industry include the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification. According to industry data, holding a NATE certification can increase an HVAC tech’s salary by up to 20%.

Some HVAC companies may also offer training and certification programs, allowing you to gain specialized skills and increase your earning potential. It’s important to research the certifications that are most in-demand in your area and invest in the training necessary to achieve them.

Beyond the immediate salary boost, holding certifications can help you stand out in a crowded field and provide opportunities for advancement to higher-paying positions.

Regional Variances in HVAC Tech Salaries

The salary range for HVAC technicians can also vary depending on where you live and work. Generally speaking, some regions tend to offer higher pay than others due to factors such as supply and demand, cost of living, and industry specialization.

The highest-paying states for HVAC techs are typically those with a high demand for air conditioning, such as Florida and Texas. In contrast, states with more moderate climates may offer lower salaries. For example, the average salary for HVAC technicians in California is $53,000 per year, while technicians in Florida can earn over $63,000 per year.

It’s also worth noting that within each state, salaries can vary by region. HVAC techs in urban areas may earn more than those in rural areas due to higher demand and cost of living. Additionally, certain industries within the HVAC field may offer higher salaries in specific regions. For example, HVAC technicians who specialize in refrigeration and freezer units may earn more in the Northeast, where there is a high demand for commercial refrigeration services.

Industry Specialization and HVAC Tech Salaries

Specializing in certain industries within the HVAC field can have a significant impact on your earning potential. Some industries may offer higher salaries to HVAC technicians than others due to demand or the unique skills required.

Industry Median Salary
Commercial and Industrial Equipment $53,400
Government $52,500
Engineering Services $51,500
Building Equipment Contractors $49,200
Residential Building Construction $46,500

As you can see, specialized skills and training in commercial and industrial equipment servicing can lead to higher salaries. Working for the government or engineering services can also provide a substantial salary boost.

Overall, it’s worth considering specializing in certain industries within the HVAC field if you’re looking to maximize your earning potential. Be sure to research the industries that are in high demand and the skills required to excel in them.

Job Outlook and Future Salary Trends for HVAC Techs

As an HVAC technician, it’s important to keep an eye on the job outlook and emerging trends in the industry to stay competitive and maximize your earning potential. The good news is that the job outlook for HVAC techs is strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 4% growth rate between 2019 and 2029.

One of the emerging trends in the industry is the increasing demand for technicians with specialized skills. As technology advances and HVAC systems become more complex, there is a growing need for technicians who can handle advanced systems and equipment. By acquiring these specialized skills, you can position yourself for higher salaries and greater job security.

Another trend to keep in mind is the shift towards energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly HVAC systems. Many companies are looking for technicians who are knowledgeable about these systems and can help customers reduce their carbon footprint. Becoming certified in these areas can help you stand out from the competition and command higher salaries.

Overall, the job outlook and future salary trends for HVAC technicians are promising. By staying up-to-date with the latest industry developments and acquiring the skills and certifications that are in demand, you can ensure a bright future and maximize your earning potential in this rewarding field.

Tips for Maximizing HVAC Tech Earnings

As an HVAC tech, there are several strategies you can use to increase your earning potential. Here are some tips to help you maximize your income:

  • Acquire Additional Certifications: Earning certifications in specialized areas such as geothermal heating and cooling or commercial refrigeration can increase your value as a technician and potentially lead to higher-paying jobs.
  • Build Your Skill Set: Learning new skills, such as advanced troubleshooting or project management, can make you a more valuable employee and increase your earning potential.
  • Pursue Higher-Level Positions: Climbing the career ladder to become a team leader or supervisor can come with a higher salary and additional benefits.
  • Consider Relocating: Depending on your location, relocating to an area with higher demand for HVAC technicians could lead to better job opportunities and higher pay.
  • Network and Build Relationships: Meeting and building relationships with industry professionals can lead to job opportunities and potentially higher-paying positions.

By implementing these tips, you can take control of your career and increase your earning potential as an HVAC tech.

Benefits and Perks in the HVAC Tech Field

As an HVAC technician, you can expect more than just a basic salary. Many employers offer additional benefits and perks that can significantly increase your overall compensation package. Here are some common benefits and perks you may receive:

Benefit/Perk Description
Health Insurance Many HVAC companies offer health insurance as part of their employee benefits package. This can include medical, dental, and vision coverage for you and your family.
Retirement Plans Some employers offer retirement plans such as 401(k)s or pension plans to help you save for the future. These plans often include employer matching contributions, which can help boost your savings.
Paid Time Off Most companies offer paid time off for sick days, holidays, and vacation time. This can help you maintain a work-life balance and take care of personal responsibilities.
Career Advancement Opportunities Many HVAC companies offer opportunities for career advancement, such as promotions or additional training and certifications. This can help you grow your skills and increase your earning potential over time.
Tool and Uniform Allowance Some companies provide technicians with a tool and uniform allowance to help cover the costs of necessary equipment and work attire. This can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Bonuses Some companies offer bonuses to reward exceptional performance or when the company meets certain goals. These bonuses can be a great way to boost your income and incentivize you to perform at your best.

When evaluating potential job offers as an HVAC technician, be sure to consider the full compensation package, including benefits and perks. These additional incentives can make a big difference in your overall job satisfaction and financial well-being.


Congratulations! You’ve now gained a comprehensive understanding of HVAC tech salaries. From exploring the various factors that can impact earnings to the average salary range for HVAC technicians in the United States, you now have the knowledge to make informed decisions about your career path.

Remember to keep in mind the importance of experience, certifications, and specializing in specific industries within the HVAC field. By taking these factors into account, you can maximize your earning potential as an HVAC technician.

It’s clear that the HVAC industry is a growing and in-demand field, which presents great opportunities for job security and potential salary growth. As you move forward in your HVAC career, keep an eye out for emerging trends that could shape the job market and salary landscape for HVAC technicians.

Thank you for reading! We hope that this article has been helpful in providing you with a comprehensive understanding of HVAC tech salaries.

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