Thinking about becoming an HVAC technician?
There’s a lot to like about this career: job growth, opportunities for advancement and a relatively short HVAC training time.
But the big question on your mind is probably, “How much money could I make?”
While the wage data for 2019 won’t be out until the end of the year or later, looking at the most current salary information for HVAC techs can help give you an idea of potential earnings.
Check out the information below to see just where a career in HVAC could take you in 2019 and beyond.
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HVAC Job Outlook
The HVAC career outlook is pretty strong. Jobs for HVAC techs are predicted to be added at a rate of 15 percent through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is more than twice as fast as the national average for all occupations.
Factors Predicted to Drive Job Growth
- Residential and commercial construction
- Energy efficiency and environmentalism
- Equipment replacements, upgrades and repairs
- Technological innovations in HVAC equipment
HVAC techs with knowledge of electronics, computers and troubleshooting are expected to have the best career opportunities.
2017 BLS HVAC Salary Data
HVAC technician salary varies across sectors and locations for several reasons.
HVAC Industry Salary Factors
- Industry or employer
- Success and performance
- HVAC skills and experience
- Job tasks
- Geographic location
Below is the BLS’ HVAC salary data for 2017, the most current year for which statistics are available:
- 10th percentile: $29,120 a year
- 25th percentile: $36,150 annually
- 50th percentile: $47,080 a year
- 75th percentile: $60,270 annually
- 90th percentile: $75,330 a year
Location influences HVAC techs’ salaries. These were the top paying states in 2017:
- District of Columbia
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas:
- San Rafael, CA
- Elgin, IL
- Santa Rosa, CA
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Bay City, MI
- Sheboygan, WI.
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
- Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL
- Peabody-Salem-Beverly, MA
2018 HVAC Salary Survey
A recent survey by Connect Team, an app for non-desk employees, can lend more insight into HVAC salary across the industry based on job title, education and experience.With HVAC equipment becoming increasingly technologically advanced, education and certificates are proving to have the greatest impact on earnings, accounting for a 20-40 percent jump in salary, depending on the credential awarded. At the same time, hands-on experience has lost some of its value compared to education.
Median Annual HVAC Salary by Job Title
- HVAC Installer Salary: $38,000
- HVAC Maintenance Technician Salary: $43,000
- HVAC Technician Salary: $54,000
- HVAC Service Technician Salary: $55,000
- Service & Repair Technical Manager Salary: $65,000
- HVAC Service Manager Salary: $68,000
- HVAC Refrigeration Technician Salary: $72,000
- HVAC Engineer Salary: $80,000
- HVAC Supervisor Salary: $88,000
The survey found that education was the biggest factor in boosting the pay for HVAC techs. More than half of HVAC technicians, 61 percent, had some form of professional education.
HVAC Salary Increase by Education
- Commercial Air Conditioning Certification: 20 percent over industry median
- HVAC Bachelor’s Degree (BS): 20 percent over industry median
- HVAC-R Associate Degree (AS): 24 percent over industry median
- Commercial Refrigeration Certification: 25 percent over industry median
- R-410As Certification: 13 percent over industry median
- Certified HVAC Technician: 9 percent over industry median
More time working in a specific field often means greater productivity. Workers who get more done can tend to have higher earnings, according to the BLS.
HVAC Salary by Experience
- 0-5 Years: $40,000 median annual HVAC salary
- 6-10 Years: $55,000 median annual HVAC salary
- 11-15 Years: $64,000 median annual HVAC salary
- 16+ Years: $68,000 median annual HVAC salary
2018 HVAC Trends
How can HVAC technicians gain a competitive advantage in the field? As the BLS points out, the increasing number of complex HVAC systems will be one source of job growth in coming years. But only for qualified techs.
While HVAC technicians can learn the fundamentals of the trade in an HVAC program at a trade school, it can also be helpful to stay current with industry trends.
2018 HVAC Industry Trends
- Environmentally friendly HVAC equipment
- Internet of Things (IoT) sensors
- Building automation
- Green construction
- Refrigerant regulations
- New energy efficiency standards
Training: The Gateway to an HVAC Career
Many factors can contribute to how much you could take home as an HVAC technician. But education can make a difference in career opportunities and pay.
If you’re interested in the HVAC career path, enrolling in an HVAC program can be a good place to start. There’s much to learn in an HVAC school.