HVAC Salary

HVAC salary is influenced by several factors. The most significant is location, because factors such as variations in regional climate and need for air purification directly influence demand for HVAC techs to service heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Economic factors also vary widely by location, with urban areas tending to pay higher salaries and wages than rural areas.

Experience and specialization also impact HVAC salary on an individual level. HVAC technicians who work in newer technologies, such as solar energy and water heating, have less competition and may charge higher rates.

Another factor influencing HVAC salary is the scope of work contracted to the technician. Although most HVAC technicians are able to perform both installations and maintenance, those specializing in maintenance usually receive more steady work. This is because HVAC installation usually depends on the amount of construction being completed at any given time, while existing HVAC systems require maintenance year-round.

How Much do HVAC Technicians Make?

These are some general HVAC salary figures on a national level:

Lowest Pay Median Pay Highest Pay Average Pay
Hourly Wage $13.14 $20.98 $33.17 $22.03
Annual Salary $27,330 $43,640 $68,990 $45,830

HVAC Salary by State

State-specific factors such as regional climate and state economy can directly influence HVAC salary. Below are the 10 highest paying states for average salary for HVAC technicians.

State Lowest Salary Median Salary Highest Salary Average Salary
Alaska $42,470 $58,510 $102,500 $63,370
DC $42,520 $59,550 $73,360 $58,650
Illinois $32,850 $56,000 $88,430 $57,630
Massachusetts $35,020 $56,290 $75,760 $56,190
Connecticut $35,800 $54,310 $75,670 $54,590
Rhode Island $40,000 $52,990 $75,020 $54,250
New Jersey $34,160 $53,420 $75,260 $54,030
California $31,550 $50,690 $76,320 $52,220
New York $28,460 $50,530 $75,260 $51,890
Washington $32,010 $49,330 $75,250 $51,340
See all states…

HVAC Salary by City

Salary for HVAC technicians can also vary between cities, based on local factors like cost of living, demand for climate control and air purity, and local economy. Below is a sample of major cities for HVAC technician salary.

City Lowest Salary Median Salary Highest Salary Average Salary
Springfield, IL $34,400 $64,020 $91,740 $64,850
Chicago, IL $34,780 $57,490 $90,400 $60,600
Detroit, MI $37,290 $57,010 $84,030 $59,950
Boston, MA $37,720 $58,970 $76,480 $58,980
Seattle, WA $37,590 $57,170 $85,430 $58,300
Newark, NJ $35,380 $57,620 $80,370 $57,830
Anchorage, AK $44,390 $57,290 $70,860 $56,680
Gary, IN $35,180 $54,070 $87,020 $56,660
New York, NY $27,960 $57,760 $81,190 $56,220
Ann Arbor, MI $31,170 $62,570 $73,750 $55,680
See more cities…

HVAC Salary by Industry

Salary for HVAC technicians can also vary between industries. Though many HVAC technicians work independently, common employers include contractors and commercial service centers. Management roles are also held by HVAC techs.

Industry Average Salary Lowest Salary Median Salary Highest Salary
Utilities $52,270 $30,150 $52,870 $76,010
Residential Construction $49,140 $30,550 $47,290 $72,250
Nonresidential Construction $47,560 $31,540 $46,580 $67,060
Contractors $44,720 $26,500 $42,000 $68,500
Management $52,410 $36,470 $50,950 $73,860

Maximizing HVAC Technician Salary Potential

There are several things an HVAC tech can do to earn the highest possible salary. By manipulating the factors that influence HVAC salary, technicians can ensure they are earning the highest pay they are entitled to.

Relocating - Since location is the largest factor that influences HVAC technician salaries, techs can increase their pay by relocating to a state or city that pays higher rates for the same level of expertise. However, since living costs are generally higher in these areas as well, it is smarter to work in higher-paying areas while living in a lower-cost area within commuting distance. For example, HVAC professionals who service Manhattan but live in less expensive areas of New York benefit the most from Manhattan’s higher salary rates.

Becoming Certified - Attaining one of the available HVAC certifications is a good way for less experienced technicians to work their way up the chain by establishing themselves as experts in one or more areas of HVAC. Certifications make technicians more attractive to employers, allowing them to earn higher pay than uncertified HVAC techs.

Getting More Education - Higher levels of education also make HVAC technicians more attractive to employers, with degree-holding technicians being more likely to gain more responsibility and higher salaries.

(Figures based on 2012 data courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)

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