HVAC technician salary

In the United States, the average wage for an HVAC technician is $24.32 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which comes out to around $50,590 per year.

HVAC technician career snapshot

Median pay

$50,590 ($24.32/hr)

Required degrees

None

10-year job growth

5% (Average)

There are many benefits to becoming an HVAC technician, including, but not limited to, work-life balance, learning useful and practical skills, job security, and the ability to earn a decent living over the course of your career.

So, what is the average HVAC technician salary?

Of course, there is a range of salaries that an HVAC technician can earn, and the actual number for any individual depends on a variety of factors including location and experience. Technicians with less than one year of experience tend to earn around $22.47 per hour, while technicians with over 10 years of experience earn an average of $32.83 per hour.

This guide will give an overview of HVAC technician salaries as well as a breakdown of salaries by city and state. We also discuss how experience affects an HVAC technicians’ pay and compare HVAC salaries to those of different careers.

HVAC technician salary overview

On average, an HVAC technician typically earns between $46,000 and $68,000 per year depending on experience.

In 2020, the lowest 10% of HVAC technicians earned around $31,000 per year, while the top 10% earned around $80,000 per year.

The job outlook for HVAC technicians is positive and is projected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030. This number could increase even further with the country’s focus on creating greener and more efficient buildings.

  • Median Annual Salary: $48,730 ($23.43 per hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $77,920 ($37.46 per hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $30,610 ($14.72 per hour)

HVAC technician annual salary (2010-2019)

HVAC technician salary by state

You can get a better idea of what your HVAC salary may be by looking at state-specific data.

Certain states—such as Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, and Connecticut—have higher average HVAC salaries while others—such as Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Kentucky—have lower average salaries.

Below you can see a breakdown of the average HVAC technician salary by state.

State 10th Percentile 25th Percentile 50th Percentile (Median) 75th Percentile 90th Percentile
Alabama $26,490 $32,820 $41,340 $51,900 $62,640
Alaska $42,280 $57,560 $68,310 $78,530 $89,400
Arizona $31,260 $36,200 $45,280 $57,090 $67,930
Arkansas $25,540 $32,120 $39,280 $48,180 $58,360
California $33,580 $41,730 $56,690 $71,710 $93,740
Colorado $34,020 $41,790 $53,080 $64,470 $78,110
Connecticut $39,740 $51,960 $62,690 $77,130 $92,610
Delaware $36,530 $42,670 $50,080 $62,740 $73,510
District of Columbia $49,600 $60,060 $70,770 $83,270 $97,470
Florida $29,590 $35,130 $43,050 $52,140 $63,270
Georgia $26,240 $32,900 $42,980 $54,460 $63,000
Hawaii $35,660 $44,590 $59,440 $75,310 $93,700
Idaho $27,610 $32,850 $42,960 $53,260 $62,570
Illinois $28,480 $38,910 $57,250 $80,400 $99,540
Indiana $33,230 $39,090 $49,040 $61,720 $75,940
Iowa $31,860 $38,810 $50,590 $62,220 $73,770
Kansas $33,800 $40,440 $52,270 $64,110 $79,710
Kentucky $26,920 $32,730 $41,220 $50,960 $62,250
Louisiana $25,440 $33,870 $43,560 $55,520 $64,560
Maine $34,000 $39,510 $47,050 $57,350 $65,080
Maryland $36,190 $45,130 $58,710 $74,210 $91,550
Massachusetts $40,640 $51,820 $62,130 $75,420 $88,520
Michigan $29,840 $36,700 $47,540 $62,400 $76,070
Minnesota $32,930 $42,840 $53,780 $67,640 $89,260
Mississippi $25,230 $30,910 $39,250 $49,800 $59,680
Missouri $30,440 $36,290 $47,580 $63,190 $75,630
Montana $29,810 $35,500 $44,340 $56,820 $70,100
Nebraska $32,500 $38,600 $49,760 $61,870 $75,410
Nevada $31,500 $41,390 $54,390 $62,800 $76,840
New Hampshire $34,940 $42,990 $54,650 $63,700 $75,740
New Jersey $33,080 $40,850 $56,860 $75,620 $93,010
New Mexico $27,670 $32,970 $43,450 $52,890 $63,520
New York $34,290 $42,980 $56,800 $75,120 $93,110
North Carolina $27,430 $34,360 $43,150 $52,260 $62,810
North Dakota $34,400 $40,980 $50,970 $63,650 $77,820
Ohio $29,600 $36,200 $47,270 $59,510 $70,150
Oklahoma $27,240 $33,400 $43,280 $56,380 $68,910
Oregon $31,940 $37,090 $49,720 $62,540 $77,400
Pennsylvania $32,710 $39,360 $50,060 $62,930 $75,850
Rhode Island $34,750 $43,830 $57,020 $69,310 $81,550
South Carolina $29,980 $36,610 $44,770 $52,750 $61,950
South Dakota $30,290 $38,020 $46,220 $57,020 $68,080
Tennessee $26,360 $31,750 $40,120 $52,430 $62,640
Texas $29,180 $36,680 $45,510 $56,410 $67,510
Utah $29,760 $36,910 $47,820 $60,670 $74,760
Vermont $39,050 $45,510 $53,450 $60,280 $65,360
Virginia $28,500 $38,140 $49,770 $61,360 $74,350
Washington $35,350 $44,050 $56,480 $73,680 $97,660
West Virginia $26,740 $32,830 $40,910 $52,780 $65,450
Wisconsin $33,940 $42,470 $52,760 $65,440 $80,130
Wyoming $32,800 $38,040 $48,770 $57,610 $62,630

How experience affects HVAC salaries

Experience is the largest driver in determining how much an HVAC technician can make. The average salary earned by an HVAC technician based on experience can be seen below:

  • Entry/Mid-Level (0-5 years of experience): The average entry/mid-level salary for an HVAC technician is around $22 per hour. This equals $45,760 per year.
  • Senior (6-9 years of experience): The average salary for a senior HVAC technician is $27.65 per hour. This equals $57,512 per year.
  • Manager (10+ years of experience): The average salary for an HVAC technician manager is $32.83 per year. This equals $68,286 per year.

Do HVAC technicians make good money?

HVAC technicians make a comparable wage to plumbers, who make $26.52 per hour on average, and electricians, who make $27.01 on average. However, HVAC technicians with 10+ years of experience average a higher salary ($32.83 per hour) than plumbers ($31.16 per hour) and electricians ($29.62 per hour) with the same amount of experience.

In addition, HVAC technicians make significantly more than construction workers, who make $17.83 per hour on average.

How to improve your chances of getting a better HVAC salary

HVAC technicians can earn a wide range of salaries and, as with anything else, you get out what you out in.

Below are some ways to improve your chances of earning a higher salary as an HVAC technician:

Get more certifications

There are many certifications available for HVAC technicians, and with each one earned, your salary potential increases. Below are some examples of HVAC technician certifications:

EPA 608 Certification

The EPA 608 Certification is required by the EPA for HVAC technicians in every state.

NATE Certifications

NATE Certifications are not required, but demonstrate your knowledge of a given skill, both to clients and employers.

NATE Ready-to-Work Certificate

This NATE Certification tests a technician’s ability to work as an entry-level employee.

HVAC Support Technician Certificate

This certification is for technicians during the first six months to one year in the industry.

NATE Core & Specialty Tests Certification

This certification is for technicians with more than two years of experience. Additionally, this certification is required before any attempt at North American Technician Excellence (NATE) specialization certifications.

Installation Specialty Certifications
  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Distribution
  • Air to Air Heat Pump
  • Gas Heating (Air)
Service Specialty Certifications
  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Conditioning - Spanish
  • Air Distribution
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Heat Pump (Air to Air)
  • Heat Pump (Air to Air) - Spanish
  • Gas Heating (Air)
  • Gas Heating (Air) - Spanish
  • Hydronics Gas
  • Hydronics Oil
  • Light Commercial Refrigeration
  • Oil Heating (Air)
Senior Level Efficiency Analyst Certification

This certification is for HVAC technicians who have more than five years of experience and at least two NATE specialty certifications. Some examples of NATE certifications will be listed below.

HVAC Excellence

HVAC Excellence offers progressive levels of certification that distinguish a technician’s knowledge and skill level as the advance in their career.

Stay on top of the industry & new technologies

As with most industries, the HVAC industry is constantly evolving. New technologies and practices are being introduced into the industry each year and keeping up to date on the new developments will increase your earning potential.

Improve your sales skills

As you gain more experience as a technician, you will meet and interact with new customers. Learning how to instill confidence and comfort in your customers can go a long way when it comes to earning more money.

Work on your management skills

As your career progresses, you will likely be given opportunities to manage less-experienced employees. It is important to take advantage of these opportunities so that you can demonstrate to your employer that you have what it takes to become a manager, and in turn, make more money. Focusing on management skills will also go a long way if you ever decide to start your own HVAC company.

Start your own company (once you have the experience)

Once you have gained enough experience as an HVAC technician, it may be a good idea to start your own company. If you feel that you excel when it comes to managing multiple employees, this may be a great option to explore. With your own company, your earning potential is limitless.

>> Read More: HVAC Technician Job Outlook