Salary of a HVAC technician depends on many factors. Anyway, the median pay for this kind of specialist in the United States is $41,000. In this research we have tried to analyze the main variables that influence HVAC salary, and below you can find them, most important are placed on top.

Experience

hvac salary by experience

HVAC technician salary by years of experience. Source: Payscale

According to our research, this is the main influencer. As you can see from the graph on the left, the starting wage increases as you gain more experience. What is interesting, there’s little growth for technicians with 5 to 9 and 10 to 19 years of experience, even though, for latest the top salary is higher. Minimal salary for HVAC technicians with 20+ years of experience is higher since they are able to train and supervise apprentices.

What conclusion can we make from this? First of all, after 5 years in career there’s room for salary growth through getting new responsibilities, since employers are not willing to pay more just because you’re working for 7 years, not 6.

Location

Location influences your salary probably even more than experience, the only reason why we have put this factor on a second place is because concrete employer and his current situation mean more than just location. Let us explain. As a HVAC technician, you will find job in any state. What is important, there are obviously better chances of obtaining a job in states, where construction industry is on the rise. Still, in other states you can focus on maintenance-related jobs.

According to what we have found out, the highest-paying states are Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Georgia. On the opposite, the lowest-paying states are: South Dakota, Utah and Nebraska.

But, please keep in mind that it’s very possible that you will get a better job offer in Utah compared to Georgia, just because there’s an urgent need for a specialist that should take care of HVAC systems in a large community area.
Also, be ready to relocate if you’re looking for a better salary as you start, after completion of training and certification.

Certification

For more info on HVAC certification, please visit this link. As you can see, you based on certification type, you can be limited to performing certain duties. As your professional level grows, and it’s confirmed by certification, you’re allowed to perform more complex type of jobs with higher pay.

Type of Employer

HVAC technician salary by employer

HVAC technician salary by type of employer. Source: Payscale

It’s clear from the graph that self-employed HVAC technicians tend to get a higher starting wage. This situation is actually the same in any other sphere, where contractors claim higher rates compared to employed workers. Anyway, if you consider starting as individual HVAC contractor, you should understand that without a good client base the business won’t succeed. Also, you need some experience to run this setup, so we suggest starting as an employed worker, to learn more about profession itself and business in general. Remember what we’ve discussed in Experience section? It makes sense to start own HVAC business after working for 4-5 years for somebody.

The downsides are also obvious – self-employed contractors have less security, but considering higher wages this is the choice we have to make in any industry, not only HVAC.

What about the difference in salaries for HVAC technicians working for different types of organizations, they are not that significant.

Conclusion

When your career as a HVAC technician is starting, you should consider relocation as a good way to increase your wage. Since salary starts to grow slowly after you reach four or five years of experience, you can earn more by obtaining higher-level certifications or establishing own HVAC service.