HVAC Technician Salaries: What to Expect and Ways to Boost Your Income

Published: December 28, 2023, Last Updated: February 2, 2024

Writer at Finturf.com
Writer: Martha Pierson
Editor at Finturf.com
Editor: Anais Osipova
Reviewer at Finturf.com
Reviewer: Michael Needham

Welcome to our in-depth exploration of the HVAC technician salary. It’s more than just a number, it’s a reflection of skills, experience, and the ever-changing demands of the industry.

illustration showcases a young Hispanic female technician in a green uniform, working on a heating system in an office environment.

From dissecting state-by-state variations to unraveling the threads of specialization and experience, we’ll walk you through the layers of how much do HVAC techs make.

How Much Do HVAC Technicians Make

When discussing the HVAC technician salary, several factors come into play, including:

  • Experience
  • Location
  • Specialization
  • Additional skills like sales and customer service
  • Consumer financing options

We will discuss how these factors affect HVAC technician salaries, but first, let’s look at some general numbers.

Average HVAC Salary

As of 2023, an average HVAC technician in the United States earns about $3,146 monthly after taxes, translating to roughly $723 per week. Bear in mind that this is a national average, and the figure may vary widely depending on the factors we mentioned earlier.

How Much Does an HVAC Technician Make Per Hour?

For those just starting out in their first five years, the average hourly wage is around $22. As HVAC technicians move into the mid-level phase of their career, between six to nine years of experience, their hourly wage typically increases to about $27. For seasoned professionals with over 10 years of experience, the hourly rate further climbs to approximately $32.

How Much Does an HVAC Tech Make Yearly?

In terms of experience, entry-level HVAC technicians, typically with less than 5 years of experience, earn an average of $45,760 per year. As their experience grows, so do their potential earnings. For example, technicians with 6-9 years of experience can average around $57,512 annually, and those with over 10 years of experience can earn about $68,286 per year.

HVAC Technician Salary by State

The HVAC tech salary varies significantly across the United States, reflecting regional differences in cost of living, demand for services, and local economic conditions. The table below presents the average hourly rate and yearly salary HVAC technicians receive in each state:

StateAverage Hourly RateAverage Yearly Salary
Alabama$19.10$40,891
Alaska$38.08$72,291
Arizona$23.36$47,472
Arkansas$18.33$38,799
California$34.01$62,310
Colorado$26.99$52,161
Connecticut$36.96$70,029
Delaware$27.26$57,998
District of Columbia$37.11$73,977
Florida$20.78$44,118
Georgia$21.99$46,238
Hawaii$22.68$54,288
Idaho$23.22$48,545
Illinois$27.03$58,579
Indiana$23.49$51,232
Iowa$23.12$49,607
Kansas$20.89$49,678
Kentucky$21.73$43,180
Louisiana$25.96$47,574
Maine$24.52$51,337
Maryland$33.85$68,097
Massachusetts$37.63$68,489
Michigan$24.33$50,344
Minnesota$26.89$57,083
Mississippi$21.38$42,890
Missouri$20.49$45,509
Montana$24.76$47,945
Nebraska$22.20$48,144
Nevada$26.18$56,743
New Hampshire$26.60$56,254
New Jersey$34.97$65,871
New Mexico$21.08$42,454
New York$27.16$60,535
North Carolina$21.94$46,105
North Dakota$27.61$53,262
Ohio$24.65$51,609
Oklahoma$21.42$44,527
Oregon$26.65$57,729
Pennsylvania$24.22$55,845
Rhode Island$33.74$61,310
South Carolina$21.64$46,065
South Dakota$22.51$45,081
Tennessee$20.57$41,154
Texas$22.62$47,583
Utah$21.17$48,143
Vermont$22.54$51,046
Virginia$26.73$57,298
Washington$32.26$66,491
West Virginia$19.63$40,924
Wisconsin$23.63$51,528
Wyoming$25.29$49,717

States with the Highest Entry-Level HVAC Technician Salaries

If you’re kicking off a career as an HVAC technician, location matters. States like California and New Jersey, known for their higher living costs, tend to offer higher starting salaries to compensate.

These are the top 10 states where entry-level HVAC technicians earn the most:

StateAverage Hourly RateAverage Annual Salary
California$27.79$57,800
New Jersey$26.73$55,600
Connecticut$26.73$55,600
Washington$26.54$55,200
Massachusetts$26.49$55,100
Alaska$25.00$54,600
New York$24.68$53,900
Hawaii$24.31$53,100
New Hampshire$24.22$52,900
Rhode Island$24.17$52,800

States with the Highest Senior HVAC Technician Salaries

Experienced HVAC technicians can expect higher salaries, especially in states with certain economic characteristics like growing industries and higher living costs.

This table showcases the states where senior technicians, typically with 10 years of experience and more, earn the most:

StateAverage Hourly RateAverage Annual Salary
California$36.44$75,800
Massachusetts$35.24$73,300
Connecticut$35.00$72,800
New Jersey$34.95$72,700
Washington$34.86$72,500
Alaska$34.43$71,600
New York$33.75$70,200
Hawaii$33.47$69,600
Minnesota$33.37$69,400
New Hampshire$33.27$69,200

Which Cities Have The Highest HVAC Technician Salaries?

Delving deeper into the HVAC technician salary landscape, we turn our focus to the cities where these professionals earn the most. Big cities like San Francisco and New York often offer higher salaries, reflecting the need to compensate for the increased living expenses. Moreover, cities with booming construction and technology sectors, like Boston or Seattle, show a strong demand for HVAC expertise, driving up salaries.

The table below represents the top 20 cities in the U.S. where the HVAC technician salary is the highest:

CityAverage Hourly RateAverage Annual Salary
Danbury, CT$52.93$110,094
Gaithersburg, MD$49.02$101,961
San Francisco, CA$45.77$95,202
Boston, MA$43.20$89,856
Edison, NJ$42.48$88,359
Philadelphia, PA$42.45$88,296
Williston, VT$42.43$88,254
Manchester, NH$42.34$88,067
Miami, FL$41.66$86,653
Anchorage, AK$41.47$86,258
New York, NY$40.45$84,136
Marietta, GA$38.95$81,016
Grand Rapids, MI$37.92$78,874
Washington, D.C.$37.13$77,235
Seattle, WA$37.10$77,176
Warwick, RI$36.93$76,814
Cincinnati, OH$36.85$76,648
Providence, RI$36.85$76,648
Richmond, CA$36.46$75,830
Littleton, CO$35.92$74,174

Average HVAC Salary by Specialization

In the HVAC industry, salaries can also vary widely based on specialization. Specializations like installation, service, maintenance, and repair each come with their unique skill sets, demands, and, consequently, pay scales. Let’s delve into the average salaries for HVAC technicians of these specializations, offering a clearer picture of the financial prospects in each domain.

HVAC Installers

These professionals focus primarily on the installation of new HVAC systems. Their work is project-based and often seasonal, with peak times aligning with new construction and major renovations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual HVAC installer salary is $51,390 or $24.71 per hour. However, HVAC installers in high-demand areas or those working with advanced, high-efficiency settings systems may earn more.

HVAC Service Technicians

Service technicians specialize in diagnosing problems, performing repairs, and ensuring the efficient operation of HVAC systems. Their roles require strong problem-solving skills and a deep understanding of HVAC systems. PayScale reports that HVAC service technicians earn an average salary of $58,645 per year, or $24.45 per hour, as of 2023. This figure can rise with experience, overtime work, and additional skills like customer service and sales.

HVAC Repair Technicians

HVAC repair technicians and service technicians, while similar in their general focus, differ in their specific job functions. Repair technicians are typically focused on troubleshooting and fixing broken HVAC systems, unlike service technicians, whose scope is broader and includes installations and maintenance of HVAC systems.

The salary for HVAC repair technicians can be variable, depending on the complexity of the work and the technician’s experience. The median pay for these technicians is close to that of installers and service technicians, ranging between $50,000 and $55,000 annually.

HVAC Maintenance Technicians

These technicians focus on the regular maintenance of HVAC systems, ensuring they operate efficiently and have a longer lifespan. The role often involves routine checks, filter changes, and minor repairs. The average salary for HVAC maintenance technicians is on average $50,306 yearly or $20.37 hourly, varying with location and experience.

Factors Shaping HVAC Technician Salaries

Venturing into the world of HVAC technicians reveals a diverse and dynamic salary landscape shaped by several key factors that go beyond just experience and technical skills.

an animated, colorful illustration that depicts a middle-aged Black male technician in a blue uniform, working on an air conditioning unit in a residential setting.

Understanding these elements can help you navigate and advance your career in this field. Let’s explore the main factors that mold the earning potential of HVAC technicians:

  • Experience: In the HVAC industry, salary tends to rise with both the number of years in the field and the depth of experience. Typically, after 5 years in the field, technicians will see a noticeable increase in salary. After 9 to 10 years, technicians will often reach the senior level, followed by a significant increase in pay. Moreover, a technician who has worked across different settings, dealt with various types of HVAC systems, and continuously updated their skill set is likely to be viewed as more valuable, earning higher pay.
  • Education and Certifications: Continuous learning and certification are highly relevant in an industry that evolves with technology. Formal education in HVAC, such as a diploma from a technical school or an associate degree in HVAC technology, provides a comprehensive foundation in the field. Moreover, certified HVAC technicians typically earn 10% more than the industry average. HVAC certifications from organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) signify a technician’s expertise and commitment to the field, often leading to higher pay.
  • Location: As we mentioned earlier, geographical location plays a pivotal role in an HVAC technician’s salary. Technicians in areas with higher living costs, like large cities or regions with extreme temperatures, tend to earn more. This is reflected in both state and city-specific salary variations.
  • Employer Type: The type and size of the organization employing the technician can affect salaries. For example, technicians working for larger corporations or in industries like construction, technology, or healthcare may have higher salaries than those in smaller, local businesses.
  • Specialization: Technicians specializing in areas like commercial HVAC or refrigeration typically earn more than those working primarily with residential systems. Specialization can lead to expertise in high-demand areas, thereby increasing earning potential.
  • Industry Trends and Demand: The growing demand for energy-efficient and sustainable HVAC systems is also shaping the industry. Technicians who keep up with energy-efficient systems or smart home integrations and have the necessary skills are likely to be in higher demand, potentially leading to better salaries.

How To Increase Your Chances of Getting a Higher HVAC Salary?

As we near the conclusion of our comprehensive guide to the HVAC technician salary, it becomes clear that there are tangible steps you can take to elevate your earnings.

graphic featuring a White male HVAC technician with a clipboard that has performance graphs with upward trends.

Here are some actionable tips that can boost your career as an HVAC specialist:

  • Continuous Education: The HVAC industry is rapidly evolving. Staying updated with the latest technological advancements like smart home technology and solar-powered systems can make you an indispensable asset. Websites like Coursera and Udemy offer courses in HVAC technology, smart home integrations, and energy efficiency. Many community colleges and technical schools also offer hands-on courses and degree programs in HVAC technology.
  • More Certifications: Certifications like the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) or EPA 608 certification are highly regarded in the industry. These certifications are recognized as a mark of excellence and quality within the industry. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification is also known for its solar-power system certifications. The skills and knowledge gained through these certifications demonstrate a technician’s proficiency and can lead to higher pay.
  • Specialization: Specializing in areas like energy-efficient systems, solar energy, or geothermal heating can set you apart. You can get these specializations through training programs offered by community colleges or by participating in industry-specific workshops and seminars organized by NABCEP. Technicians with expertise in these niche areas are often in higher demand and command greater salaries.
  • Improving Sales Skills: Enhancing your sales skills can significantly boost your income, especially if you work in environments where upselling services or products is possible. Use effective communication, including active listening and persuasive articulation, to showcase the product benefits. Additionally, build a rapport with clients to foster trust that can lead to more HVAC leads and successful upselling of more advanced models or services.
  • Integrate an HVAC Financing Solution: HVAC technicians who provide flexible consumer financing options help eliminate the barrier of large upfront costs for their clients. This flexibility allows more customers to commit to necessary services or upgrades they might have otherwise postponed due to financial constraints. As a result, technicians can experience an increase in job frequency and scope, leading to potentially higher earnings due to the expanded customer base and consistent workflow.
  • Networking: Building a robust professional network can lead to new job opportunities and insights into the industry. Platforms like LinkedIn and industry events like the AHR Expo, the HVAC Excellence Educators Conference, and the Eastern Energy Expo can be great starting points for networking.
  • Relocation to Higher-Paying Areas: If feasible, relocating to areas with a higher demand for HVAC services or higher living costs can result in a bump in your salary. However, make sure to double-check licensing requirements for your state, as your current license may not automatically be valid in another state.
  • Negotiate: Don’t shy away from negotiating your salary, especially when you have enhanced your skills or gained new certifications. Research industry-standard rates and then confidently articulate your worth, focusing on how your skills, certifications, and contributions benefit the company. Choose the right timing, such as during performance reviews, and be open to discussing other benefits if a salary increase isn’t feasible.

HVAC Salary FAQ

Read our FAQ section if you still have some unanswered questions about HVAC technician salaries:

How Do Technological Advancements Influence HVAC Technician Salaries?

As the industry shifts toward more advanced, energy-efficient, and smart HVAC systems, technicians with skills in these areas are increasingly in demand. This demand translates into higher salaries for those who are proficient in installing, maintaining, and repairing these modern systems. Technicians knowledgeable about smart home integration, Internet of Things-enabled HVAC systems, or green technologies like solar-powered heating and cooling systems can command higher wages.

As mentioned above, HVAC technicians make an average of $45,760 yearly. However, Energy Technicians specializing in smart systems and energy efficiency make, on average, $82,051.

How Much Does a Master HVAC Technician Make?

A master HVAC technician, typically with extensive experience of more than 10 years and advanced certifications, can earn significantly more than entry-level technicians. On average, they can make anywhere from $88,600 per year or higher, depending on the state, specialization, and complexity of the work they handle.

What Is the Job Growth Outlook for HVAC Technicians?

The job outlook for HVAC technicians is quite promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for HVAC technicians is expected to grow by 5% from 2020 to 2030. This can be explained by the surge of new constructions, the increasing complexity of HVAC systems, and an emphasis on energy efficiency.

Can HVAC Technicians Advance Their Careers?

HVAC technicians have several avenues for career advancement. This can include moving into senior technical roles, specializing in areas like green technology or smart systems, stepping into management, or even starting their own HVAC businesses. Continuous education and certifications play a pivotal role in these advancements.

Final Thoughts

As we close out our exploration into the dynamic world of HVAC technician salaries, it’s evident that this profession can offer a stable income and a trajectory for substantial financial growth. The industry’s diverse landscape, influenced by factors like experience, location, and specialization, opens up numerous paths to increase your earning potential.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to elevate your career, the keys to success are continuous learning, skill enhancement, and adaptability to industry trends.


Martha Pierson

Content CreatorMartha Pierson is a marketing strategist and business development expert based in Glendale, California. As a content creator for the Finturf blog, Martha shares her vast knowledge and experience with readers to help them build and sustain successful businesses. Her articles offer practical tips and actionable advice that entrepreneurs can implement immediately to achieve their goals. Martha also provides insightful analysis of current trends across different industries and offers expert guidance on how businesses can adapt to changing market conditions.

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