HVAC Technician Pay and HVAC Jobs

Before we get into hvac technician pay rates, let’s look at all of the different types of hvac jobs there are. The lowest paying hvac job may be an apprenticeship program. Although the experience may far outweigh the pay in the beginning, as the more knowledgeable you are, the more you can learn, the more valuable you are to a hvac company.

As a disclaimer, besides the graph at the end, everything in this article is my personal opinion. So please take that into consideration if you are pursuing a career in the hvac industry. Since HVAC technician pay and vary widely, I will be splitting the pay rate up into three groups. Tier 1, 2 and 3. At the end of the article, there will be some average salaries that may give you a better understanding of Hvac technician pay.

Hvac apprentices come fresh out of school and get there feet wet. Learning how to troubleshoot in the field, quote customers on repairs, and advise customers on the benefits of upgrading verses fixing equipment. For the purpose of this article, we are going to place Hvac apprentices at bottom tier, for hvac job pay rate. You can learn more about the different types of hvac jobs here.

Hvac Installer Technician Pay

Lots of variables here, but the pay is going to be somewhere in-between low and medium Tier pay. Some installers will get an hourly rate, while some will get paid by the job. Anything that goes wrong with the install, that installed may be held accountable, having to come back and fix it on their own time. I have seen this model of work before and like it, it may motivate the technician to ‘do it right the first time’.

Hvac installers may be divided up between these categories.

  1. Residential Hvac Installer
  2. Sheet metal and duct work fabricator
  3. Start up Hvac installer, for companies that do many homes at once, buildings.
  4. Commercial/Refrigeration Installer

Hvac Service Technician Pay

Hvac Service Technician installing a blower motor on a water sourced heat pump indoors.

A step up from the HVAC installer, in my humble opinion of course, as it’s usually a bit more technical. I would put the Hvac technician pay grade as a mid Tier pay. HVAC technicians can be divided up into several  different job titles. Starting from the bottom and working my way up.

  1. Hvac Maintenance Technician
  2. Residential Hvac Service Technician
  3. Commercial/Refrigeration Service Technician
  4. Hvac Technician, Residential or Commercial, that gets paid strictly on commission. If you like sales and could care less about taking care of the customer, and only filling your pockets, by all means there are lots of hvac companies that pay you straight commission. These HVAC Techs have unlimited potential for earnings, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

Hvac Engineer Residential, Commercial and Refrigeration Pay

I would put this hvac job title somewhere between mid and top tier pay. Specifically because there is a lot of sales and math involved, and the better you are at convincing the customer to buy a top of the line product, the more money you have the potential to make.

Hvac Technician writing on a tablet, standing in a boiler room.
Hvac Inspector standing in a boiler room while writing on a tablet

Senior HVAC Title

This is top tier, more often than a mid-tier pay grade in my opinion. Whether it be the Senior HVAC installer, tech, commercial tech, refrigeration tech or system engineer, these are the techs you want to learn from. These are the techs that you want to listen to. Many big hvac companies don’t just throw these titles around, but the techs had to spend many years earning this title. I would call this a top tier hvac technician pay rate.

HVAC Business CEO

I’ve worked with several hvac techs that have went on to run their own business. This has the biggest potential to make the most money out of your hvac career. But it also has the biggest risk. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you won’t have to go out and work in the field day in and out. At first you will be doing more work than anyone, you will have to set the standard of the quality of work your business is building its name on. Besides the giant HVAC companies, which there are not many compared to the smaller HVAC companies, these owners will be working 60+ hours a week minimum.

HVAC Salaries in Every State 2019 Data

Before getting on the path to become a professional HVAC technician, it is reasonable to wonder: how much do HVAC technicians make? Housecall Pro scraped Indeed.com and collected information from thousands of HVAC job listings about HVAC salaries, number of job openings and percentage of HVAC jobs paying over $55,000 a year in each state. Here is the full data:

Infograph of HVAC technician Salaries 2019 compiled by housecallpro.com, source indeed.com