In October 2009, the average salary for an HVAC technician was $52,000. However, the salary varies widely depending on whether or not you choose to specialize in one area of the industry, where you live and what type of work you do. HVAC technicians and mechanics can choose to specialize in one of numerous fields. Just keep in mind that making the decision to specialize in solar panel installation or refrigeration has a huge impact on your salary. It’s important to research your options before you begin school and start your career.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an HVAC technician in 2008, was $42,000 per year – or $20.31 per hour. While $42,000 is the average salary, the typical wages for general HVAC technicians varies widely depending on the type of job and you’re the area in which you reside. Those at the low-end of the pay scale are more likely to find themselves with a starting salary of around $25,000 per year, while those at the higher-end of the pay scale – those with a lot of experience – are used to salaries that range around $63,000 per year. Also keep in mind that the Bureau of Labor Statistics combined the entire HVAC industry when compiling their figures – this means that installers and technicians were often grouped together, even though their individual pay varied.
HVAC technicians are trained to do a wide variety of jobs, and therefore can hold numerous titles. Like other industries your job title reflects the amount of money you earn. For example, as of 2009, a HVAC service technician’s average hourly rate was $19.07, while an installer earned approximately $16.39 per hour. The same scenario applies to a HVAC mechanic, who in 2009 averaged $19.60 per hour, and an installation technician who averaged $16.50 per hour. In addition, those who have worked in the industry for a long time earn a higher wage, and those who specialize in one specific area are at the higher end of the pay scale.
There are a number of industries an HVAC professional can work in. Your pay rate varies depending on what industry you intend to work in. For example, building equipment contractors average $40,850, direct selling establishments average $43,360, a wholesaler’s average income is $47,360 and commercial equipment repair and maintenance make an average of $44,500.
Where you live also has an impact on your annual salary. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the areas where the pay is higher are typically the areas where the cost of living is higher. Because of this the pay tends to even out. For example, someone certified as a HVAC mechanic 1 who lives in Columbus, Ohio averages an annual salary of $40,871, while someone with the same certification living in Los Angeles, California can expect a salary averaging approximately $45,836 per year.