HVAC Technician Career and Salary

Article Sources


"Five Reasons to Consider an HVAC Career," CBT College, December 21, 2012, http://blog.cbt.edu/category/technology/

Heat & Cool Efficiently, Energy Star, accessed June 2014, http://www.energystar.gov/?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes499021.htm

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014

Summary Report for Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers, O*Net OnLine, 2013, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/49-9021.01


The body has remarkable abilities to regulate its core temperature, but for houses and other buildings, you need HVAC experts. The field of HVAC, or heating, ventilation and air conditioning, is an evolving and adapting field that offers a range of career options.

HVAC engineering, a subset of mechanical engineering, entails designing systems for residential and commercial buildings that maximize a building's thermal comfort and air quality. Because heating and cooling accounts for up to half of a typical home's energy bill, these systems are increasingly being engineered to run as efficiently as possible.

HVAC technicians, on the other hand, generally work to install and/or maintain systems, and specialize in either residential or commercial buildings. Technicians often develop an area of expertise, such as plumbing, heating or green building technologies, including solar collectors and geothermal power.

Job prospects

With the right training, job opportunities for HVAC mechanics and installers could be excellent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). The BLS projects employment growth of 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Owing to the complexity of HVAC systems, technicians with expertise in computers and electronics may be in particularly high demand.

Employers increasingly prefer applicants for technician positions who have completed postsecondary education from a technical or trade school, or an apprenticeship. Programs leading to a certificate or associate's degree typically last six months to two years. Careers in HVAC engineering generally require at least a bachelor's degree in an engineering field.

Careers in HVAC often begin with construction contractors. An entry-level job as a technician could be the jumping point for a position as a service manager, shop foreman, supervisor or jobsite superintendent. Some HVAC engineers and technicians go into business for themselves and enjoy the freedom of setting their own hours and pay scale.


In 2013 HVAC mechanics and installers earned a national median annual salary of $43,880 and a mean hourly wage of $21.10, according to the BLS. The top 10 percent earned $69,740 annually, while the bottom 10 percent earned $27,210.

CareerProjected Number of New JobsProjected Job Growth Rate
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers49,10014.7
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Job statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2011 72 percent of HVAC technicians had a post-secondary certificate, 16 percent had a high-school diploma or equivalent, and 6 percent had some college with no degree. Approximately 9 percent of HVAC technicians are self-employed, according to the BLS, and the remainder work for construction contractors.

With the right training as a starting point, a career in HVAC may offer job stability and a rewarding lifelong profession.

Article Sources
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HVAC Technician (11-month diploma program)
UEI College , Chula Vista
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
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Degree - Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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Heating, Ventilation, and AC
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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Heating and Air Conditioning
  • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
  • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
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  • Online Courses
Mayfield College , Cathedral City
Good for Working Adults
  • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
  • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
  • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
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