During your school days, you may have noticed two particular tracks for students — the one for students going to college, and one for students going into trades. These days, many college students are graduating with huge student loan debt and finding out the hard way they can’t get a job in their chosen profession. But trades? That’s another story.
These days trades are in high demand with great salaries and many job opportunities. Among those careers are HVAC technicians. So what is the average salary of an HVAC technician? You might be surprised to know an HVAC technician averages $28.68, without the heavy debt of four years of college.
Factors That Influence Average Salaries Of An HVAC Technician
Think about areas that have extremes in temperature, whether hot or cold. States with only extreme heat or extreme cold might be more seasonal work, so consider that as a factor, as well.
For instance, an HVAC technician should expect to be very busy during summers in Arizona, where temperatures can reach over 120° during the dog days of summer. On the other hand, Alaska residents have to keep the heat going for their long, frigid winters but probably won’t be as concerned about HVAC technician services in the summer.
However, as with any job, the cost of living in a state will also influence wages for every job. So wages in Kansas will be drastically different than wages in California or New York. Your years of experience with HVAC will also influence how much you can earn.
The Bottom End Of Average Salaries
Speaking of Kansas, as well as Oklahoma, Missouri, Idaho, and Alabama, expect to earn wages on the lower end of the average salary of HVAC technicians in those states. HVAC technicians in the state earn from 15 to 16% lower salaries than average, according to indeed.
However, when you take into consideration whether your work will be much heavier during one season or more stable year-round, that can affect your yearly average.
As a southern state, Alabama will probably be busier during the summer months than in winter. But with the fluctuating temperatures from extremely hot summers to very cold winters commonly found in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, you should probably expect to stay busy year-round. Plus, the cost of living tends to be much cheaper than a lot of other areas of the country.
States With The Highest Average Salaries For HVAC Technicians
So what states pay the most? It should be no surprise that California HVAC technicians can make as much as $73,549 a year, but when you factor in the cost of living, that will likely be on par with salaries in the rest of the country.
Indeed highlights nine cities with the highest average salary for an HVAC technician (excluding California):
- · Jacksonville, Florida – $27.53 an hour
- · San Antonio, Texas – $27.85 an hour
- · Orlando, Florida – $27.91 an hour
- · Las Vegas, Nevada – $28.22 an hour
- · Tampa, Florida – $28.45 an hour
- · Phoenix, Arizona – $29.21 an hour
- · Houston, Texas – $29.28 per hour
- · Austin, Texas – $29.68 an hour
- · Denver, Colorado – $30.54 an hour
Want to live in Orlando near Disney World? Enjoy an eclectic lifestyle in Austin and the SXSW festival? Maybe live in Denver and embrace the outdoors and outdoor sports near the Rockies? That list includes some very desirable locations for a high quality of living besides wages.
Years Of Experience And HVAC Technician Salaries
Obviously, the more years of experience you have, the higher wages you can command and the more competition to hire you as an employee. The quoted averages are usually for those in entry-level jobs and with limited experience. However, an HVAC technician with 10 or more years of experience can expect to earn as much as $38.85 an hour even in states with a relatively low cost of living.
Wages across the spectrum of experience are certainly competitive with many college-level jobs and with the current trend that fewer people are going into these kinds of trade professions, expect a greater demand that will only increase over the years. Cooling and heating are necessities, particularly in extreme temperatures. That means job stability and demand for years to come.
Want To Be Your Own Boss?
For those who have an entrepreneurial spirit or those who just don’t want to answer to a boss, consider starting your own business. This is certainly not the easiest route, but it can be the most fulfilling. There are some factors that you need to consider before opening your own business.
Do you have the capital to invest in the start-up expenses? This can include marketing and listing advertisements. Sure, social media’s free, but it’s not simply a matter of putting up a website or a Facebook page and expecting traffic to magically show up.
If you’re launching your business as the only person working as an HVAC technician, once people start hiring you, you can expect a lot of emergency calls at all hours of the day. Have you landed a significant business client? They’re going to expect you to give fast service to keep their business running regardless of how many appointments are on your schedule.
If you hire other HVAC technicians, can you afford to pay them a fair wage? Businesses, in particular, like to do business on a “net 30” basis. That means you bill them and they have 30 days to pay. So that means you are paying wages upfront. You’re going to need a lot of savings to get started until those invoices are being paid regularly.
Too much to handle for one person? Can you afford to hire an assistant? If not, there is something you can do to help. ServiceWorks offers an all-in-one software program that can help small business owners with multiple tasks. It includes things like following up on leads, invoicing, employee payroll, tracking employees through GPS and so much more. Best of all, you can try it for free with no credit card. It’s like a free virtual assistant.
And it never goes on vacation during the busy season!