When we talk about employment information, the first source we need to check is the one that is most authoritative: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the most recent edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the section on Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers has nothing but good news for these professionals.
The median annual wages for HVAC/R professionals (in 2010) of $42,530 is almost 20 percent greater than the median annual wages of all occupations, at $33,840. And the job outlook, or the projected change in employment for the decade between 2010 and 2020, is projected to be 34 percent, a much faster gain than the average of 14 percent.
Other sources help explain these numbers. On the LifeTips site, in response to the question, “What is the job market like for HVAC specialists?” the reply begins, “Innovations in technology and greater demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems are creating a need for more certified technicians and specialists.” The factors behind these innovations are:
- The growing awareness of the hazardous effects of pollution, mold and bacteria in closed environments;
- Improvements of current HVAC/R systems to make them more energy efficient;
- The integration of computer systems with home energy systems to create “smart houses”; and
- New regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency which make cleaner air a priority.
Finally, a perspective from some in the field is provided by this wiki.Answers page responding to the query, “How much do HVAC techs earn?” The first respondent says, “An HVAC Technician can earn up to $35 per hour. . . . It is not uncommon for a well trained tech to earn 50 – 60,000 per year.” He then goes on to point out, logically, “Everyone, everywhere will always need heating or cooling.”
Points added by other contributors to the article are worth noting, especially:
- Be sure to get your EPA and NATE certifications.
- Larger companies pay more, but investigate their standing with customers before accepting a job with them.
- Earnings are greater with non-union companies.
- “Most important if you don’t know much about this trade, applied physics, and electrical/mechanical codes please don’t consider this as a career option because your fellow techs will hate you for callbacks.”
Contact My Open Jobs for the best-qualified technicians and highest-paying employers in the industry.