Regardless of where you are in your career, the future of HVACR is looking great. Yet, you can make your future in the field look even better just by gaining experience, continuing education and earning more certificates.
HVACR Salary Survey: Learning Leads to a Larger Paycheck
It’s time for a good HVACR industry salary survey, and this survey — provided by Connecteam — fits the bill perfectly. The bottom line: technicians’ bottom line pay will grow or stagnate relative to their levels of continuing education.
Ed. Note: This salary survey was conducted by Connecteam, using an online survey distributed to a few thousand HVACR professionals and business owners; 340 responses were received.
The future of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) will be a very exciting (and green) one.
Regardless of your job title, HVACR is becoming a more technological industry, which requires a new skill set. Wi-fi thermostats are just the beginning. The HVAC tech of tomorrow will still need to know how to connect a mixing valve but they’ll also need to know how to use complex building management software, interface iOT (internet of things) and smart home devices with A/C units, learn how to troubleshoot them, and move a lot more of their operation online.
Change in general, and new technology in particular, can be overwhelming. However, if you get in front it, and take small bites at a time you may find that the technological demon is not so bad. It can actually be your friend. I mean, for business owners, technology companies introduce productivity tools and help contractors grow their businesses with marketing software.
Working Joes also have a lot to gain. New technology brings with it new opportunities for professional growth. The HVAC technician that learns new technology and keeps up with the industry trends will have a new and valuable skill set. Basically, to stay ahead of the curve, every tech should be rubbing their HVACR crystal ball.
This may come as no surprise to some, but many in the industry tend to downplay the importance of education vs. hands-on experience. If you need further convincing, this HVACR salary survey will get you there.
According to our 2018 HVACR salary survey, the most significant factor in achieving higher pay is education.
• 61% of the HVACR professionals and business owners surveyed had completed some kind of professional education.
• 80% of the industry have an EPA Section 608 certificate. However, if you also have a undergraduate degree (BS) in HVACR your median salary is 32% higher than someone who just has a Section 608.
Like most salary surveys this one also lets you compare where you stand relative to your industry peers. What makes this salary survey unique is that we included business owners as part of our survey. So if you’re an HVACR business owner, you’re in good company. 12% of those surveyed described themselves as HVACR business owners. Stay tuned, business owners, this survey will also cover average and median income for business owners too, and average years of experience and benefits.
Neither the maintenance technician or the installers are making an above-average salary. To do that, you need to be a manager or supervisor, an HVACR engineer or a refrigeration tech.
47% of those surveyed described themselves as HVACR Service Technicians or HVACR Service Managers, while only 10% are HVACR Installers, which, by the way, have the lowest industry salary at $38,000/year. Looks like the maintenance guys dominate the industry over the installers. They could be doing both installs and maintenance, but since 41% stated that they work in commercial repair, and another 11% are in property management, then it makes sense that there are more maintenance techs in the audience.
However, neither the maintenance technician or the installers are making an above average salary. To do that, you need to either be a manager or supervisor, an HVACR engineer or a refrigeration tech.
When it comes to location, Texas and Ohio make up about 11% of the audience, with a little less coming in from Florida and New York. In general, most of the professionals surveyed are from the North East United States or the larger states like Texas, Florida, and California.
The one stand out is Washington. It is difficult to find a commonality here. Weather doesn’t seem to be a factor. Some states are colder, like Indiana and Illinois, while other are warmer, like Florida and Texas. However, none of the really cold states are on here and the warm states don’t dominate the survey either.
The one thing in common for most of the states, which lead in number of techs, have in common is they lead the nation in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), meaning they have strong economies.
What did you study?
As mentioned before, the HVACR industry is becoming more “techy” and more “bookwormy”. In fact, 61% have completed some kind of professional education.
By far, the most common certificate is an EPA Section 608. No doubt, this is due to federal regulations. Section 608 of the Federal Clean Air Act requires that all persons who maintain, service, repair or dispose of appliances that contain regulated refrigerants be certified in proper refrigerant handling techniques. Obviously, we all prefer to remain compliant with federal regulations, which is why 80% of HVACR professionals and business owners have passed the EPA Section 608 Certification.
However, just having a Section 608 is not enough…