HVAC Technicians, Commercial Mechanics, and Installers Salary

Consideration of your earning potential from the perspective of an entrepreneur is a good way to evaluate your income.

Perhaps one day you will even open your own business and sign someone else’s paycheck.

As far as businesses are concerned, everything is an expense, even an employee.

And every expense is counted as a job.

Your effort and skills are evaluated in a certain amount of money.

Value of materials such as aluminum or galvanized steel is determined by global market prices.

But the rate you are paid is influenced by local market forces.

Sometimes, the wage union leaders can negotiate the payment.

But the local job market has a greater influence on the general wage paid in a specific area.

Simply put, one of the most significant things that influence your salary is the current rate for HVAC technicians and installers in your state.

Right now, the demand for qualified HVAC employees is high.

And it’s a known fact that demand is inseparable from the cost.

There are not enough skillful HVAC techs, so the companies offer high salaries for solid knowledge and good skills.

Salaries of HVAC Techs by Regions

According to the US Department of Labor data for 2016, the HVAC techs salaries are as follows in different parts of the country:

Alabama:

  • Median salary: $37,620 annually, $18.09 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $58,190 annually, $27.97 hourly rate.

Alaska:

  • Median salary: $64,660 annually, $31.09 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $80,290 annually, $38.60 hourly rate.

Arizona:

  • Median salary: $42,720 annually, $20.54 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $64,440 annually, $30.98 hourly rate.

Arkansas:

  • Median salary: $35,900 annually, $17.26 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $56,150 annually, $27.00 hourly rate.

California:

  • Median salary: $51,500 annually, $24.76 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $87,940 annually, $42.28 hourly rate.

Colorado:

  • Median salary: $54,490 annually, $26.20 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $77,100 annually, $37.07 hourly rate.

Connecticut:

  • Median salary: $54,490 annually, $26.20 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $77,100 annually, $37.07 hourly rate.

Delaware:

  • Median salary: $52,100 annually, $25.01 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $67,900 annually, $32.64 hourly rate.

District of Columbia:

  • Median salary: $67,250 annually, $32.33 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $80,920 annually, $38.90 hourly rate.

Georgia:

  • Median salary: $42,840 annually, $20.60 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $62,910 annually, $30.24 hourly rate.

Hawaii:

  • Median salary: $68,700 annually, $33.03 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $95,780 annually, $46.05 hourly rate.

Idaho:

  • Median salary: $39,790 annually, $19.13 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $59,980 annually, $28.84 hourly rate.

Illinois:

  • Median salary: $56,820 annually, $27.32 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $84,990 annually, $40.86 hourly rate.

Indiana:

  • Median salary: $40,930 annually, $19.68 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $71,000 annually, $34.13 hourly rate.

Iowa:

  • Median salary: $48,580 annually, $23.36 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $74,240 annually, $35.69 hourly rate.

Kansas:

  • Median salary: $45,970 annually, $22.10 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $74,660 annually, $35.90 hourly rate.

Kentucky:

  • Median salary: $39,750 annually, $19.11 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $63,870 annually, $30.71 hourly rate.

Louisiana:

  • Median salary: $42,890 annually, $20.62 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $62,280 annually, $29.94 hourly rate.

Maine:

  • Median salary: $45,070 annually, $21.67 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $62,040 annually, $29.83 hourly rate.

Maryland:

  • Median salary: $54,380 annually, $26.14 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $79,650 annually, $38.29 hourly rate.

Massachusetts:

  • Median salary: $56,060 annually, $26.95 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $80,480 annually, $38.69 hourly rate.

Michigan:

  • Median salary: $46,460 annually, $22.34 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $69,150 annually, $33.25 hourly rate.

Minnesota:

  • Median salary: $51,230 annually, $24.63 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $77,030 annually, $37.04 hourly rate.

Mississippi:

  • Median salary: $37,240 annually, $17.91 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $53,870 annually, $25.90 hourly rate.

Missouri:

  • Median salary: $46,150 annually, $22.19 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $75,300 annually, $36.20 hourly rate.

Montana:

  • Median salary: $44,440 annually, $21.36 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $69,430 annually, $33.38 hourly rate.

Nebraska:

  • Median salary: $44,010 annually, $21.16 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $74,120 annually, $35.64 hourly rate.

Nevada:

  • Median salary: $54,220 annually, $26.07 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $74,120 annually, $35.63 hourly rate.

New Hampshire:

  • Median salary: $49,250 annually, $23.68 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $66,460 annually, $31.95 hourly rate.

New Jersey:

  • Median salary: $56,570 annually, $27.20 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $87,070 annually, $41.86 hourly rate.

New Mexico:

  • Median salary: $41,390 annually, $19.90 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $59,980 annually, $28.84 hourly rate.

New York:

  • Median salary: $52,790 annually, $25.38 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $86,590 annually, $41.63 hourly rate.

North Carolina:

  • Median salary: $40,320 annually, $19.38 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $60,380 annually, $29.03 hourly rate.

North Dakota:

  • Median salary: $58,480 annually, $28.12 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $85,410 annually, $41.06 hourly rate.

Ohio:

  • Median salary: $45,510 annually, $21.88 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $66,110 annually, $31.78 hourly rate.

Oklahoma:

  • Median salary: $43,910 annually, $21.11 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $65,960 annually, $31.71 hourly rate.

Oregon:

  • Median salary: $46,580 annually, $22.39 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $74,480 annually, $35.81 hourly rate.

Pennsylvania:

  • Median salary: $47,390 annually, $22.79 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $71,740 annually, $34.49 hourly rate.

Rhode Island:

  • Median salary: $54,370 annually, $26.14 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $67,260 annually, $32.34 hourly rate.

South Carolina:

  • Median salary: $40,340 annually, $19.40 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $59,710 annually, $28.71 hourly rate.

South Dakota:

  • Median salary: $44,860 annually, $21.57 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $64,400 annually, $30.96 hourly rate.

Tennessee:

  • Median salary: $40,750 annually, $19.59 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $62,370 annually, $29.99 hourly rate.

Texas:

  • Median salary: $41,820 annually, $20.10 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $62,880 annually, $30.23 hourly rate.

Utah:

  • Median salary: $46,180 annually, $22.20 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $75,790 annually, $36.44 hourly rate.

Vermont:

  • Median salary: $47,830 annually, $22.99 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $65,140 annually, $31.32 hourly rate.

Virginia:

  • Median salary: $47,750 annually, $22.96 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $69,660 annually, $33.49 hourly rate.

Washington:

  • Median salary: $55,450 annually, $26.66 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $86,290 annually, $26.66 hourly rate.

West Virginia:

  • Median salary: $34,240 annually, $16.46 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $58,280 annually, $28.02 hourly rate.

Wisconsin:

  • Median salary: $47,520 annually, $22.85 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $71,480 annually, $34.37 hourly rate.

Wyoming:

  • Median salary: $45,420 annually, $21.84 hourly rate.
  • Top 10%: $64,710 annually, $31.11 hourly rate.

Salary of Service Technicians, Commercial Mechanics, and Installers

HVAC Service Companies

These types of companies provide services to small residences and commercial facilities.

They provide system repair, maintenance, or upgrades.

They can even provide residential installation, but in large building projects, this kind of work is usually done by contracting companies.

It’s usually easier to get employed by this type of company.

They require less experience and fewer special skills.

They also don’t depend much on the seasons, so the workload is quite steady.

However, there is a possibility that you will reach senior-level soon, and your salary will level off.

Although, you can end up with a lower rate than the experts working for major contracting companies.

Commercial Contractors

These types of companies obtain major HVAC contracts that can be worth millions of dollars.

Union companies usually employ experts able to do these jobs, so they are often among those bidding for such contracts.

It means that these jobs normally have prevailing wages.

While working with such a company, you can expect to deal with large construction projects.

They include anything from huge apartment blocks to commercial skyscrapers.

You can get expertise in a particular HVAC area and expect a higher salary in the long run.

However, this type of HVAC jobs is dependent on seasonal work.

Also, contracting companies rarely hire inexperienced technicians right after school.

Annual Salaries Comparison

By comparing national statistics for HVAC maintenance and repair companies and commercial contracting companies pays, you can get an idea of how the salaries range.

This data is from the US Department of Labor 2016 statistics.

HVAC installers and mechanics employed by contacting companies:

  • Entry-level – $27,710 annually ($13.32 hourly).
  • Median salary – $44,370 annually ($21.33 hourly).
  • Top 10% – $72,320 annually ($34.77 hourly).

HVAC installers and mechanics employed by wholesale companies:

  • Entry-level – $30,070 annually  ($14.46 hourly).
  • Median salary – $48,730 annually ($23.43 hourly).
  • Top 10% – $77,160 annually  ($37.10 hourly).

HVAC installers and mechanics employed by manufacturers:

  • Entry-level – $31,740 annually ($15.26 hourly).
  • Median salary – $50,380 annually ($24.22 hourly).
  • Top 10% – $77,880 annually ($37.44 hourly).

HVAC technicians working at residential and light commercial workshops:

  • Entry-level – $30,850 annually  ($14.83 hourly).
  • Median salary – $46,870 annually ($22.53 hourly).
  • Top 10% – $69,730 annually ($33.52 hourly).

Top salaries of the techs working with commercial contractors are $2,590 to $8,150 higher than those working for residential/commercial service shops.

This is $1.29 to $4.05 higher hourly rate.

Retail HVAC companies focus on maintenance and general repair, so their expenses are much lower than of large contracting companies.

The manpower is the largest expense for such companies.

Cost of labor is the biggest expenditure in the bidding cost for large jobs.

However, in comparison, manpower is a smaller expense for commercial contractors than for small service workshops.

Since the hourly wages of the HVAC techs on the payroll are the priority expense and the companies are putting effort to control the costs, the benchmark for the skilled technicians on the top of a pay range is lower.

This is one of the main reasons why the techs enter the field at residential and light commercial companies, gain experience, and then go after the bigger jobs.

Your Payments Isn’t a Variable

Profit determination of the residential/commercial service shop owner and an industrial contractor involves complicated calculations.

Determining profits comprises a lot more than determining salaries and wages

However, the basic formula involves simple deduction.

What a contractor or a company earns is the difference between the accepted bidding price and total expenses connected with the job.

The same thing applies to smaller workshops, though on a smaller scale.

The good news is that the companies and business owners can’t range the payment much.

The competition defines the lowest pay contractors and shops can set.

They can’t pay the salaries less than the workers would earn at another company.

That means there is a minimum they should set as an expense.

So even though your payment is an essential aspect of the business costs, it’s not a variable.

Contractors can’t choose to pay you less so that their profit increases.

The estimation of HVAC work comprises the costs for duct-work, piping, crane use, labor, and equipment.

All these factors are involved in installing an HVAC system from A to Z.

In the process of preparing an estimation, the pros look at other bids they did for other projects and incorporate them into a new bid.

It includes bids for suppliers, equipment, pumps, VAN boxes, etc.

The numbers of the previous bids add up to the new one.

The prices for insulation, balancer, controls are also incorporated.

The estimation would come on a single Excel sheet, and the bidders would apply their profit and expenses to it.

It can also include tax, permits, and it all would sum up to a final number.

They usually discuss it with a team so that everybody agrees on the number, and it is good for the project.

Once agreed upon, the estimate is sent to general contractors.

Get the Payment You Deserve

Here’s a brief count up of what you can be making.

For instance, you work full-time for 30 years with the regular weekends off and a two-week vacation every year, not including overtime.

That makes 60,300 hours of work in your life.

Counting it up like this, you will see the value of every dollar.

If you made only $2 per hour more over the years, you would have an extra $120,600 by the time of retirement.

It’s as if you had a house as a bonus to your retirement.

And if some of this money you saved in an IRA, you would have a lot more.

These numbers are just an honest outlook on what your labor can be worth.

Only because there is a set minimum, it doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate your payment higher.

In the commercial area, unions dominate in many regions of the country.

In this case, the union reps can handle the negotiation for you.

Some of your union dues count for the representatives salaries who make sure you’re getting the money you deserve.

So, if industry lobbyists try keeping labor costs low, they will face a lot of political disputes.

If you are employed in a residential and light commercial service company, you’d have to negotiate yourself.

Some employers can be more easy-going in terms of salary negotiations, some are not.

But every decent boss knows the value of a good expert and won’t lose a skillful technician over a couple of bucks an hour.

When you are ready to negotiate your salary, arm yourself with confidence and know your value.

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