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Salary and Career Info for Heating and Air Conditioning Technicians

Heating and air-conditioning technicians require little formal education. Learn about the training programs and apprenticeship opportunities, job duties and state licensure or certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Heating and air conditioning technicians maintain, install and repair climate-control systems in homes, businesses and industries. Trade schools and community colleges offer HVAC programs, or aspiring technicians can learn the trade while on-the-job with an experienced technician. Job prospects for candidates who have completed a training program or a formal apprenticeship are excellent. Some states require technicians to be licensed or certified.

Required Education Postsecondary training program or apprenticeship
Other Requirements State licensure or certification
Projected Job Growth 21% from 2012-2022*
Median Salary (2012) $44,630*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Heating and Air Conditioning Technician Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported median annual salaries for heating and air conditioning technicians, also known as HVACR (heating, air conditioning and refrigeration) technicians, of $44,630 in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Those in the top ten percent of the salary range earned $70,820 or more during the same time. Apprentices can expect to earn about half the hourly wage paid to their more experienced co-workers, but as they gain experience and knowledge, rates will typically increase. Most technicians also receive benefits like health insurance and retirement plans, reimbursement for continued education and uniforms.

Heating and Air Conditioning Technician Career Information

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry is growing rapidly and job opportunities exist in all areas, including installation, service and sales. The BLS projected that employment of qualified technicians is expected to increase 21% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). This predicted growth is based on the need for new climate-control systems, the large number of existing systems that will need to be replaced and the increasingly complex technology of newer systems.

Education

A successful technician will master aspects of several trades including electrical, plumbing and sheet metal. Because of the emerging technologies of climate-control systems, most employers seek job candidates who have completed technical training or a formal apprenticeship. Many trade schools, community colleges and junior colleges offer programs in heating and air conditioning technology. Course topics cover equipment design and construction, installation basics, maintenance and repair.

Apprenticeship programs offer apprentices paid on-the-job training combined with classroom instruction. Courses include blueprint reading, climate-control system theory and safe practices. Apprentices begin their education by assisting experienced technicians with simple tasks such as cleaning furnaces or carrying materials. Eventually, apprentices are given increasingly difficult tasks, according to their knowledge and ability.

Licensure and Certification

Some states require HVAC technicians to be licensed; however, requirements vary by state. Certification also demonstrates expertise in HVAC principles. North American Technician Excellence, Inc. (NATE) offers certification for HVAC technicians and many training programs are aligned with NATE testing and certification criteria. Other certifications are available including credentials for technicians who specialize in certain equipment, such as oil-burning furnaces. Obtaining certifications can give technicians an edge over other job candidates and can lead to career advancement in the form of a higher salary or positions of greater responsibility, such as service manager or supervisor.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Northern Michigan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Alaska (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Dunwoody College of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oklahoma State University include:
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Leatherworking and Upholstery
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College include:
      • Graduate:
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics