Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for HVACR technicians was $48,730 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,610, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,920.
The top paying industries was the wholesale trade, where the median annual salary was $52,430. This was followed by educational services ($52,260), retail trade ($48,620) and plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors ($47,380).
Autonomy and Flexibility
The level of autonomy and flexibility for a HVACR technician will vary depending on the amount of experience they have. For instance, a HVACR technician with 10 years experience will have more control over their decisions than an apprentice. Similarly, a contractor is likely to have more flexibility than those who work for a large company.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a HVACR, based on average annual salary and number of jobs available, are:
- Nevada, where the average annual salary is $65,124
- South Dakota, where the average annual salary is $57,143
- Iowa, where the average annual salary is $59,312
- Montana, where the average annual salary is $57,709
- North Dakota, where the average annual salary is $54,266
The worst states to be a pipefitter, according to Zippia, are Florida, Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia and Washington.
The largest employer of HVACR technicians in the United States is plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors, which employs 66% of HVACR technicians. 7% are self-employed workers, 4% are employed by the wholesale trade, 3% by educational services and 3% by the retail trade.
HVACR technicians work mostly in homes, schools, stores, hospitals, office buildings and factories. Normally, HVACR technicians will work in different locations daily. Technicians often work in awkward or cramped spaces, and some work in buildings that are uncomfortable because the air conditioning or heating system is not working properly. HVACR technicians have one of the highest rates of injury and illness. This is because they are exposed to hazards that may cause electric shocks, burns, muscle strain and injuries from lifting heavy equipment.