In this blog, we wrap up our two-part series geared to those interested in a career in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC-R). Unless a person has done their research, they may be unaware of the many high-paying HVAC-R careers out there! To learn about the three career paths of HVAC-R, we invite you to keep reading!
National Average Salary: $59,907 per year.
As a residential HVAC technician, you’ll primarily work on HVAC units at single-family homes. Broadly speaking, your job will consist of performing maintenance and repairs on these units. Many companies also require you to sell HVAC accessories regularly and to point eligible customers to purchase new HVAC units from their stock. So it helps to be good with people and machines.
There are two sides to both residential and commercial HVAC work: repairs and installation. Repair technicians do what we’ve described above, and installers install new machines. Generally, technicians do one or the other.
National Average Salary: $62,960 per year.
Commercial HVAC technicians usually work in residential HVAC for a number of years before they transition. They work on HVAC units at commercial properties like hospitals, banks, restaurants, apartment complexes, shopping centers, malls, office buildings, etc.
At times, commercial HVAC units are the same or similar to those at residential properties; at other times, they’re bigger, more complicated, and much more powerful. For some projects, you’ll find yourself working at ground level, and for others, you’ll be taking scissor lifts or large ladders to rooftops.
National Average Salary: $64,192 per year.
Industrial HVAC technicians are the highest paid in the industry. And it’s no wonder why, as they work on the most powerful, complex, and dangerous heating and cooling systems. These systems include boilers, chillers, giant exhaust fans, and many kinds of custom-made HVAC systems.
Their work is often done in sports arenas, manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, etc. These techs may also work with engineers in the process of repairing these systems. If you want to become an industrial technician, you’ll need to have many years of experience in residential and commercial before you make the switch. Depending on which state you live in, you may also need to join a trade union to get into this side of the industry.
A quick note: We spoke with a commercial HVAC and lighting controls technician who gave us his observation on the industry: Commercial HVAC companies poach talent from residential companies, and Industrial HVAC companies poach talent from commercial companies. All that to say, this industry is starving for new young talent and is willing to pay well and even offer 4-day work weeks to retain people.
At Absolute Heat & Air, we’re always open to talking with talented HVAC technicians who want to join our team. So if you’re in Northwest Arkansas or Northern Texas, contact us here!