HVAC tech salary–Google only gets you so far.
Daryn was bouncing around from job-to-job. Retail, fast-food, you name it. “Nothing was really sticking to me.” He said.
Daryn probably typed in “HVAC tech salary in Texas” into his phone and he could see some statistics which we will show you below, but until you meet someone that is doing the work and is living to tell the tale, numbers only show you so much. Daryn’s uncle works in the Heating Air Conditioning and Ventilation industry (HVAC) and the job security that his uncle has and being able to bring home to his family a steady salary, HVAC proved to be the way to go. Soon after, Daryn followed his interest to learn more about how he could learn something that he could build a future with.
Once doing on-the-job HVAC training and site visits, Daryn realized that HVAC jobs can vary considerably depending on the day.
It’s not just going into houses. It’s “doing the duct work, [working] on the computers, blueprinting…”
If you tend to get bored easily when you do not have a lot to do, an HVAC tech job could be just the type of occupation that could keep you busy AND keep others warm and cool.
HVAC Tech Salary Depends on Where You Live
Thankfully, Daryn lives in one of the top cities for his career choice. HVAC tech salary in Texas is highest in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas.
Where it takes more energy to heat and cool, that is where the need for HVAC technicians is highest, and HVAC tech salary averages tend to be higher in those places, too. If you’re like Daryn in the Southwest, you’re in luck–HVAC is a hot industry in part because of the sky-high temps in summer months. Economic factors like the cost of living and opportunities for HVAC jobs will also affect your payscale.In Texas, here is the average yearly welder salary by city according to Salary.com as of April 2017:
- Austin: $53,837
- Dallas: $55,199
- Harlingen: $49,194
- Houston: $56,079
- San Antonio: $55,603
What does having an HVAC job look like on A Daily Basis?
HVAC technicians create, monitor, and fix systems in Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration, which is what HVAC stands for. Sometimes you will see HVACR, to include refrigeration, which is an important part of the HVAC job.
On any given day, HVAC techs will most likely be in homes, schools, offices, warehouses, but they could also be in hotels, hospitals, retail stores, or any indoor place that has a need for heating and cooling. If you are an HVAC tech, you could be doing any of the following on a daily basis:
- Driving to a worksite
- Looking over blueprints of a building
- Connecting wires that fuel supply lines, ducts, and other systems
- Repairing or changing out damaged or old components in an HVAC system
- Testing and regulating systems for overall temperature, air quality, and humidity
- Installing refrigeration, heating, or cooling systems in a new building
- Disposing of fluids and components properly in accordance with government regulations
To do the above, you will be working with a variety of tools–everything from basic tools like screwdrivers and wrenches to complicated and specialized HVAC equipment like voltmeters, torches, and tools that analyze combustion and carbon monoxide.
If that sounds kinda fun, but also dangerous and complex, you are right–it is! That is why these professionals need certifications that also directly relate to HVAC tech salary.
HVAC Tech Salary Depends on What Kind of Certifications You Earn
So what certifications do HVAC techs need? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, requires anyone who handles or works with refrigerants to pass a written exam in one of three specializations: Small Appliances (Type I), High-Pressure Refrigerants (Type II), and/or Low-Pressure Refrigerants (Type III). If you take a training course in HVAC like SCI, your courses and on-the job-training will prepare you for the EPA exam. Besides EPA, here are several other certifications you may need for your particular job:
- GREEN — In the context of the HVAC industry, “green” means systems that are healthful to building occupants, that are energy efficient, that reduce environmental pollution and global warming, and that reduce long-term costs. (Mainstream Engineering Corporation)
- R-410A — Covers the necessary training and practical knowledge to safely service systems containing air conditioning refrigerants: R-410A, R-407C, and R-22 phase-out. Covers the application, techniques, and safe handling.
- Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – In a properly constructed building, it is the HVAC system that can most significantly affect the quality and cleanliness of the indoor air. After being trained in IAQ matters, HVAC technicians are best trained to service, adjust, inspect, and clean the HVAC’s network of ducting, heat exchangers, condensate pans, humidifiers and blowers. (EPA)
Why Get Certified in HVAC?
Get Hired as a Certified HVAC Tech
Well for one, you probably won’t be hired if you’re not certified. It may be possible to get a job working in the HVAC industry as an apprentice, but those positions are very rare and these days, companies and homeowners want to know that they are in experienced hands. Says Paul Pogue, writer for Angie’s List, the reason to hire a certified HVAC installer says “Not only is comfort important, but safety is critical – knowing the proper operation of home ventilation and exhaust systems when working with a furnace can be the key to preventing death or injury from events like carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur if an HVAC system is malfunctioning or improperly installed.” (How to Hire an HVAC Expert).
Pass the Test
Though many HVAC training programs prepare HVAC technicians for working in the industry, few will instill you with the skills you will need on a daily basis AND prepare you for what will be covered in your test. The certification exams can be thousands of dollars, so do your homework before trying to learn on your own. Some programs, like SCI’s HVAC program, actually pay for your first certification–so a training program could save you money and time in the end.
Get an Edge over HVAC Job-Seekers
A certification-based HVAC training program teaches you the most cutting-edge techniques and technology. This is expertise that other HVAC technicians who have only had on-the-job training might not otherwise have been exposed to. This will give you an edge over other candidates going after that same HVAC tech job salary.
You might be thinking, “Great, so how do I get started learning to be a certified HVAC technician?”
There are a lot of trade schools and programs you can take to learn the skills you need, but not all of them are accredited or get you to a point where you are prepared to get your license or certifications. Southern Careers Institute, however, is accredited by the Council of Occupational Education (COE) and approved by the Texas Workforce and the Career Colleges & Schools of Texas. You should also look at the school’s track record. Last year, SCI placed over 1,300 graduates were placed in new careers on our campuses online and throughout Texas–in Austin, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley.* Learn more today and don’t miss your chance to say, “I got the job!” in HVAC in as little as 36 weeks.
*Based on graduates from July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 who were placed in their field or a related field in accordance with reporting guidelines for the Council on Occupational Education.