The median annual wage of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $42,530 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,490, and the top 10 percent earned more than $66,930.
In May 2010, median annual wages in industries employing the most heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers were as follows:
|Hardware, plumbing, and heating equipment wholesalers||$46,540|
|Direct selling establishments||44,210|
|Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair||43,460|
|Building equipment contractors||40,630|
Apprentices usually earn about half of the wage paid to experienced workers. As they gain experience and improve their skills, they receive periodic raises until they reach the wage of experienced workers.
About 1 in 6 HVACR technicians are union members.
The majority of HVACR technicians work full time, with occasional evening or weekend shifts. During peak heating and cooling seasons, they often work overtime or irregular hours. Although the majority of technicians work for construction contractors, about 16 percent are self-employed workers who have the ability to set their own schedules.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition