HVACR Contracting Business — Service, Maintenance, and Installation

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics cites a growth in demand nationally for the next 20 years plus for all HVACR positions and above average pay.

Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) is a growing advanced technology driven industry with almost unlimited advancement opportunities for technical and business students. HVACR is a stable and reliable service driven industry that will never be outsourced. HVACR related degrees from accredited trade schools, colleges or universities aid in advancement potential but are not required for many of the available entry level and management positions. Continuing educational opportunities allow all who enter HVACR related professions the opportunity for career advancement throughout their lifetime.

Below is a list of positions in service, maintenance, and installation of HVACR equipment. Click on each title to view education requirements, median salary, and position description.

 

Entry Level Trainee or Helper HVAC

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university a plus. 
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests.
  • Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Well Organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • General Laborer (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $28,405, plus overtime
  • Transferrable skills
  • Various work sites and challenges
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Co-ops and internships are readily available making it possible for potential candidates to experience the career before making a long term commitment

Description of work and environment

  • Hands on work under the supervision of an experienced HVACR technician to complete maintenance and installation work. Work can be done in residences and commercial. Work is generally done during regular business hours.
HVAC Service Technician Residential / Commercial

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Certificate or 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university Advanced training for commercial technicians
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests.
  • Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Well Organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • HVAC Mechanic 1 (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $40,857 plus overtime
  • Transferrable skills
  • Various work sites and challenges
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Co-ops and internships are readily available making it possible for potential candidates to experience the career before making a long term commitment 

Description of work and environment

  • Hands on HVACR diagnosis and repair work to complete maintenance and installation tasks. Work can be done in residences and commercial. Technicians primarily work alone in the field. Hours vary
HVAC Installer

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Certificate or 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university Advanced training for commercial technicians
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests. 
  • Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • HVAC Mechanic 1 (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $40,857 plus overtime
  • Transferrable skills 
  • Various work sites and challenges
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Previous experience in air conditioning and air conditioning theory and electrical diagnostics 

Description of work and environment

  • Hands on HVACR control work. Work can be done in residences or commercial. Controls technicians may work alone or in teams depending on the project size and scope. Responsible for installing, commissioning, diagnosing and repairing commercial temperature control projects utilizing computer software programming Hours vary.
Controls Technician

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Certificate or 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university electronics training school
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests. Math and Physics
  • Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Electronics Technician 1 (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $40,199 plus overtime
  • Transferrable skills Various work sites and challenges
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Previous experience in air conditioning and air conditioning theory and electrical diagnostics 

Description of work and environment

  • Hands on HVACR control work. Work can be done in residences or commercial. Controls technicians may work alone or in teams depending on the project size and scope. Responsible for installing, commissioning, diagnosing and repairing commercial temperature control projects utilizing computer software programming Hours vary.
Refrigeration Technician

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Certificate or 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests. Math and Physics. Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • HVAC Mechanic 2 (2-5 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $48,403 plus overtime

Transferrable skills 

  • Various work sites and challenges
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Previous experience in air conditioning and air conditioning theory

Description of work and environment

  • Hands on, refrigeration technicians work to complete diagnostics, maintenance and installation and repairs. Work can be done in residences or commercial. Refrigeration technicians typically work alone at a varity of busineses requiring refrigeration services, including high traffic food service locations Hours vary.
Service Writer / CSR

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Previous customer service experience
  • Up to 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited school college or university a plus
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Apathetic listener
  • The ability to relate to others and their situation and treat every customer with respect and courtesy.
  • Computer skills and word processing required.
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Customer Service Representative 1 (0-3 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $30,751
  • Transferrable skills
  • Inside work with predetermined schedule
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Previous experience in air conditioning and air conditioning theory is helpful 
  • Must be able to handle stressful situations

Description of work and environment

  • Service writers Should expect to be working in a single or multi-person office environment. They receive the customer calls and translate the requests into the proper type of service or sales call information and pass on the information in a timely manner. Swervice writers receive communications from clients and based on the clients need a service or sales appointment is scheduled. Work is generally done during regular business hours.
Fabrication mechanic (duct fabrication)

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Certificate or degree from an accredited trade school college or university
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong math skills. Geometry or trigonometry preferred.
  • Computer skills for CAD and Plasma programming.
  • Welding experience is helpful.

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • HVAC Mechanic 1 (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $40,857 plus overtime
  • Transferrable skills
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Co-ops and internships are readily available making it possible for potential candidates to experience the career before making a long term commitment

Description of work and environment

  • Hands on duct fabrication (fashioning duct work) work can be done in the field. However, it is most often done in a shop facility. Fabrication Mechanics take duct plans and fabricate duct and the related components for installation This Use of metal fabrication machinery and the handling of sheet metal create an environment where safety is stressed. Work is generally done during regular business hours.
Warehouse/parts (worker)

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Valid Driver license.
  • Fork lift and other operator’s licenses’ as required
  • 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited school college or university a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Solid written and verbal communications. Organized Self reliant. EPA refrigerant certification. 
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Shipping and Receiving Clerk (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $32,699
  • Transferrable skills
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Entry level position for most HVAC companies. Knowledge of HVAC components is helpful. 

Description of work and environment

  • Works in a warehousing facility Shipping receiving inventory control and record keeping. Computerized data systems and bar coding may be used. Shelf stocking and picking are the basic activities. Operating a fork lift is often a requirement. Work is generally done during regular business hours.
Installation Lead Mechanics/Quality Assurance technicians and other team leader positions

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Certificate or 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests. Math and Physics
  • Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • HVAC Supervisor (5-7 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $63,973
  • Transferrable skills
  • Advancement opportunities

Other

  • Advanced knowledge of building materials and code requirements 

Description of work and environment

  • Installation lead, mechanics / quality assurance technicians and other team leader positions require hands on HVACR mechanical work to oversee the completion of maintenance repair and installation tasks. Work can be done in residences or commercial. Responsible for job completion and the support and training of helpers and other technicians. Hours vary.
Sales Associates Residential/Commercial

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Ability perform and interpret Manual J , Manual S and Manual D load calculations
  • 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university prefered

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Sales aptitude
  • Strong listening skills. Able to effectively interpret client’s needs and offer turnkey solutions. Ability to relate to all types of people.
  • Commercial: Able to understand budget requirements and work within a set schedule.

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Technical Sales Support Specialist 1 (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $49,283
  • Successful commission sales can greatly exceed the median salary

Other

  • Knowledge of building materials and code requirements
  • Understanding of all HVAC products so that clients needs can be met.

Description of work and environment

  • Sales associates travel to prospective job sites to meet with customers and provide them with work proposals. Generally they travel alone and utilize computers and other software systems for record keeping and job analysis and sales presentations. Hours vary.
Installation Manager

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Ability perform and interpret Manual J , Manual S and Manual D load calculations Advanced training
  • 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited school college or university preferred
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Mastery of Trade Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests. Math and Physics
  • Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Installation Manager (5+ years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $89,148
  • Transferrable skills

Other

  • Knowledge of building materials and code requirements
Description of work and environment
  • Installation managers supervise and manage HVACR mechanical work to assure completion of maintenance and installation tasks. Work can be done in residences and commercial. Responsible for job completion and the support and training of lead technicians, helpers and other technicians. Hours vary.
Service Manager

Entr​y level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited trade school college or university preferred
  • Demonstrated Management skills
  • Minimum 5 years of leadership experience.
  • NATE certification a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong leadership skills. Able to communicate effectively. Problem solver Able to delegate 
  • Client focused
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Customer Service Manager (7+ years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $72,838
  • Transferrable skills

Other

  • Knowledge of HVAC and all related products and services. Strong analytical skills

Description of work and environment

  • Service Managers generally have the 24 hour a day responsibility for overseeing all service work done. They must have a sound business financial understanding, and have management and leadership and training. Daily activities include: supervision, and scheduling of mechanical work to be completed. Work can be done in residences and commercial businesses. Responsible for job completion and the support and training of lead technicians, helpers and other technicians. Hours vary.
Engineer / Designer

Entry level educational requi​rements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Ability to do Manual J and D and S calculations Advanced training 2 or 4 year degree in HVAC or Mechanical Engineering from an accredited school college or university

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Strong scores on mechanical comprehension tests. Math and Physics
  • Strong communications skills.
  • Strong verbal skills.
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Mechanical Engineer 1 (0-2 years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $60,762
  • Transferrable skills

Other

  • Expertize in specifications that cover all building materials and code requirements

Description of work and environment

  • Engineer / Designers generally work in an office but the job may include field work. Work includes the performance of complex HVACR system and control designs, modeling, and completes technical calculations utilizing software. Work is generally done during regular business hours.
Parts Facilitator / Warehouse Manager

Entry level educational requirements 

  • (Minimum of high school diploma or GED):
  • Valid Driver license.
  • Fork lift and other operator’s licenses’ as required Previous experience in air conditioning and air conditioning understanding of parts needed Demonstrated Management skills
  • 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited school college or university a plus

Task specific educational /aptitude requirements

  • Good communications skills.
  • Good verbal skills.
  • Well organized

Advantages and national median (average) salary*

  • Warehouse Supervisor (4+ years’ experience) Median Annual Salary $53,338
  • Transferrable skills
Other
  • Management level position for most HVAC companies Knowledge of building materials and code requirements 

Description of work and environment

  • Parts facilitator / warehouse managers supervise warehousing facilities and are responsible for staff maintaining inventory, shipping, and receiving records including barcoding and computerized inventory data systems. Supervises shelf stocking and picking. Operating a fork lift is often a requirement. Work is generally done during regular business hours.

*Median salary is the average salary based on a normal curve of salaries taken nationally.  The lower end of the curve would be at or below the 10% salary figure and the high end of the curve would be above the 90% salary figures provided.