How Much Do HVAC Apprentices Make? (With State-by-State Salary)

February 19, 2022

Are you interested in a career in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)? For those taking their first steps into the industry, questions about compensation often top the list. “How much can I expect to earn as an HVAC apprentice?” is a query that aspiring technicians want to know.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary of practicing technicians falls just above $51,390 annually, or around $24.71 an hour. Typically, apprentices earn around half of the salary that experienced HVAC technicians make. As they acquire new skills and take on more responsibilities, their compensation increases.

After completing their training, apprentices can pursue entry-level jobs as HVAC technicians and mechanics. Read on to learn more about the apprenticeship salaries, experience, and the salaries they help attract.

What is an HVAC Apprenticeship?

An HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) apprenticeship is a training program designed to provide individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to become proficient in the installation, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems. This type of apprenticeship typically combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction, allowing apprentices to learn both the practical and theoretical aspects of the HVAC trade.

At first, all apprentices work under the supervision of an assigned mentor. Employers may assign basic maintenance, duct replacement, and servicing duties as they progress.

Typically, HVAC apprentices spend about three to five years in this stage before moving on to more advanced positions. To learn more, check out our article on how long it takes to become an HVAC technician.

Responsibilities of an HVAC Apprentice

Some of your daily duties as an apprentice may include:

  • Assisting experienced workers with maintenance and repair
  • Installing and repairing HVAC systems
  • Testing and servicing parts and components
  • Replacing refrigerants
  • Performing electrical and electronic connections
  • Maintaining records of work performed

While most of your training will be hands-on, you’ll also have to spend some time in the classroom to learn the science and technology of HVAC. Theoretical lectures may include math, heating and cooling principles, energy transfer, and applications of HVAC.

Because they provide such valuable assistance, many employers offer competitive salaries to attract HVAC apprentices in need of training. These wages are also dictated by educational qualifications and location.

HVAC Apprentice Salaries

As stated, some apprenticeships can last upwards of five years. Individuals in the later phases of this experience can expect to earn more than those who are just starting out. Below, we’ll look further into HVAC apprentice salaries and how they may be affected by location, experience, and industry trends.

Average Salary and Pay Scale data suggests that the average salary of HVAC apprentices is $34,073 per year. The annual salaries for HVAC apprentices usually fall within the range of $26,000 to $43,000.  

Other sources report slightly higher earnings. According to, the mean annual salary for HVAC apprentices is $37,451. Entry-level roles typically commence at $32,175 annually, with seasoned professionals earning as much as $50,331 per year.

After completing their apprenticeship, entry-level technicians can expect further increases in wages.

Salary per Hour

Hourly pay rate also varies according to your experience and qualifications. According to, on an hourly basis, the average rate for HVAC apprentices is $16.38. data reveals that the hourly salary for HVAC apprentices is $18.01.

Salary by Industry

BLS estimates show that wholesale and retail trade, educational services and contracting companies offer the best compensation for HVAC professionals. 

Salary by Location

HVAC apprentice salaries can vary considerably depending on where they work. Here’s a look at the expected salaries for HVAC technicians in each state:

StateAverage Salaries per yearMean Wages per hour
New Hampshire$61,660$29.64
New Jersey$68,510$32.94
New Mexico$48,160$23.16
New York$69,540$33.43
North Carolina$49,380$23.74
North Dakota$63,720$30.63
Rhode Island$62,580$30.09
South Carolina$48,170$23.16
South Dakota$55,650$26.76
West Virginia$44,060$21.18

Salary by Experience

The salary for an HVAC apprentice can vary depending on factors such as location, education, experience, and industry. For example, HVAC supervisors with 7-plus years of experience make a median salary of $88,600, while HVAC technicians with less than three years of experience earn an average salary of $36,171 in the construction industry.

HVAC Apprentice Skills and Specialties

All apprenticeships begin with basic instruction on HVAC systems. However, as you proceed further in the field, you can choose a specialty before completing your training. The skills you gain and your area of expertise can majorly influence your salaries.

Some of the specializations that HVAC apprentices can focus on include:

  • System design
  • Duct design and repair
  • Customer services
  • Cost estimation and inventory management
  • Electricals and automation
  • Testing and air balancing
  • General repair and maintenance
  • Installations
  • Sales

You can also choose your specialty based on your familiarity with the area. While some apprentices work in a commercial setting, others work in more industries and project-based companies. Even household owners rely on the services of HVAC technicians for installing and repairing their heaters, air conditioners, and allied systems. You can also start your own business after obtaining adequate experience and licensure.

According to BLS, the following skills can help you build a fulfilling career as an HVAC technician:

  • Customer-service skills
  • Math and mechanical literacy
  • Physical strength
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Troubleshooting

Pros and Cons of an HVAC Career

An apprenticeship is a long-term commitment. It can also influence the type of work you can pursue after you complete the training. Here are some benefits of choosing a career in HVAC:

  • You’ll work in a wide range of residential, commercial, and industrial settings, meaning your professional life will always be full of new challenges and opportunities. HVAC professionals are consistently in demand as heating and cooling systems are essential components in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
  • HVAC professionals work on a diverse range of projects, including installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This variety can keep the job interesting and challenging.
  • HVAC careers provide opportunities for continuous learning and skill development. As technology advances, HVAC professionals need to stay updated on the latest equipment and techniques, fostering a dynamic and evolving work environment.
  • HVAC technicians often enjoy competitive salaries, and with experience and expertise, there’s potential for advancement and higher earnings. Additionally, overtime opportunities may contribute to increased income.
  • The consistent demand for HVAC services contributes to job security. HVAC systems require regular maintenance and occasional repairs, ensuring a steady flow of work for professionals in the field.
  • HVAC skills are transferable, allowing professionals to work in various industries. Whether in residential, commercial, or industrial settings, HVAC expertise remains valuable, providing flexibility in career paths.
  • HVAC professionals often work independently or as part of a small team. This autonomy can be appealing to individuals who enjoy a degree of independence and responsibility in their work.

With that, there are some negative aspects of an HVAC career. They include:

  • A technician’s job is physically demanding and requires hands-on labor.
  • Apprenticeships can last for 3 to 5 years.
  • You may have to work long hours and attend on-duty calls at any time of the day.
  • You must constantly update your skills and knowledge to remain effective in the field.


Exploring a career in HVAC through apprenticeships presents a promising pathway with both financial and professional rewards. As we’ve discovered, HVAC apprentices can earn competitive salaries, benefit from job security, and enjoy diverse opportunities for skill development. The dynamic nature of the industry, coupled with the continuous demand for HVAC services, makes it an appealing choice for those seeking a stable and fulfilling career.

It’s important to note that the HVAC apprentice salary depends on your education, skills, and experience. Although an apprenticeship is ideal for individuals who intend to join the HVAC field, it can take anywhere from three to five years. A formal education program such as an associate’s degree can make it possible to start earning sooner.

For those considering a leap into the HVAC field, the New England Institute of Technology stands as an excellent choice for comprehensive education and training. Pursuing a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technology, AS degree at NEIT not only equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed in the HVAC industry but also opens doors to a network of industry connections and career opportunities.


Earn your degree in HVAC from NEIT and begin your new career path today!



Do HVAC Apprentices Get Paid? 

Yes, HVAC apprentices typically receive compensation for their work. They earn a salary or hourly wage while gaining valuable hands-on experience and learning the skills necessary for a successful career in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry.

Can HVAC Apprentices Expect Pay Raises? 

Yes, HVAC apprentices can often expect pay raises as they progress in their training and gain more experience. As they acquire additional skills and contribute to their team, it’s common for employers to recognize their growing expertise with increased compensation.

What Factors Affect HVAC Apprentice Wages?

Several factors can influence HVAC apprentice wages. These include the apprentice’s level of experience, the region or location of employment, the specific employer, and the demand for HVAC professionals in the market. Additionally, apprentices enrolled in formal training programs or with specialized skills may command higher wages.

How Can I Find HVAC Apprenticeship Programs in My Area?

To find HVAC apprenticeship programs in your area, consider reaching out to local HVAC companies, trade schools, or unions. Explore online job boards, apprenticeship websites, and inquire with industry associations. Networking with professionals in the HVAC field and attending career fairs can also be effective in discovering apprenticeship opportunities near you.