HVAC Technician

HVAC Technicians are the ones who keep your heat working, air conditioning running, and refrigeration functioning. A journey-level technician may choose to specialize in maintenance, installation, or repair; or even in a certain type of equipment such as water-based heating systems, solar technology systems, or commercial refrigeration.

Also known as: Heating, Air Condition, and Refrigeration Mechanic; HVAC Installer; A/C Tech; HVAC Specialist; HVAC Tech; Refrigeration Mechanic; Service Technician

Pay Scale

$60,010 in 2021 in WA

$48,630 in 2021 in U.S.


Certificate, Associate’s, Apprenticeship

Projected Opportunities

1,200 through 2030 in WA

40,100 through 2031 in U.S.

Career Path

The career path for an HVAC technician begins with either education (a certification or associate degree) or an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship will lead to a journey-level HVAC technician who can go on to become a master-level HVAC technician. Whether certified or journey-level, technicians can advance to project manager, stationary engineer, or energy analyst.

HVAC technician career path

Training & Requirements


HVAC Technicians have a variety of paths to choose from. For all paths of this career, you must begin with a high school diploma before continuing your training. Some people choose to pursue a certification or associate’s degree at a community or technical college while others begin an apprenticeship and complete their training that route. Regardless of which route you choose; you will still have to take the EPA test (among others) to be recognized as a journey-level worker.

Required Skills

  • Technology skills- email, facilities management software, industrial control software
  • Communication- via email, cellphone, face-to-face with customers and coworkers
  • Knowledge of machines and tools, including their uses, repair, and maintenance
  • Knowledge of materials, methods, and tools involved in the construction of houses, buildings, or other structures


    • Test electrical circuits or components for continuity
    • Comply with applicable standards, policies, or procedures (such as safety procedures and maintenance of work area)
    • Study blueprints, design specifications, and manufacturers recommendations to ensure proper installation of equipment
    • Discuss heating or cooling system malfunctions with users to isolate problems