How Much Does A HVAC Engineer Make?

If you’re curious about a career in HVAC engineering, you might be wondering what financial rewards await. Did you know the average HVAC engineer in the United States earns about $98,712 per year?

This article will dive into the salary details of HVAC engineers and explore factors influencing their earnings.

The average salary for a HVAC Engineer in the United States in 2023 is $98,712 per year. This is up strongly since a salary survey in 2021 determined the average mechanical engineering salary to be $82,500. Earnings can vary based on location, experience, and range of duties.

Keep reading to discover if this could be your hot ticket to a cool career.

Understanding the Role of an HVAC Engineer

An HVAC engineer’s role involves designing, installing, and maintaining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They must possess strong technical skills and knowledge of industry regulations and standards.

Additionally, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field is typically required for this position.

Duties and responsibilities

HVAC engineers have important jobs. They design, test, and oversee the installation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This work makes sure buildings stay comfortable all year round.

HVAC engineers also fix and maintain systems to help them run well and last longer. Their job may involve working with other experts to create smart energy-saving plans for big places like schools or hospitals.

They must know a lot about how air moves and stays clean inside spaces where people live or work. It’s their duty to make sure that the systems they create or look after follow safety rules and don’t harm the environment.

They often use special computer programs to help in their work. A good HVAC engineer keeps learning new things about tools, materials, and technology in heating and cooling systems.

Skills and qualifications required

To be a successful HVAC engineer, you need a mix of skills and education. You must understand how heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and sometimes refrigeration systems work. Good math skills help you design efficient systems.

Also, being able to solve problems quickly is important when things don’t go as planned.

You will probably need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a similar field to start your career. Learning never stops for an HVAC engineer—staying on top of new technology and methods is key.

Some people boost their job chances by getting extra certifications that show they know about certain parts of the job like energy efficiency or system design.

Education and certifications

You want to become an HVAC engineer. Start with the right education and certifications.

  • Begin by getting a high school diploma or equivalent. This is your first step toward this career.
  • Enroll in an accredited college or university program. Look for ones that focus on HVAC systems, mechanical engineering, or a related field.
  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree. For many HVAC engineer jobs, you’ll need at least a four – year degree.
  • Consider advanced degrees. Some engineers go on to get Master’s degrees to increase their knowledge and job prospects.
  • Get hands – on experience through internships. These are great ways to learn and can lead to job offers after graduation.
  • Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Doing this makes you an Engineer in Training (EIT) or Engineering Intern (EI).
  • Gain work experience as an EIT or EI. You need this to take the next big test for engineers.
  • Study for and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. With this, you can become a licensed Professional Engineer (PE).
  • Keep learning and stay current with continuing education courses. This ensures you know the latest technology and codes in the HVAC field.

Salary Ranges for HVAC Engineers

HVAC engineers in the United States earn an average salary of $68,800 per year. Factors such as experience, location, and industry can affect this figure. Comparatively speaking, the salary range for HVAC engineers is competitive with other engineering jobs.

Average salary in the United States

The average salary for HVAC engineers in the United States is $98,712 per year. This translates to a typical salary range between $50,000 and $97,000 annually, with an average hourly rate of $33.82.

The highest earning technicians make around $136,550 a year. These figures reflect the earning potential and job opportunities in the field of HVAC engineering across various locations in the United States.

In Phoenix, Arizona specifically, HVAC engineers make an average annual salary of $73,945 with a typical range between $68,557 and $80,337. In 2021 alone, the mechanical engineering industry reported an average salary of about $82,500 yearly.

Factors that affect salary

Experience, location, industry, education level, and additional certifications or specializations are the main factors that affect HVAC engineer salaries. The more experience you gain in the field, the higher your salary is likely to be.

Additionally, where you work and the specific industry can greatly impact how much you earn as an HVAC engineer. Higher levels of education and additional certifications or specializations also tend to result in higher salaries for HVAC engineers.

In 2023 alone, Phoenix, Arizona had an average salary range between $68,557 and $80,337 for HVAC engineers. On top of that, a survey conducted last year found that mechanical engineering salaries averaged around $82,500 annually.

Comparison to other engineering jobs

Understanding how HVAC Engineering stacks up against other engineering professions can provide clarity on the earning potential within the industry. Here’s a comparison of HVAC Engineer salaries to those of other engineering jobs:

Engineering JobAverage SalarySalary RangeNotes
HVAC Engineer$98,712$50,000 – $97,000Specialization in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
Mechanical Engineer$82,500Varies widely based on specializationBroad field with applications across various industries
Electrical EngineerSimilar to Mechanical EngineersCan exceed $100,000 for experienced professionalsFocus on electrical systems, often requires updated certifications
Civil EngineerTypically lower than HVAC EngineersCan range from $60,000 to $80,000Works on infrastructure projects and may require fieldwork
Software EngineerOften higher than HVAC Engineers$70,000 to well over $100,000High demand in tech industry, potential for significant bonuses and stock options

Salaries reflect not only the complexity and demand of the engineering discipline but also the level of education and experience required. HVAC engineers, with their specialized knowledge of climate control systems, offer a unique skill set that’s essential in both residential and commercial construction, contributing to their competitive salaries. Keep these figures in mind as you explore potential career paths in engineering.

Top Paying Cities and States for HVAC Engineers

Discover the top 10 highest paying cities and 5 highest paying states for HVAC engineers. Uncover where you can earn the most in this rewarding career path. Read more to find out!

Top 10 highest paying cities

The top 10 highest paying cities for HVAC engineers are as follows:

  1. Phoenix, Arizona – The average salary is around $73,945, with a typical range between $68,557 and $80,337.
  2. Chicago, Illinois – HVAC engineers here earn around $85,745 annually.
  3. San Francisco, California – The average salary for HVAC engineers in this city is approximately $103,583 per year.
  4. New York City, New York – HVAC engineers can expect to earn an average salary of $98,732 yearly.
  5. Houston, Texas – The average annual salary for HVAC engineers in Houston is about $82,462.
  6. Los Angeles, California – HVAC engineers in Los Angeles typically make around $90,758 per year.
  7. Dallas, Texas – The average yearly salary for HVAC engineers in Dallas is approximately $79,353.
  8. Atlanta, Georgia – In Atlanta, the average annual salary for HVAC engineers is roughly $76,283.
  9. Denver, Colorado – HVAC engineers here earn an average annual salary of about $81​​​​​753.
  10. Seattle​​​, Washington – The average yearly income f​​or HVAC e​​ngineers here is approximately ​​$88​563.

Top 5 highest paying states

The top 5 highest paying states for HVAC engineers are:

  1. Alaska: HVAC engineers in Alaska earn an average salary of $96,430 per year, making it one of the highest paying states for this profession. The demand for HVAC engineers in extreme climates contributes to the higher salaries in this state.
  2. District of Columbia: HVAC engineers in the District of Columbia earn an average salary of $95,660 per year. The need for efficient heating and cooling systems in commercial and residential buildings in the capital city leads to high demand and competitive salaries.
  3. New Jersey: HVAC engineers in New Jersey earn an average salary of $92,610 per year. The state’s focus on energy efficiency and sustainable building practices contributes to the strong demand for skilled HVAC engineers.
  4. Massachusetts: HVAC engineers in Massachusetts earn an average salary of $91,140 per year. The state’s commitment to environmental sustainability and stringent building codes drive the demand for qualified HVAC professionals.
  5. Connecticut: HVAC engineers in Connecticut earn an average salary of $89,640 per year. The state’s emphasis on energy-efficient buildings and advanced technologies creates a robust job market for HVAC engineers.

Job Outlook and Career Growth for HVAC Engineers

The job outlook for HVAC engineers is promising, with an expected growth rate of 6% from 2019 to 2029. As the demand for energy-efficient climate control systems continues to rise, so do the opportunities for advancement in this field.

Read more about the exciting career prospects for HVAC engineers and how you can capitalize on this growing industry.

Opportunities for advancement

With the expected job growth in the HVAC engineering field, there are promising opportunities for advancement. As you gain experience and expertise, you can progress to senior roles within companies or pursue positions with increased responsibilities.

Advanced certifications and further education in specialized areas of HVAC engineering can also open doors to higher-paying and more prestigious positions. Additionally, staying updated with the latest industry trends and technologies can set you apart, leading to career advancements and better salary prospects.

With dedication and continuous learning, there are abundant opportunities for upward mobility in the HVAC engineering profession.

The demand for skilled HVAC engineers continues to grow, presenting a favorable landscape for career advancement. By honing your skills, seeking out mentorship opportunities, and actively pursuing professional development initiatives, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for promotions or leadership roles within the industry.

Furthermore, networking within professional organizations and attending industry events can expose you to valuable connections that may lead to new career prospects or business ventures.

Related industries and job categories

HVAC engineers can also find employment and career opportunities in related industries and job categories other than traditional engineering roles. Here are some related industries and job categories where their skills and expertise are highly valued:

  1. Building Services Engineering: In this field, HVAC engineers can work on the design, installation, and maintenance of various building systems, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems.
  2. Energy Efficiency Consulting: HVAC engineers can specialize in energy efficiency consulting to help businesses and organizations optimize their energy usage through efficient HVAC systems and sustainable practices.
  3. Environmental Engineering: Opportunities exist for HVAC engineers to contribute to environmental engineering projects that focus on reducing carbon emissions, improving indoor air quality, and implementing green building technologies.
  4. Facilities Management: HVAC engineers may pursue careers in facilities management, overseeing the operation and maintenance of HVAC systems in commercial buildings, offices, hospitals, schools, and other facilities.
  5. Renewable Energy Sector: With a growing emphasis on sustainability, HVAC engineers can explore opportunities in the renewable energy sector by working on geothermal heating and cooling systems or solar-powered HVAC technologies.
  6. Research and Development: Some HVAC engineers may choose to work in research and development roles within manufacturing companies or government agencies to innovate new HVAC technologies or improve existing systems.

Factors that Affect HVAC Engineer Salaries

Experience, location, industry, education level, and additional certifications or specializations play a significant role in determining the salary of HVAC engineers.


As you gain experience as an HVAC engineer, your salary is likely to increase. Experienced HVAC engineers usually earn more than those who are just starting out. Factors like the number of years in the field, specialized skills, and additional certifications can impact how much you earn.

In 2023, the median annual salary for HVAC engineers was almost $87,500 per year. The highest-earning technicians made around $136,550 a year.

As you advance in your career and gain more experience, such as 10 or 20 years in the field, your earning potential could grow significantly. This means that gaining experience not only improves your skills but also has a direct impact on your income as an HVAC engineer.


Phoenix, Arizona is one of the top-paying cities for HVAC Engineers in the United States. The average salary for an HVAC Engineer in Phoenix is $73,945 per year, with a typical range between $68,557 and $80,337.

This makes it an attractive location for aspiring engineers due to its competitive compensation package and relatively low cost of living compared to other major cities.

When it comes to comparing states, Arizona stands out as well. In Phoenix alone, the average salary for a HVAC Engineer is reported to be around $88,163 annually. These figures indicate promising opportunities in this field within the city and state.

Education level

To excel as an HVAC engineer, a strong educational foundation is vital. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field is required to pursue this career path.

You will learn about the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer which are crucial for HVAC design and operation. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree for more advanced positions.

Additionally, acquiring relevant certifications such as the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certificate can enhance your credentials and prospects in the job market.

Additional certifications or specializations

To stand out in the HVAC engineering field, consider obtaining additional certifications or specializations related to energy efficiency, sustainability, or specific HVAC systems like air conditioning or ventilation.

Certifications from organizations such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) can demonstrate your expertise and dedication to staying current with industry standards.

Pursuing specialized training in areas like green building design and renewable energy could also enhance your value as an HVAC engineer while providing opportunities for higher-paying roles.


In conclusion, understanding the salary ranges and factors that affect HVAC engineer salaries is crucial. The practical strategies provided are easy to implement and efficient for anyone interested in this field.

Have you considered how these approaches can lead to significant improvements in your career? Reflect deeply on the potential impact of applying these strategies as you navigate through your journey.

Remember, taking action now will pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career as an HVAC engineer.

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