HVAC Schools in Massachusetts

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Working as an HVAC technician in Massachusetts can be a rewarding career with the possibility for great longevity. Frigid winters and humid summers mean that both residential and commercial buildings have an ongoing need for climate control that works. HVAC technicians in the Bay State are currently in demand, with huge growth expected in specialty trade sectors as well as hospitals and educational settings. According to CareerOneStop data, the demand for HVAC technicians is expected to increase in the U.S. by 15 percent through 2026. Turning to Projections Central and looking at data for Massachusetts specifically, that rate comes out to 10.3 percent for the same time span (2016 to 2026), which equates to 750 new job openings for qualified technicians.

In addition to high demand, HVAC technicians in Massachusetts can find professional support from trade organizations and unions like the UA Local 537. Local to Boston, this pipefitter’s union offers professional networking, training (including apprenticeships) and political advocacy.

It is also worth noting that the majority of work an HVAC technician does in Massachusetts does not require a specialized license; it is only working with industrial refrigeration units, over 10 tons in capacity, that requires licensing. A more flexible licensing system means that after completing training, new HVAC technicians in Massachusetts can start working and earning sooner.

Becoming an HVAC technician is an ideal career path for people who like to work with their hands, who are creative problem solvers, and who want to have a great deal of autonomy in their work. 

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Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Massachusetts

As mentioned above, occupational demand for HVAV technicians nationwide is quite good. Though the expected growth rate in Massachusetts is a bit slower than the BLS predicts for the nation as a whole, it still outpaces growth expectations for all occupations, which sits at just 7 percent for the decade between 2016 and 2026 (BLS 2017).

There are a few factors contributing to the demand for HVAC technicians in the Codfish State (demand for refrigerated seafood storage is certainly one of them). For instance, the city of Boston is currently in a boom of new construction, as according to local reporting (WBUR 2018). All new buildings must be outfitted with effective climate control systems, which must be installed by trained HVAC professionals. Further, HVAC systems in existing buildings frequently need repairs and ultimately must be replaced every 10 to 15 years, making for steady work for those professionals that are trained in the process.

Since job boards can offer a peek into the real hiring needs in a region, it is illuminating to look at Indeed (Oct. 2018) for HVAC jobs in Massachusetts. One search found 171 HVAC jobs in the state, including listings from companies such as Johnson Controls, Bayside Mechanical Corp., Cape Cod Mechanical Systems, and Briggs Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., among others. A similar search on Monster (Oct. 2018) found a whopping 1228 jobs at companies like CBRE, Honeywell, MetroWest Framingham Union Hospital, and Raytheon.

HVAC Technician Salaries in Massachusetts

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017), HVAC professionals earn relatively competitive salaries, particularly for positions that may require just two years of post-secondary training. As of 2017, the median salary for HVAC workers nationwide was $47,080 per year or $22.64 per hour while the average salary for HVAC technicians in MA was even higher at $59,100 or $28.42 per hour. In more detail, here were the salary percentiles of HVAC professionals across the US and in Massachusetts specifically:

Annual salary Hourly salary
United States Massachussetts United States Massachussetts
Average $49,530 $43,890 $23.81 $21.10
10th percentile $29,120 $39,550 $14.00 $19.02
25th percentile $36,150 $47,620 $17.38 $22.89
50th percentile $47,080 $58,620 $22.64 $28.18
75th percentile $60,270 $70,540 $28.98 $33.91
90th percentile $75,330 $80,380 $36.22 $38.64

The national figures were slightly different according to another source of data, Payscale (Oct. 2018), which relies on self-reported salaries. Among the HVAC workers reporting their annual salaries, Payscale found these percentiles:

United States: 889 HVAC workers responding

  • 10th percentile: $29,000
  • 25th percentile: $36,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $44,532
  • 75th percentile: $56,000
  • 90th percentile: $71,000

An additional 4,873 HVAC workers gave Payscale their hourly salary figures, resulting in these percentile wages:

  • 10th percentile: $13.00/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.00/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $19.24/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $24.00/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $30.00/hr.

As noted above, the average salary for HVAC workers in Massachusetts is significantly higher than that of the rest of the nation. As with any salary projections, taking into account the cost of living is also important. As such, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2018) found that MA was the fifth most expensive state, coming in behind only New York, California, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. For HVAC technicians this means relatively high salaries may still not go as far as lower salaries in other states, so that is something to keep in mind.

The BLS designated 16 regions within Massachusetts for which employment data is available. The 240 HVAC workers in the Peabody-Salem-Beverly, MA NECTA Division earned the highest average salary in the state ($65,180). Following are the detailed salary data for the state of Massachusetts:

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH (5260 HVAC workers): $58,940 annual average salary

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $58,940 $28.33
10th percentile $38,670 $18.59
25th percentile $47,560 $22.86
50th percentile $59,050 $28.39
75th percentile $70,800 $34.04
90th percentile $80,030 $38.47

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division (3180 HVAC workers): $60,820 annual average salary

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $60,820 $29.24
10th percentile $41,060 $19.74
25th percentile $49,900 $23.99
50th percentile $61,280 $29.46
75th percentile $72,900 $35.05
90th percentile $81,040 $38.96

Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, MA NECTA Division (210 HVAC workers): $52,420 annual average salary

Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, MA NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $52,420 $25.20
10th percentile $32,510 $15.63
25th percentile $46,510 $22.36
50th percentile $55,750 $26.80
75th percentile $61,220 $29.43
90th percentile $64,130 $30.83

Framingham, MA NECTA Division (190 HVAC workers): $53,040 annual average salary

Framingham, MA NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $53,040 $25.50
10th percentile $41,300 $19.86
25th percentile $44,260 $21.28
50th percentile $49,180 $23.64
75th percentile $61,590 $29.61
90th percentile $76,280 $36.67

Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, MA-NH NECTA Division (140 HVAC workers): $51,850 annual average salary

Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, MA-NH NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $54,930 $26.41
10th percentile $35,800 $17.21
25th percentile $42,660 $20.51
50th percentile $54,810 $26.35
75th percentile $66,030 $31.75
90th percentile $76,760 $36.91

Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, MA-NH NECTA Division (260 HVAC workers): $55,630 annual average salary

Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, MA-NH NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $55,630 $26.75
10th percentile $33,590 $16.15
25th percentile $40,730 $19.58
50th percentile $53,340 $25.64
75th percentile $70,780 $34.03
90th percentile $81,030 $38.96

Leominster-Gardner, MA (60 HVAC workers): $45,430 annual average salary

Leominster-Gardner, MA
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $45,430 $21.84
10th percentile $26,600 $12.79
25th percentile $29,760 $14.31
50th percentile $46,330 $22.27
75th percentile $58,110 $27.94
90th percentile $64,120 $30.83

Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH NECTA Division (300 HVAC workers): $60,960 annual average salary

Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $60,960 $29.31
10th percentile $34,670 $16.67
25th percentile $47,020 $22.61
50th percentile $61,760 $29.69
75th percentile $74,720 $35.92
90th percentile $86,280 $41.48

Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard nonmetropolitan area (150 HVAC workers): $56,370 annual average salary

Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $56,370 $27.10
10th percentile $39,850 $19.16
25th percentile $46,050 $22.14
50th percentile $55,470 $26.67
75th percentile $65,990 $31.73
90th percentile $78,300 $37.64

New Bedford, MA (number of HVAC workers unreported): $50,350 annual average salary

New Bedford, MA
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $50,350 $24.21
10th percentile $28,390 $13.65
25th percentile $42,850 $20.60
50th percentile $49,740 $23.91
75th percentile $60,370 $29.02
90th percentile $72,730 $34.97

Northwest Massachusetts non (60 HVAC workers): $49,560 annual average salary

Northwest Massachusetts non
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $49,560 $23.83
10th percentile $39,900 $19.18
25th percentile $43,310 $20.82
50th percentile $48,310 $23.23
75th percentile $55,990 $26.92
90th percentile $63,000 $30.29

Peabody-Salem-Beverly, MA NECTA Division (240 HVAC workers): $65,180 annual average salary

Peabody-Salem-Beverly, MA NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $65,180 $31.34
10th percentile $46,580 $22.39
25th percentile $54,600 $26.25
50th percentile $62,470 $30.03
75th percentile $75,010 $36.06
90th percentile $88,990 $42.78

Pittsfield, MA (160 HVAC workers): $53,950 annual average salary

Pittsfield, MA
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $53,950 $25.94
10th percentile $29,860 $14.36
25th percentile $41,320 $19.87
50th percentile $55,100 $26.49
75th percentile $68,400 $32.88
90th percentile $77,040 $37.04

Springfield, MA-CT (720 HVAC workers): $61,070 annual average salary

Springfield, MA-CT
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $61,070 $29.36
10th percentile $40,970 $19.70
25th percentile $49,520 $23.81
50th percentile $59,550 $28.63
75th percentile $72,700 $34.95
90th percentile $86,790 $41.72

Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, MA NECTA Division (260 HVAC workers): $54,010 annual average salary

Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, MA NECTA Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $54,010 $25.97
10th percentile $31,860 $15.32
25th percentile $42,130 $20.26
50th percentile $51,490 $24.76
75th percentile $68,810 $33.08
90th percentile $77,660 $37.34

Worcester, MA-CT (560 HVAC workers): $51,840 annual average salary

Worcester, MA-CT
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $51,840 $24.92
10th percentile $39,110 $18.80
25th percentile $45,220 $21.74
50th percentile $53,080 $25.52
75th percentile $59,860 $28.78
90th percentile $63,710 $30.63

Finding Accredited HVAC Training in Massachusetts

In order to become licensed as an HVAC technician in the state of Massachusetts, a certain number of hours of experience in addition to proof of completion of a program at an approved school is required. HVAC technicians in MA must complete a program that has been approved by the Office of Public Safety and Inspection (OSPI). A complete list of approved schools is available from that department’s website. There are approved schools for HVAC training in Massachusetts in most parts of the state, including Boston, Upton, and Springfield. Some of the programs are offered at technical schools while others are at community colleges and culminate in an associate’s degree. HVAC schools in MA prepare students for the refrigeration licensing exam, but do not offer the exam themselves. The following programs help students prepare for eventual licensing:

The Peterson School, with locations in West Boylston, Westwood, and Woburn, offers a range of specialized programs in HVACR. Those who are pursuing a well-rounded education can take one of the school’s combo programs that includes training in HVAC, refrigeration, oil and/or gas heat, and basic electricity. The program at the Peterson School is approved by the state for preparation for refrigeration licensing.

Bay State School of Technology offers another state-approved program. Students can choose from Commercial or Domestic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning courses. Graduates of the program, which can take just one year, are prepared for both EPA certification and the National Service Certification test, offered by the Professional Service Association. The campus for this program is located in Canton, MA.

Located in Lowell, MA the New England Institute of HVAC offers both day and evening classes for its HVAC program. The 13-week course covers both residential and commercial systems in addition to basic electrical knowledge and EPA certification preparation. This program has also been approved by Massachusetts.

Although approval from the state is the most important factor in choosing an HVAC school in MA, applicants may also want to consider programmatic accreditation. There are two organizations in the US that accredit HVAC programs: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). As of 2018, there are no programs in Massachusetts that have earned accreditation from HVAC Excellence. Two programs in MA are accredited by PAHRA, but they are technical high school-level programs, which are outside of the scope of this page. For more information on the programmatic accreditation process, interested technicians may visit the sites for either organization or the main HVAC programs page on this site.

Additionally, some schools undergo third-party institutional accreditation processes that are not specific to HVAC programs. For instance, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) offers evaluation and accreditation to many continuing education and technical schools. ACCSC evaluates schools based on rates of student achievement, student graduation, and graduate employment. While this type of accreditation is not endorsed by the state of Massachusetts, it can be helpful when comparing HVAC schools in MA.