HVAC Training in TX

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Buregeoning professionals who are interested in a fast-growing career and like working with their hands may be well-suited to a job in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, or HVAC.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2017), Texas had the third highest employment rate for HVAC technicians of any state in the country, meaning that even those just starting out in the career have a good chance of finding employment quickly. Current Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates have more than 23,000 people currently employed as HVAC technicians in the state, with the Dallas and Houston metropolitan areas being the most concentrated. Further, it is a career that will truly always be in demand, particularly in the sweltering Texas summers.

HVAC technicians who do work in Texas also have the benefit of many professional organizations to support them in their career. For instance, the Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association provides Texas HVAC workers with educational opportunities and other support. Pipefitters Local 211 is an option in Houston for HVAC professionals who want to join a union. This union also supports apprenticeship programs around the state.

It can always be a challenge to start a new career from scratch, but becoming an HVAC technician through an accredited HVAC program is one of the fastest ways to begin this level of professional career.  HVAC technicians do need some foundational knowledge to succeed in their first job, but there are no specific education or testing requirements for HVAC technicians to start work in Texas. As long as a technician registers with the state and is working under the supervision of a certified technician, it is possible to start work right away. This means that in just a few months, depending on the program, brand new HVAC technicians could be starting work and well on their way to a stable and lucrative career. 

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Occupational Demand for HVAC Jobs in Texas

The timing is right for starting a career as an HVAC technician in all parts of the country, but particularly in Texas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the U.S., demand for HVAC technicians is expected to increase by 15 percent through 2026, which is double the average (7 percent) for all professions (BLS 2017). This percentage equates to more than 40,000 new jobs across the country during that time frame.

So what are the factors contributing to the healthy, thriving demand for qualified HVAC professionals in Texas? First, these systems generally need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, not to mention required retrofitting of old systems to make them compatible with new structures or technologies. Secondly, the rise of regular service and maintenance contracts which accompanies the installation of modern systems may ensure regular work throughout the year, even during the typically low seasons (spring and fall). Maintenance and repair work is especially stable, while specializing in HVAC installation may thrive more in cities with high rates of construction.

The BLS (2017) reported that nine percent HVAC mechanics and installers were self-employed in 2017, and 64 percent worked for plumbing, heating, and A/C contracting companies. Some of these skilled professionals in TX work normal business hours, while others may be called upon to service equipment on evenings, weekends, or holidays, particularly during the high summer season. HVAC workers do incur a relatively high risk of injury and illness compared to other US occupations. They lift heavy equipment, deal with electrical wiring, and handle refrigerants, three activities which increase one’s risk of muscle strains, electrical shock, burns, and frostbite, among other maladies. These problems can generally be kept to a minimum with proper training and use of safety equipment.

Despite the physical challenges within the profession, there is further evidence that the employment climate is thriving for HVAC workers in TX. In fact, common job post sites are bursting at the seams with opportunities. For example, Indeed (Dec. 2018) had links to 2,457 relevant HVAC worker openings in TX, including positions at Victoria Air Conditioning, RushCo Energy Specialists, TD Industries, and Wesleyan Homes. Additionally, Monster (Dec. 2018) advertised 130 HVAC jobs in TX at places such as ABM Industries, Pearce Services, Advantage Resourcing, and Precision Heating & Air.

Salaries for HVAC Workers in Texas

According to the BLS, 307,060 HVAC professionals were employed in the US as of 2017, earning an average salary of $49,530 or $23.81 hourly. Texas had the third highest employment rate for HVAC technicians of any state, with 23,520 jobs and a mean wage of $21.83 per hour or $45,410 annually. Following are the average salaries of workers in the US as compared to Texas:

Annual salary Hourly salary
United States Texas United States Texas
Average $49,530 $45,410 $23.81 $21.83
10th percentile $29,120 $27,900 $14.00 $13.41
25th percentile $36,150 $34,310 $17.38 $16.49
50th percentile $47,080 $43,260 $22.64 $20.80
75th percentile $60,270 $53,870 $28.98 $25.90
90th percentile $75,330 $65,340 $36.22 $31.41

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

United States: 881 HVAC workers responding

  • 10th percentile: $29,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $44,606
  • 90th percentile: $72,000

An additional 4,892 HVAC workers gave Payscale their hourly salary figures, resulting in these percentile wages:

  • 10th percentile: $12.94/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $19.33/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $29.55/hr.

As noted above, the average salary for HVAC workers in Texas is a bit lower 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 TX was the 11th most affordable state, meaning residents can expect to find savings in areas like housing and groceries. For HVAC technicians this means even lower than average salaries will go a bit further than they would in some costlier states.

The BLS designated 33 regions within Texas for which employment data is available. The 4300 HVAC workers in the Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division earned the highest average salary in the state ($50,530) while the 230 HVAC workers in Brownsville-Harlingen, TX had the lowest average salary at $31,410. Following are the detailed salary data for the state of Texas:

Abilene, TX (100 HVAC workers): $43,870 annual average salary

Abilene, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $43,870 $21.09
10th percentile $29,020 $13.95
25th percentile $37,190 $17.88
50th percentile $44,810 $21.54
75th percentile $50,540 $24.30
90th percentile $59,930 $28.81

Amarillo, TX (number of HVAC workers unreported): $51,070 annual average salary

Amarillo, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $51,070 $24.55
10th percentile $27,720 $13.33
25th percentile $34,560 $16.61
50th percentile $49,910 $23.99
75th percentile $62,190 $29.90
90th percentile $81,730 $39.30

Austin-Round Rock, TX (1530 HVAC workers): $41,880 annual average salary

Austin-Round Rock, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $41,880 $20.13
10th percentile $28,410 $13.66
25th percentile $34,550 $16.61
50th percentile $42,310 $20.34
75th percentile $49,170 $23.64
90th percentile $56,720 $27.27

Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX (number of HVAC workers unreported): $49,230 annual average salary

Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $49,230 $23.67
10th percentile $38,550 $18.54
25th percentile $42,860 $20.60
50th percentile $48,140 $23.15
75th percentile $56,870 $27.34
90th percentile $63,650 $30.60

Big Thicket Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area (160 HVAC workers): $40,810 annual average salary

Big Thicket Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $40,810 $19.62
10th percentile $26,420 $12.70
25th percentile $31,150 $14.98
50th percentile $40,720 $19.58
75th percentile $47,510 $22.84
90th percentile $52,440 $25.21

Border Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area (100 HVAC workers): $36,440 annual average salary

Border Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $36,440 $17.52
10th percentile $23,690 $11.39
25th percentile $27,530 $13.24
50th percentile $33,190 $15.95
75th percentile $43,880 $21.10
90th percentile $57,150 $27.48

Brownsville-Harlingen, TX (230 HVAC workers): $31,410 annual average salary

Brownsville-Harlingen, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $31,410 $15.10
10th percentile $22,770 $10.95
25th percentile $25,760 $12.39
50th percentile $29,610 $14.24
75th percentile $35,870 $17.25
90th percentile $40,220 $19.34

Coastal Plains Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area (310 HVAC workers): $38,150 annual average salary

Coastal Plains Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $38,150 $18.34
10th percentile $22,180 $10.67
25th percentile $26,790 $12.88
50th percentile $35,160 $16.91
75th percentile $50,420 $24.24
90th percentile $59,400 $28.56

College Station-Bryan, TX (190 HVAC workers): $39,660 annual average salary

College Station-Bryan, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $39,660 $19.07
10th percentile $25,530 $12.27
25th percentile $29,130 $14.01
50th percentile $37,890 $18.22
75th percentile $50,800 $24.42
90th percentile $59,750 $28.73

Corpus Christi, TX (500 HVAC workers): $42,710 annual average salary

Corpus Christi, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $42,710 $20.54
10th percentile $25,570 $12.29
25th percentile $31,570 $15.18
50th percentile $40,480 $19.46
75th percentile $53,140 $25.55
90th percentile $63,220 $30.39

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (6180 HVAC workers): $48,870 annual average salary

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $48,870 $23.49
10th percentile $31,250 $15.02
25th percentile $36,930 $17.75
50th percentile $45,940 $22.08
75th percentile $57,670 $27.73
90th percentile $72,790 $34.99

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division (4300 HVAC workers): $50,530 annual average salary

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $50,530 $24.29
10th percentile $30,350 $14.59
25th percentile $37,690 $18.12
50th percentile $46,900 $22.55
75th percentile $59,760 $28.73
90th percentile $79,810 $38.37

El Paso, TX (890 HVAC workers): $37,320 annual average salary

El Paso, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $37,320 $17.94
10th percentile $23,660 $11.37
25th percentile $29,010 $13.95
50th percentile $36,430 $17.52
75th percentile $45,160 $21.71
90th percentile $52,670 $25.32

Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division (1890 HVAC workers): $45,090 annual average salary

Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $45,090 $21.68
10th percentile $31,920 $15.35
25th percentile $35,880 $17.25
50th percentile $43,650 $20.99
75th percentile $53,630 $25.79
90th percentile $62,260 $29.93

Hill Country Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area (460 HVAC workers): $37,280 annual average salary

Hill Country Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $37,280 $17.92
10th percentile $26,240 $12.62
25th percentile $28,210 $13.56
50th percentile $32,450 $15.60
75th percentile $45,160 $21.71
90th percentile $56,550 $27.19

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (6370 HVAC workers): $48,390 annual average salary

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $48,390 $23.27
10th percentile $29,860 $14.36
25th percentile $35,790 $17.21
50th percentile $45,610 $21.93
75th percentile $59,670 $28.69
90th percentile $73,570 $35.37

Killeen-Temple, TX (420 HVAC workers): $35,670 annual average salary

Killeen-Temple, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $35,670 $17.15
10th percentile $22,260 $10.70
25th percentile $27,290 $13.12
50th percentile $35,670 $17.15
75th percentile $43,270 $20.80
90th percentile $50,120 $24.10

Laredo, TX (110 HVAC workers): $36,980 annual average salary

Laredo, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $36,980 $17.78
10th percentile $25,500 $12.26
25th percentile $29,880 $14.37
50th percentile $36,550 $17.57
75th percentile $44,520 $21.41
90th percentile $49,690 $23.89

Longview, TX (180 HVAC workers): $42,360 annual average salary

Longview, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $42,360 $20.36
10th percentile $27,290 $13.12
25th percentile $35,640 $17.14
50th percentile $43,140 $20.74
75th percentile $50,350 $24.21
90th percentile $59,080 $28.40

Lubbock, TX (480 HVAC workers): $46,540 annual average salary

Lubbock, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $46,540 $22.38
10th percentile $32,410 $15.58
25th percentile $35,710 $17.17
50th percentile $41,420 $19.91
75th percentile $51,720 $24.87
90th percentile $73,780 $35.47

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX (420 HVAC workers): $36,860 annual average salary

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $36,860 $17.72
10th percentile $26,780 $12.88
25th percentile $30,110 $14.48
50th percentile $35,450 $17.05
75th percentile $40,610 $19.53
90th percentile $52,100 $25.05

Midland, TX (170 HVAC workers): $41,720 annual average salary

Midland, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $41,720 $20.06
10th percentile $25,940 $12.47
25th percentile $32,360 $15.56
50th percentile $40,780 $19.61
75th percentile $49,470 $23.78
90th percentile $61,630 $29.63

North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area (420 HVAC workers): $42,800 annual average salary

North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $42,800 $20.58
10th percentile $30,990 $14.90
25th percentile $35,730 $17.18
50th percentile $42,570 $20.47
75th percentile $49,980 $24.03
90th percentile $57,840 $27.81

Odessa, TX (140 HVAC workers): $45,160 annual average salary

Odessa, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $45,160 $21.71
10th percentile $27,690 $13.31
25th percentile $34,110 $16.40
50th percentile $42,040 $20.21
75th percentile $56,360 $27.10
90th percentile $68,640 $33.00

San Angelo, TX (130 HVAC workers): $44,490 annual average salary

San Angelo, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $44,490 $21.39
10th percentile $31,580 $15.18
25th percentile $37,050 $17.81
50th percentile $43,760 $21.04
75th percentile $49,020 $23.57
90th percentile $54,850 $26.37

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (2150 HVAC workers): $45,180 annual average salary

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $45,180 $21.72
10th percentile $28,870 $13.88
25th percentile $35,900 $17.26
50th percentile $45,040 $21.65
75th percentile $52,590 $25.28
90th percentile $61,280 $29.46

Sherman-Denison, TX (110 HVAC workers): $48,460 annual average salary

Sherman-Denison, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $48,460 $23.30
10th percentile $28,780 $13.84
25th percentile $38,690 $18.60
50th percentile $47,270 $22.73
75th percentile $57,430 $27.61
90th percentile $64,170 $30.85

Texarkana, TX-AR (120 HVAC workers): $40,010 annual average salary

Texarkana, TX-AR
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $40,010 $19.23
10th percentile $24,690 $11.87
25th percentile $32,670 $15.71
50th percentile $41,650 $20.03
75th percentile $47,940 $23.05
90th percentile $52,380 $25.18

Tyler, TX (200 HVAC workers): $32,620 annual average salary

Tyler, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $32,620 $15.68
10th percentile $26,070 $12.54
25th percentile $27,840 $13.38
50th percentile $30,790 $14.80
75th percentile $36,240 $17.42
90th percentile $41,090 $19.76

Victoria, TX (40 HVAC workers): $39,490 annual average salary

Victoria, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $39,490 $18.99
10th percentile $32,060 $15.41
25th percentile $34,030 $16.36
50th percentile $37,320 $17.94
75th percentile $44,280 $21.29
90th percentile $54,280 $26.10

Waco, TX (350 HVAC workers): $38,820 annual average salary

Waco, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $38,820 $18.66
10th percentile $24,910 $11.98
25th percentile $29,800 $14.33
50th percentile $36,150 $17.38
75th percentile $43,900 $21.11
90th percentile $55,520 $26.69

West Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area (330 HVAC workers): $46,040 annual average salary

West Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $46,040 $22.13
10th percentile $26,290 $12.64
25th percentile $34,170 $16.43
50th percentile $46,120 $22.17
75th percentile $57,460 $27.63
90th percentile $65,960 $31.71

Wichita Falls, TX (150 HVAC workers): $38,440 annual average salary

Wichita Falls, TX
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $38,440 $18.48
10th percentile $28,590 $13.74
25th percentile $32,480 $15.62
50th percentile $36,600 $17.60
75th percentile $42,670 $20.51
90th percentile $49,270 $23.69

Accredited HVAC Training in Texas

Accreditation is an important part of any higher education program. In the US, there are two organizations that offer accreditation for HVAC programs: HVAC Excellence and Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). There are no accreditation requirements for registering or becoming licensed as an ACR contractor in Texas. However, accreditation does indicate that a professional association has evaluated the quality of education offered by a program both in terms of curriculum and facilities. Therefore, although accreditation may not be required, it is highly recommended for a discerning student.

Laredo College is located in Laredo, Texas and offers an HVAC Excellence-accredited HVAC program. Laredo has both one and two year certificate programs that include coursework in basic HVAC electricity, the principles of refrigerations, and residential and commercial projects. As of 2018, students at Laredo could expect to pay $50 per credit hour (in-district) or $100 per credit hour (out-of-district).

Lincoln College of Technology is located in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is near Dallas-Fort Worth, and has also earned its accreditation from HVAC Excellence. Students at LCT can complete the 44.5 credit-hour HVAC technician program there in a total of 47 weeks.

Vernon College is the only school in Texas with accreditation from PAHRA. Vernon College offers its HVAC certificate program at its Wichita Falls campus. As of 2017, the in-state tuition and fees for the 48 week program was $8,136

HVAC Licensing & Certification in Texas

Prior to seeking work, all HVAC workers in Texas must ensure that they have proper credentialing. There is one nationally mandatory certification for all people who work with refrigerants: the EPA Section 608 certification, for which there are four categories:

  • Type 1 (small appliance)
  • Type 2 (high-pressure appliances)
  • Type 3 (low-pressure appliances)
  • Type 4 (universal)

PPreparation for this credentialing exam is usually included in accredited HVAC training programs.

Other national entities of note and sample certifications offered include:

To discover in detail how to achieve any of these credentials, check out the HVAC certifications page.

HVAC technicians in Texas specifically must be licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TLDR). HVAC technicians must apply for the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor’s (ACRC) license by submitting an application, a $115 application fee, and sit for the licensing exam. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must be at least 18 years old and “show proof of 48 months of practical experience in air conditioning and refrigeration work under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor within the last 72 months.” The full details of how to apply for licensing as well as what types of licenses are available for different levels of employment (e.g., registered technicians vs. licensed contractors) is accessible on the TLDR site.

New technicians should be aware that licensing requirements can vary within the same state depending on the municipality. It is contingent on all HVAC professionals to ensure that they are working within the law of wheresoever they choose to work.