How much do technicians make in the trades?
ServiceTitan analyzed data from all 50 states to give HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing business owners and technicians the benchmarks for everything from entry-level or apprentice roles, all the way up to the highest experience levels.
The data comes from Payscale.com, which works with human resources and compensation specialists in an effort to modernize compensation and salary benchmarking through technology.
Patrick MacIsaac, managing partner at The Roby Family of Companies in Charlotte, North Carolina, doesn’t need a database to tell him a career in the trades can be lucrative for many people — even more lucrative than a college degree.
“These guys (starting out in the trades) make double what I made out of college,” said MacIsaac, who has a finance degree from Clemson. “The trades are a tremendous opportunity.”
Here’s the big picture in the HVAC, plumbing and electrical industries, and access to state-by-state data for 2023:
7.44% — The rise, nationally, in the median salary for entry-level HVAC technicians, from January 2022 to January 2023.
10.26% — The rise in the median salary for entry-level techs in Ohio and Idaho, where they rose fastest. Utah and Alabama salaries were also up more than 10%.
$59,600 — The median salary for intermediate HVAC technicians (2-4 years of experience) nationally, $28.65 per hour.
The Quote — “Within the last two years, it's gone from, hey, the guy down the road's going to pay me a dollar more to, hey, the guy down the road's going to pay me $7 more an hour.” — Pete Bradham, Bradham Brothers Inc., Charlotte
» HVAC Salary Guide: More information, including state-by-state median HVAC salaries, for 2023.
3.7% — Increase in median salary for entry-level plumbers (0-2 years of experience), nationally, year-over-year. For intermediate experience (2-4 years), the rise is 6.63%; for senior plumbers, it’s 2.9%.
6.44% — The rise in the median salary for entry-level techs in Oklahoma, fastest in the nation. Georgia and Virginia were at 6.42%.
$59,500 — The median salary for intermediate plumbers (2-4 years of experience) nationally, up 6.63% year over year.
The Quote — “A lot of people hear about these plumbers who make $100,000 a year, and they think that when they first get their truck, they're going to make that. And that's not the case.” — Richard Flournoy, A-Total Plumbing, Atlanta
» Plumbing Salary Guide: More information, including state-by-state median plumber salaries, for 2023.
9.16% — Increase in median salary for entry-level electricians (0-2 years of experience), nationally, year-over-year, the highest of the three trades in the data. For intermediate experience (2-4 years), the rise is 3.09%; for senior electricians (4-6 years) it’s 6.16%.
11.73% — The rise in the median salary for entry-level electricians in South Dakota, fastest in the nation. Idaho (11.70%), Utah (11.69%) and Arizona (11.69%) weren’t far behind.
$63,400 — The median salary for intermediate electricians (2-4 years of experience) nationally, up 3.09% year over year.
The Quote — “Before, it was really just connecting wires and putting capacitors and things like that. But now you have things like smart thermostats and all this other stuff that does have a tech aspect. The market really demands that stuff now.” — Patrick MacIsaac, Roby Family of Companies, Charlotte
Electrician Salary Guide: More information, including state-by-state median electrician salaries, for 2023.
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