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HVAC Technician Salary Guide for Australia and New Zealand

In a rapidly changing and shifting job market, it can be hard to imagine a future-proof career. The trades can offer everything you need in not just a job but a future, with higher demand than ever for skilled tradespeople. They’re varied, with their own benefits and unique skills, but this is a HVAC technician salary guide, so three guesses about what you’re considering as a career!

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (sometimes &Refrigeration), a.k.a HVAC(&R), is a growing industry as technology develops and standards of living rise. It’s an essential industry for comfort and, more importantly, health.

It’s a trade that requires specialised skills and a head for numbers, with plenty of opportunities to grow. The salaries on offer reflect the demand and skills needed, making it a great pick for anyone considering a career in in the trades.

HVAC Technician Salary Overview:

One of the important factors in any career is the compensation. If you’re considering this trade, you’ll want to know what kind of HVAC technician salary you can expect.

The average HVAC technician salary ranges are:

Australia: $85,000 - $105,000 AUD

New Zealand: $60,000 - $83,000 NZD

These salaries reflect a combination of factors, and salaries will fluctuate depending on which factor has more effect on each individual role. Average HVAC technician salaries are a snapshot of earning potential and the varied nature of the trade.

Factors affecting the average HVAC technician's salary include:


Where you’re working is important. Generally, cities have higher salaries on average than regional areas, but demand varies even between suburbs and what’s available for customers.

This also works the opposite way: remote areas can have high HVAC technician salary ranges due to their remoteness. This means when there’s demand, tradies need to be well-compensated for working/living in isolated regions.


Education level is key, especially when kicking off your career. Apprentices aren’t paid full hourly rates/salaries compared to journeyperson tradies.

Once you have your initial qualification, additional specialisations or a chosen niche can increase your earning potential.


Experience in any area can result in higher salaries, and it’s the same for HVAC. The knowledge you gain and the skills you train are vital to access more opportunities and greater earnings. People want experts on the team, and it’s well-rewarded.

We’ll cover each of these factors in more detail and provide examples of how hourly rates and salaries differ thanks to each. These salaries may have changed by now, but they’re still a good yardstick for the kind of HVAC technician salary you can expect!

HVAC Technician Salary Ranges by Region

Location was mentioned above as a large factor in HVAC technician salary amounts. To expand on this point, we will compare some locations and the average HVAC salary offered in each.

-New South Wales: $71,000 - $90,000

-Queensland: $90,000 - $130,000

-Victoria: $81,000 - $91,000

-South Australia: $72,000 - $94,000

-Western Australia: $85,000 - $93,000

-Tasmania: $81,000 - $97,000

-Northern Territory: $85,000 - $101,000

-ACT: $77,000 - $90,000

These salaries can be affected by demand, higher available income and market competition. Next, we’ll break down more factors that can influence an HVAC technician salary.

HVAC Salaries by Experience/Specialisation

The standard HVAC technician salary is high on average, which reflects the kind of opportunities and jobs available in the trade. That said, the average salary is bumped by the mentioned factors. Experience and specialisation are other key factors, arguably the most important.

We’ll break down and compare several HVAC technician salary levels and specialisations to compare and contrast the numbers. You might even find the kind of HVAC tech you want to be and the kind of career you can build in this trade.

Education/Experience Level

Your level of education and experience heavily influence your HVAC technician salary/hourly rate. Generally, the more experienced you are, the more you can earn as a HVAC tech.


Trades have the benefit of offering paid apprenticeships, so you earn while you learn, but the rate is a percentage of the full HVAC technician salary or hourly wage. This rate also increases with each year of an apprenticeship: a fourth-year apprentice will earn a much larger percentage of their rate than a first-year apprentice.

The average apprentice HVAC technician salary is: $31,000 - $40,000


After earning your qualifications, your earning potential greatly increases. The salary is no longer capped by apprentice wages and depends on the offered HVAC technician salary.

The average journeyperson HVAC salary is: $85,000 - $105,000

There are two core ‘experience levels’ when discussing HVAC. The first is your baseline qualification. The second is your specialisation.


Many roles aren’t just looking for qualified HVAC techs but also for a particular skill set. Working in the industry often means working with a niche; these specialisations affect the kind of HVAC technician salary you can expect. Demand and the amount of training/knowledge affect these salaries and this inevitably ties into education.

We’ll cover some examples to illustrate this.

Air Conditioning Engineer

Average salary: $84,000 - $93,000

Air con engineers specialise in the installation, maintenance and repair of AC systems. These systems can vary from complex multi-room cooling to simpler portable units. Air conditioning engineers are experts in AC systems' electrical and mechanical processes and can diagnose systems that need repair or replacement.

HVAC Mechanic

Average salary: $66,000 -$73,000

HVAC mechanics install and repair the mechanical components of HVAC systems and review components for signs of aging and decay. They’re focused on mechanical processes and systems and are often involved in installs alongside other HVAC techs. Mechanics can implement designs and recommend design modifications to improve systems.

Refrigeration Technician

Average salary: $83,000 - $100,000 AUD

The techs install, maintain and repair refrigeration units, large and small. They review the components involved in the refrigeration process to identify/diagnose issues and conduct needed repairs or replacements. They’re also involved in the installation of commercial refrigeration units, as these are more complex and require expert involvement.

Wind Turbine Tech

Average salary: $74,000 - $91,000

Wind turbine technicians aren’t essentially HVAC techs, but they share a lot of similarities with solar techs, who are. Wind turbine techs need to have a stomach for heights and are experts in wind turbines' mechanical and electrical processes. They also review electrical output and perform maintenance.

Project Engineer

Average salary: $100,000 - $140,000

Project engineers can specialise in HVAC systems, particularly commercial systems involved in large projects. These are experts who oversee projects and ensure the quality of all steps. These can be extensive and complex, and project engineers can be expected to review blueprints, create 3D models and test the structural integrity of systems. They focus on the placement and installation of heavy-duty units involved in commercial projects.

Additional Earning Opportunities for HVAC Technicians

Alongside certifications and specialisations, your HVAC technician salary can be enhanced by starting your own business. Australia and New Zealand are prime places to start a small business, and Australia, in particular, has a very high rate of small businesses in the trade sector. HVAC for residential and commercial buildings is essential for quality of life, so your trade is in demand no matter where you set up!

Running your own business can be an exciting yet daunting prospect. Striking out on your own and building your reputation and customer base takes time, but a trade such as HVAC makes it a viable option. Just something to keep in mind as you consider your pick!

Building a Rewarding Career in HVAC

As you can see, even the lowest of an average HVAC technician salary is pretty good, and there are many opportunities and niches to explore in the trade. HVAC is an excellent career for those who enjoy hands-on work, as well as those who want complex challenges in their work.

HVAC offers a solid, thriving career and high earning potential. Take that potential even higher with your own business. Just as HVAC technology develops, so do handy tools to help you with your business and work. HVAC software and industry apps can be accessed on the job, taking robust tools wherever you go.

There’s never been a better time to join the trades!

Note: The information provided in this blog article is based on secondary research and industry averages. It is intended to offer a general overview and should not be considered as definitive guidance.

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