Earnings

Median hourly wages of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers were $19.08 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $14.94 and $24.84 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12.19, and the top 10 percent earned more than $30.59. Median hourly wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers were:

 

Local government $22.79
Hardware, and plumbing and heating equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers 22.18
Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (except automotive and electronic) repair and maintenance 20.83
Direct selling establishments 20.03
Building equipment contractors 18.26

 

 

Apprentices usually earn about 50 percent of the wage rate paid to experienced workers. As they gain experience and improve their skills, they receive periodic increases until they reach the wage rate of experienced workers.

Heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers generally receive a variety of employer-sponsored benefits. In addition to typical benefits such as health insurance and pension plans, some employers pay for work-related training and provide uniforms, company vans, and tools.

About 15 percent of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers are members of a union. The unions to which the greatest numbers of mechanics and installers belong are the Sheet Metal Workers International Association and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada.


 


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