Welding VS HVAC -Trade Career Salary Requirements and Comparisons

Last Updated on May 2022


HVACR installation, repair, and maintenance, similar to welding, is a highly promising career path with endless opportunities.

If you fancy working with your hands and maintaining an active work lifestyle, then you will love working as a welder or HVACR technician.

Other than commitment, skill, and hard work, it doesn’t take a lot to kick off your career as a welder or HVACR professional.

Let`s take a look at some of the basics associated with these two promising careers.

Work Environment and Tools Used


As a welder, your greatest area of employment will be the welding manufacturing industry. You will also get the chance to work in the construction, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries. Working as a welder requires you to wear safety gear without fail to reduce the chances of sustaining injuries while on work duties. Some of the common equipment you will work with as a welder include welding machines, heated cutting equipment, solderers, welding carts, cable reels, and grinders, among others.


HVACR jobs might either need you to work in the same area or travel to different regions to provide services to clients. As a result, you should always be prepared to travel from destination to destination since the location of clients determines where you will be posted. HVAC technicians also require adequate protection equipment to prevent injury, especially when handling heavy items like refrigerators.

Pay Scales and Industry Outlook


According to the American Welding Society (AWS), a shortage of welders (40,000) is expected by 2024. Of course, people with professional welding certification will have greater job prospects owing to the shortage of expert welders. To boost your career as a welder, you should also be mentally prepared to relocate to regions with welding projects or opportunities.

On average, welders, cutters, and brazers earn a median annual wage of $38,150 based on 2015 statistics.


HVACR is among the fastest-growing industries, having experienced a 14% increment over the past years. Technologically savvy technicians are likely to take advantage of the widening employment opportunities and land permanent jobs. HVACR maintenance and repair jobs are likely to be more stable and consistent compared to installation, which depends on the circulation of cash and the overall performance of the construction industry.

The median wage for HVACR technicians stood at $45,110 in 2015.

Certification and Licensing Requirements


The American Welding Society(AWS) issues out advanced welding certifications. Having additional certificates from varying institutions can increase your prospect as a welder. For instance, certification from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) can improve your marketability and ease of landing jobs. The more certifications you have under your belt, the better your chances of securing complex, well-paying welding tasks.


While it is not compulsory to have adequate certification to work in the HVAC industry, most states will require you to have proper licensing before operating as a HVACR technician. Similar to welding, the more certificates you have, the better your chances of landing proper jobs. You can take up a competency exam at the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) to boost your readiness for welding jobs. However, to work for big companies and agencies across the country, it is advisable to secure as many HVAC related certificates as possible.

Skills and Training


To work as a professional welder, you will need to take up courses in shop mathematics, blueprint reading, chemistry, mechanical drawing as well as metallurgy to teach you more about various welding processes. For technical jobs, most employers prefer hiring welders who have certifications from technical institutions. While you can land a welding job without any formal training, your chances will increase if you take up a professional course, whether short or long.

To be a good welder, you need great accuracy, concentration, and the ability to follow instructions to the latter. You also need to be open to learning new welding techniques as well as being well versed in using different types of welders. For more info on the best entry level welders [Read our Full Guide]


Since HVACR units have become technologically enhanced and increasingly complex as compared to the past, aspiring technicians should consider taking up formal training to boost job options. Some of the mandatory skills for the job include connecting HVACR systems to respective fuel lines, air, and water ducts, reading blueprints, checking and installing electrical wiring, and making relevant recommendations in efforts to improve overall efficiency.

HVACR technicians must be knowledgeable about installation and maintenance. You also must be tech-savvy to keep up with emerging technologies in the installation and maintenance industry.


Both HVACR and welding jobs provide unending opportunities for people looking to improve their respective skills. Certified welders have increased chances of landing well-paying gigs, especially since there is an ever-increasing need for expert welders. Similarly, you will increase your chances of securing employment as a HVACR technician if you have necessary certification and training from relevant institutions.

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