Making $80K a year as an HVAC Technician in California

Roger Cuadra, Nexgen Heat and Air Technician

Roger Cuadra: Everyone will always want and need air conditioning depending on the climate, be it air conditioning or heating, I mean that track is pretty stable and will always be there.

With all this experience I have now, I consider myself an accomplished tech. I am proud to have an excellent reputation online. My Yelp reviews are huge, I actually get a lot of referrals from customers.

Everyone will always want and need air conditioning, depending on the climate, be it air conditioning or heating, I mean that track is pretty stable and will always be there.

My name is Roger Cuadra. I live in Corona, California. I am an HVAC Technician at NexGen Heating and Air Conditioning. I make somewhere between $80 and $120,000 a year.

Emma Fierberg, CNBC Make It producer: Roger installs and repairs air conditioning, heating and air purification systems in homes.

From diagnosing unusual problems, to fixing older systems in need of repair, to long hours in 110º attics, the work can be tough.

Roger Cuadra: Most of the time I work six days a week.

Emma Fierberg, CNBC Make It producer: On a typical day, Roger earns about $336 in commission.

Roger Cuadra: On the most difficult day, the customer had no power on his unit. And they’re pretty frustrated that I couldn’t turn it on.

Check the whole system. And you just can’t find the problem. And so you start asking questions, you know, like, Oh my god, you start questioning your life. Like, what am I doing here? Oh, my god, I’m at hour number four right now.

Had to go through all the low voltage wiring connected to the outdoor unit and found some rodents there. Alive, nesting, they chewed through all the wiring.

And it took me until my seventh hour to find it. I went home and couldn’t get it out of my head the following week.

It was my mistake that day not to start there in the first place because it’s a pretty common problem where rodents, you know, chew those wires and ruin systems.

That’s one of the biggest things customers in this industry don’t understand. It is skilled labor; skilled labor is not cheap. You don’t necessarily pay for the part, you pay for my knowledge and my service.

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