If you’re considering a career in duct fitting, then chances are you’re wondering about how much money you can expect to make. As with any profession, wages can vary depending on a multitude of factors. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what duct fitters do, what employers are looking for, and how much you can expect to earn in this field. From entry-level positions to those with decades of experience, we’ll explore the many factors that impact earnings and provide a comprehensive guide to duct fitter pay.

1. Introduction: A Comprehensive Guide to Duct Fitting Earnings

If you’re considering a career in duct fitting, one of your top concerns will likely be determining how much money you can expect to make in this line of work. Whether you’re just starting out and looking for entry-level opportunities, or you’re a seasoned professional looking to maximize your earning potential, understanding the factors that affect duct fitting earnings is an essential first step.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what duct fitters do, the various factors that can impact your earnings potential, and some tips for negotiating your salary. We’ll also take a look at real-world salary data from across the United States, helping you to get a better understanding of what you can expect to earn in different regions and industries.

As you read through this guide, keep in mind that duct fitting can be an exciting and rewarding career path, with opportunities for growth and advancement. Like any career, however, it has its challenges and drawbacks. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a better idea of whether duct fitting is the right choice for you, and how you can make the most of your earning potential in this field.

2. Understanding the Job Description: What Does a Duct Fitter Do?

Before we delve into duct fitting earnings, it’s important to understand the job description of a duct fitter. Essentially, a duct fitter installs and repairs ductwork systems used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings.

Job Duties

The job duties of a duct fitter include:

  • Reading and interpreting blueprints and technical instructions to determine the layout and installation of ductwork systems
  • Measuring and marking sheet metal and plastic materials to fabricate duct sections
  • Using hand and power tools to cut, assemble, and install duct sections in buildings or structures
  • Sealing connections between duct sections to ensure proper airflow and prevent air leakage
  • Testing completed installations for proper airflow and function

Skills and Qualifications

Duct fitters need to have a combination of technical skills and physical abilities. These include:

  • Knowledge of sheet metal fabrication and installation techniques
  • Ability to read and interpret technical drawings and blueprints
  • Familiarity with hand and power tools used in ductwork installation
  • Physical stamina and dexterity to work in tight spaces and with heavy materials
  • Attention to detail to ensure accurate measurements and cuts
  • Good communication skills to work in teams with other HVAC professionals

Now that we understand the role of a duct fitter, let’s look at the factors that influence their earnings.

3. Factors that Affect Duct Fitting Earnings: Experience, Education, Industry, and Location

The earnings of a duct fitter vary based on several factors such as their experience, education, industry, and location. It is crucial to understand how these factors can influence the salary of a duct fitter before setting income expectations in this field.


The experience of a duct fitter is one of the most significant factors that affect their earnings. Duct fitters with more experience and a track record of successful projects will command higher salaries than those who are just starting in the field. In fact, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a duct fitter with experience is $55,120 per year.


Education is another critical factor that affects the earnings of a duct fitter. A duct fitter who has completed formal education in the field will have a higher earning potential than someone who only has on-the-job training. This is because formal education provides a more in-depth understanding of the industry and the skills required for the job. Certifications such as those from the Sheet Metal Workers International Association can also increase earnings.

Industry and Location

The industry and location where a duct fitter works are also major factors that affect their earnings. The construction and manufacturing industries are the highest-paying sectors for duct fitters, with workers in these industries earning a median wage of $57,270 per year. On the other hand, duct fitters working in the non-residential building construction sector earn a median wage of $54,170 per year, while those working in specialty trade contractors earn $49,840.

Location is another essential factor, with duct fitters earning more in areas with a higher cost of living. For instance, those working in high-cost cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco earn more than those working in low-cost cities or in rural areas. The same applies to different states, where duct fitters earn more in states with high living standards such as California and Washington compared to those with lower living standards such as Texas and Florida.

4. A Comparative Analysis of Salary Rates Across Different States and Cities

Duct fitting is a highly specialized field that requires skill and expertise. Depending on where you live and work, the earning potential of a duct fitter can vary significantly. In this section, we will provide a comparative analysis of salary rates across different states and cities, so you can have a better understanding of what to expect in terms of compensation.

Salary Rates Across Different States

The earning potential of a duct fitter largely depends on the state you work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the average hourly wage of a duct fitter in the United States is $28.65, while the average annual salary is $59,610.

Below is a list of top-paying states for duct fitters:

  • Alaska: $91,590 annual mean wage
  • Hawaii: $79,400 annual mean wage
  • Illinois: $76,410 annual mean wage
  • Washington: $75,020 annual mean wage
  • New York: $72,020 annual mean wage

Salary Rates Across Different Cities

The earning potential of a duct fitter can also vary greatly depending on the city you work in. Here are some cities with the highest average annual salaries for duct fitters:

  • San Francisco, CA: $89,970 annual mean wage
  • Chicago, IL: $85,100 annual mean wage
  • Seattle, WA: $81,020 annual mean wage
  • Boston, MA: $80,800 annual mean wage
  • New York, NY: $79,540 annual mean wage

It’s important to note that these salary rates are just averages, and it’s possible to make more or less depending on your experience, education, industry, and location. However, this information can give you a general idea of what to expect in terms of compensation as a duct fitter.

5. Opportunities for Growth: Career Progression and Additional Benefits for Duct Fitters

As skilled trade workers, duct fitters have opportunities for growth and advancement in their careers. In this section, we will explore the potential career progression and additional benefits that are available to duct fitters in the industry.

Career Progression

With experience and additional education, duct fitters can advance in their careers and take on more responsibilities. They can become team leaders, work on larger or more complex projects, and even move into management positions. Continuing education and training are available to help duct fitters acquire new skills and stay up-to-date with industry standards.

Some duct fitters may choose to specialize in certain areas of the industry such as sheet metal work or welding. This can lead to even more opportunities for growth and higher earning potential.

Additional Benefits

In addition to salary, duct fitters may receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Many larger companies also offer bonuses and incentives for meeting performance goals or for completing projects ahead of schedule.

Another benefit of pursuing a career as a duct fitter is the opportunity to work on a variety of projects across different industries. From residential to commercial buildings, duct fitters can gain experience in different environments and with different types of HVAC systems.

Overall, duct fitting can be a rewarding and stable career path with opportunities for growth and additional benefits. It’s worth considering for those interested in skilled trades and the HVAC industry.

6. Tips for Negotiating Duct Fitting Salaries: Strategies to Increase Earnings

Negotiating your salary as a duct fitter can be a little daunting but with the right strategies, you can increase your earnings. For those who are new to the job market or are switching careers, remember that when it comes to salary negotiation, the employer will only agree to what they feel is fair and reasonable for both parties.

1. Research is key

Before any salary negotiation, ensure you have done your homework so you can approach your employer with an informed position. Research sites such as Glassdoor to see what others in similar roles are earning in your area. It may also be worth speaking to fellow duct fitters or industry experts who can give you an insider’s view on what could be a reasonable salary range.

2. Don’t forget about employee benefits

Your pay may not be the only thing up for negotiation. Employee benefits such as health insurance, 401k matching, or paid time off can be just as important in the long run. Don’t forget to take these into consideration when discussing your overall compensation package.

3. Emphasize your value

During the salary negotiation process, highlight what you bring to the table and how your skills and experience can be of benefit to your employer. Explain your knowledge of the industry and the unique strengths you bring to the job. Make sure your employer understands what makes you different from other duct fitters and why they should compensate you accordingly.

Remember, salary negotiation can be a two-way conversation and should be based on an understanding of what is reasonable for both parties. Keep in mind these tips, do your research, and be confident in emphasizing your value as a duct fitter.

7. Final Thoughts: Is Duct Fitting a Lucrative Career Path? Pros and Cons of Pursuing a Career in Duct Fitting

Duct fitting is a specialized field of work that requires a combination of technical skills and physical stamina. Although the job can be demanding, it can also be rewarding both professionally and financially. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of pursuing a career in duct fitting.

Pros of Pursuing a Career in Duct Fitting

1. Lucrative Earnings
Duct fitters can earn a significant amount of money based on their skills, experience, and location. With overtime and other bonuses, the earning potential of duct fitters can be quite high, making it a financially lucrative career path.

2. In-Demand Career
As the construction and HVAC industries continue to grow, duct fitting remains an in-demand career. Duct fitters can find job opportunities in various industries, including residential, commercial, and industrial construction.

3. Career Advancement Opportunities
Duct fitting is not just a job; it is a career path that offers opportunities for professional growth and advancement. Experienced duct fitters can become supervisors, project managers, or even start their own business.

Cons of Pursuing a Career in Duct Fitting

1. Physically Demanding Job
Duct fitting is a physically demanding job that requires the ability to lift heavy objects, work in tight spaces, and perform repetitive tasks. This can lead to physical strain and injury, especially if proper safety measures are not followed.

2. Unpredictable Work Schedule
Depending on the time-sensitive nature of the job, duct fitters may need to work long hours or on weekends to meet project deadlines. This unpredictable work schedule can impact work-life balance and cause stress.

3. Exposure to Hazardous Working Conditions
Duct fitting often requires working in hazardous conditions, such as high places and confined spaces, which can expose workers to various dangers. Proper safety precautions and training are essential in preventing workplace accidents and injuries.

Overall, duct fitting can be a lucrative career path for those who enjoy working with their hands, have a technical aptitude, and possess physical fitness. However, prospective duct fitters must also consider the risks and challenges that come with the job. It is essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a career decision and pursue proper training and safety measures to ensure a successful and fulfilling career in duct fitting.

People Also Ask

What is a duct fitter?

A duct fitter is a skilled worker who installs and maintains ventilation systems in buildings. They measure, cut, and fit ductwork to match building specifications.

What qualifications do you need to become a duct fitter?

To become a duct fitter, you need a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as on-the-job training or an apprenticeship. Some employers may prefer candidates with trade school or vocational training.

What is the average salary of a duct fitter?

The average salary for a duct fitter in the US is around $51,000 per year, but this varies based on experience, qualifications, and location.

What is the job outlook for duct fitters?

The job outlook for duct fitters is expected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. As buildings become more energy-efficient, the need for ventilation systems will continue to increase.

What other career paths can stem from being a duct fitter?

If you have experience as a duct fitter, you may be able to move up to a supervisory role, such as a construction or project manager. You could also pursue certification in related trades, such as HVAC technician or plumber.


Duct fitters are skilled workers who play an important role in the construction and maintenance of buildings. While the average salary for a duct fitter is around $51,000 per year, this can vary based on location, experience, and qualifications. With a growing job outlook and potential for career advancement, becoming a duct fitter can offer a stable and fulfilling career path.