To make a lucrative career switch in Portland, OR with a short training time, you should consider HVAC technician certification.
Jobs in this field tend to earn a salary between $73,986 and $97,337.
To make the transition easier, we’ve compiled the best HVAC programs in Portland, OR below.
Portland Community College
About the School
As the area’s main community college, students who enroll at PCC will enjoy affordable tuition rates and short degree programs.
While PCC offers a range of degrees in certificates in concentrations such as addiction studies and graphic design, they also offer studies for the trades such as an HVAC program.
Students who want to gain a solid foundation in HVAC studies can complete PCC’s HVAC/R Installation, Career Pathway certificate.
This certificate is designed to prepare students to get into the field right after graduation.
With a hands-on focus, this certificate program only requires 14 credits to complete.
This makes it ideal for students who are eager to get their desired job.
It is not eligible for financial aid.
However, since it lasts less than a year and only requires 14 credits, it may still be affordable.
Address: 6400 N Cutter Circle, Portland, OR 97217
Northwest College of Construction
About the School
For students throughout the Pacific Northwest, Northwest College of Construction is becoming one of the top career and technical institutes in the region.
With apprenticeships, training programs, and leadership programs, NWCC offers lifelong learning and growth opportunities to those who want to move forward with a career in the construction industry.
For students over the age of 18, Northwest College of Construction offers an HVAC Technician Apprenticeship program.
This is perfect for students who want to learn on the job outside of a classroom setting.
The program requires students to pass certain qualifications such as completing a high school diploma or earning a GED, passing a year of high school algebra, integrated math 2, or the appropriate post-high school algebra courses.
Prospective students must have earned a C or better in these courses.
Alternatively, students could have achieved the equivalent test scores in a math placement exam.
Once a student qualifies, he or she will have an interview to determine if this apprenticeship is the right fit.
Upon acceptance, students can expect to complete at least 144 hours on the apprenticeship annually for four years.
The total time spent on the internship adds up to about 8,000 hours spread out over four years.
At the end of the apprenticeship, students will be more than capable of working with sheet metal and electrical wiring in the installation, repair, and servicing of HVAC systems, as well as ductwork.
They will also be competent in fabricating parts for these systems.
Address: 8111 NE Holman Street Portland, OR 97218
Sheet Metal Institute
About the School
The Sheet Metal Institute teaches students to work in trades related to its namesake.
Their state-of-the-art facility aims to prepare students to not only obtain employment in sheet metal industries but also thrive as leading craftsmen in their chosen professions.
While they have a wide range of programs and apprenticeships for sheet metal workers, students who are interested in HVAC will find their apprenticeships particularly helpful.
For those interested in HVAC studies, the Sheet Metal Institute offers to apprenticeship tracks:
Sheet Metal Worker and Service Systems Technician (HVAC with Limited Energy Technician Class B license).
Students who opt for the Sheet Metal Worker track will learn how to fabricate sheet metal, industrial ductwork, and custom products.
They will also learn how to install these items and pieces safely.
Students who complete this program can move on to work in factories, plants, shops, and more.
For those who want an HVAC with Limited Energy Technician Class B license, the second track is most appropriate.
This track teaches apprentices to complete maintenance tasks on HVAC systems.
They will learn to work with split systems, chillers, package units, and other important components of HVAC systems.
Each apprentice will work full-time while taking classes on a part-time basis to fulfill their internship requirements.
The work will be paid.
This makes it great for those who can’t afford to quit working while studying for a new position.
Address: 2379 NE 178th Ave Portland, OR 97230
About the School
Similarly to PCC in-person, PCC online offers affordable tuition rates, quick completion, and easy access to in-demand programs.
For those who live outside of Portland or prefer distance learning, Portland Community College’s online programs can be more convenient than their in-person options.
Online students may also find it easier to balance studies with other obligations than on-ground students.
Still, everyone receives the same quality education no matter where they are taking their PCC classes.
Those who take the HVAC/R Technician (Voucher Included) will learn how to maintain, problem solve, and service challenging heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems.
After completing this program, you will be able to apply for an entry-level HVAC-R position with confidence in your skills.
You will also be able to take advantage of their EPA 608 Voucher and sit for the exam if you wish.
Although this program is fully online, they do offer various opportunities to network with professionals in the field with National Apprenticeship Week events and more.
Address: PO box 19000 Portland, OR 97280 US
Clackamas Community College
About the School
Located about 20 minutes outside of Portland, Clackamas Community College is ideal for those who live just outside the city of Portland, OR.
With a range of programs for those who want to transfer to a four-year institution or graduate with skills to start a trades career, this community college is affordable and flexible.
For those interested in HVAC, Clackamas Community College offers a LEB License apprenticeship and an LEA License apprenticeship.
Those who go for the LEB License, also known as the Limited Energy Class B Technician license, will learn about installation, maintenance, replacement, and repairs in HVAC and other specialized control systems.
Those with an LEA License apprenticeship will work towards a Limited Energy Class A Technician license.
This license prepares students to work with systems under 100 volt-amperes such as fire alarms or specialized control systems, including HVAC systems.
Both of these apprenticeships offer on-the-job training and relevant coursework.
Address: 19600 Molalla Avenue Oregon City, Oregon 97045
Read the full guide: How to Become an HVAC Technician