If you want to become an HVAC technician, you need to know that it is not enough just yo know the skills, tools, and techniques.
You need to be able to use this knowledge and show your skills to your employer and clients.
To be able to do it, you need to obtain a certified training.
However, not all certificates have the same value.
In this article, we are going to discuss some important issues such as what your training program should contain and what possible training options there are.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What To Look For In An HVAC School
- 2 Best HVAC Schools in the USA
- 3 Best Online HVAC Programs
- 4 Conclusion
What To Look For In An HVAC School
Like any other school or training, you should consider some important aspects when you are looking for the best option.
First of all, you need to evaluate your needs to do properly.
To be able to do it, you need to answer some essential questions, such as:
- What would work best for you?
- To be a full-time student? Or are you already working and need to find a part-time program to accommodate your schedule?
- What is the outcome you’re hoping for?
- Would you like your program to lead you directly into licensure?
- Or are you already licensed and looking to add to your skillset?
As soon as you answer these questions, you can make it easier to find an appropriate training program.
After it, you need to make sure that the program you’ve chosen is really good.
A good training program should have four important things to be considered good.
Below, we’ve described each of these aspects.
The most important thing you need to pay attention to when choosing a training program is accreditation.
You need to make sure that your program is accredited otherwise there is a risk that you waste your time and money on a certificate that isn’t accepted by professionals.
The other point is that an unaccredited school most likely has no proper training facilities.
Also, there can be issues related to your faculty and trainers.
Moreover, if it is the worst-case scenario, you can apply for a for-profit school.
In such a case, you may get just a fake diploma and pay your money for nothing.
In other words, when choosing a training program, you should make sure that it has accreditation.
It should have at least one of the accreditations either regional or HVAC Excellence.
The best option is when your program has both these accreditations.
Regional accreditation allows schools to issue recognized degrees, diplomas, and so on.
Speaking of HVAC Excellence accreditation, it is based on national standards and guidelines.
Whether you choose a school training program or an apprenticeship, you need to make sure it contains enough hands-on training.
It is really important as you need to learn how to use various tools and techniques properly in real settings.
Of course, classrooms are also important and can provide you with various skillsets.
However, you should learn how to work with various units and systems yo be able to work well in the future.
Path to Success
Of course, it can be pretty clear but sometimes students forget about this part.
Applying for a training program you must be sure that it will help you step in a real job.
In other words, when choosing a program, you need to learn about career-matching services it has.
Also, you need to be sure that after completing your training you’ll be able to obtain a certification in your state.
Moreover, it is important to check whether the program is connected with some local HVAC techs so you can enroll in an apprenticeship.
Finally, learn about the employment rate of students who completed this program, how many students get their certification and how fast they were able to get a job.
One other essential aspect is the cost of your training.
While having a pretty high cost, many programs provide some great financial aid options such as federal aid, loans, and scholarships.
In fact, a good school should have qualified specialists who will help you learn about the available options as well as your eligibility for various types of financial aid.
Also, you need to remember that it is better to choose a more pricy but high-quality program instead of a cheap one.
A good training program that provides excellent training will pay for itself pretty fast.
Best HVAC Schools in the USA
Of course, there is a whole variety of HVAC training options around the country so it can be really difficult to choose the best one.
Below, we’ve prepared for 3 examples of excellent HVAC schools in the USA.
All of them provide great hands-on training and have an absolutely talented faculty.
If one of these three options isn’t located in your area, you can use their course description as a template for an ideal HVAC training program.
Using them as an example, you’ll be able to find similar options in your area.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology – HVAC&R Program
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology – is a not-for-profit trade school that is located in Boston, MA.
The school has accreditation of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Speaking of the HVAC program offered there, it is designed to provide you with knowledge of general HVAC procedures.
Also, it includes an advanced course on work with refrigerant chemicals.
The program lasts for 9 months and includes about 800 hours of classes.
You need to know that the program offers day and night classes as well as weekend workshops so you can have a pretty flexible schedule.
It means that you’ll be able to combine both your education and work.
Speaking of the price of your training, you need to pay about $16 500 annually after obtaining some financial aid.
Completing this program, you can sit for EPA certification, R-410certification, and OSHA safety certification.
Considering that the size of classes is pretty small, you can expect a great student-teach ratio.
One other great point is that the head of the department is a qualified professional with many years of working experience.
Also, it focuses on hands-on experience that is an important aspect.
Each discipline includes both theory classes and a bunch of lab practices.
The courses range from “Commercial & Industrial AC” to “Safety, Tools & Shop Practices.”
After completing your training successfully, you can be sure that you can succeed in your career.
Finally, the department has a bunch of top-tier facilities and Hampden Engineer trainers.
North Michigan University – HVACR Program
NMU is located in Marquette, MI.
The University offers one of the best programs that is focused on HVAC & Refrigeration.
You need to know that the HVAC program offered there, it is a two-year certificate training.
During your training, you’ll learn how to work with sheet metal layout, testing equipment, and electrical components.
The program is pretty intensive and includes 44 credits in total including a whole bunch of practical experience.
The in-state tuition there is about $14 500 per year while the out-of-state tuition is about $22 500 without any financial aid.
Also, you need to pay room & board fees as well as some supply costs.
If you are lucky enough to get some financial aid offered there, you will reduce your training cost significantly.
Considering the small size of classes, you can get lots of one-on-one instructions during lectures and labs.
Miami Dade College – Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Systems Technology
Miami Dade provides an Associate’s degree in HVAC technologies.
The program lasts for 2-3 years and contains 64 credits in total.
The great thing is that you can complete some of your classes online so you can have a flexible schedule.
The program covers not only some essential aspects such as “Air Conditioning Fundamentals” but also contains communications and humanities courses.
You may think that such liberal arts courses as “English composition” and “Ethics” aren’t very important however it can help you get some managerial positions after getting some experience.
If you have not only some great professional skills but also communication and critical thinking abilities, you can succeed in your career faster than others.
If you aren’t the resident of the state, you need to pay about $4 900 per term as your tuition fees while the residents should pay about $1 500 per term.
In other words, the total price of your training can be as much as $7 800 in total.
According to the data, about 90% of graduates at this college can complete their training without any debt or something like this.
Best Online HVAC Programs
If you don’t feel like or cannot enroll in on-campus training, you can always consider applying for an HVAC online program.
Of course, it is not a perfect option as you need to have some hands-on experience when completing your training.
It means that you cannot obtain your training completely online.
It is a great option for HVAC apprentices and professionals who want to add some extra certificates into their HVAC resume.
Sometimes, online programs provide in-person facilities where you can practice but it is pretty rare.
Nevertheless, we’ve been able to find a couple of programs that have such facilities.
Also, most online programs aim to help you get ready for your state certification exam.
Ferris State University
Ferris State University is located in Michigan.
Completing this program, you’ll be able to get an online-only bachelor’s degree.
Applying for it, you’ll learn various fundamental and essential aspects of HVAC&R technologies, systems, and applications.
You need to know that it is only one of two schools that have a Bachelor’s degree in HVAC tech.
Also, as an online student, you’ll be obliged to complete at least one week of in-person workshops annually.
In other words, you’ll be obliged to visit training facilities in Michigan for one week every year of your training.
While not providing the full hands-on training, Ferris still gives its students an opportunity to get some hands-on training that isn’t included in most online programs.
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
First of all, you need to know that ACCA isn’t a school but a professional organization that connects HVAC professionals.
ACCA provides professionals in the field with all the required resources, as well as training and job prospects.
You just need to know that it requires some membership fee which is about $39 per month.
As a member of this organization, you can get access to numerous training and certificate options.
The list of courses includes such options as Refrigerant Handling as well as a bunch of other HVAC courses.
Of course, it cannot be compared to trade school programs, using these resources you can build some well-rounded resume.
It is a great option for those who are already certified and want to expand their specialties and prospects.
Ashworth College provides a great training course for those who want to get ready for the state HVAC certification.
The program includes various classes and materials that you need to learn so you can pass a certification test.
It may not contain as many materials as other courses but it has everything you need to get ready for the EPA Section 608 Certification exam.
It is a great option for people who already have some skills and knowledge in the field and just need to get ready for their certification.
The main point is that you need to understand well what you need to become a successful HVAC technician.
As soon as you determined these points, you need to look for some available resources you can use.
You have thousands of resources you can choose from.
There are options for anyone whether they have lots of working experience or just want to enter the field.
You just need to learn about the available options including full-time degree programs and certification prep courses and choose the one that meets your needs.