Top 20+ Most Prestigious Schools for HVAC in the US 2023/2024
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What is HVAC Industry and Who is HVAC-R Technician
Heating and cooling systems have become increasingly important in modern life, both in the commercial and residential spheres.
The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) industry, which includes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, has a market size of approximately $240.8 billion and is rapidly expanding.
There will always be a need for skilled HVAC technicians, people who have the knowledge and experience to repair complex systems.
Between 2020 and 2030, the HVAC-R sector in the United States is expected to need about 20,200 workers, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median salary for an HVAC technician is $57,000 per year, with the highest-paid 10 percent making more than $100,000.
Nothing beats being unemployed in this industry. You either work for a company or you work for yourself.
To become an expert technician, you need both classroom study and practical experience. You can get more hands-on training by becoming an apprentice at a local HVAC firm or by signing up with a union.
The BLS reports that HVAC technicians have a good salary and can increase their earnings by starting their own business. Customers are grateful to HVAC technicians because they are the ones who come to fix any heating or air conditioning problems in their homes or businesses. The result is a highly satisfying profession.
If you value autonomy, problem solving, and a competitive salary, HVAC repair might be the perfect field for you to enter.
What level of HVAC certification is highest?
The HVAC Excellence Master Specialist Level certification is the top HVAC certification available to qualified HVAC technicians. You need to have at least three years of practical experience, pass the hands-on performance test, and receive a passing grade on the related written professional level HVAC Excellence technician certification (or a comparable NATE, RSES CM, SM, CMS, or UA Star) to be eligible for this certification.
The HVAC Excellence Professional Level certification is the second-highest HVAC certification. Prior to sitting for the exams, you must have two years of documented field experience, and you must also pass 10 written tests with 100 questions each.
In this field, certifications are important, but the majority of employers value experience. Just make an effort to acquire as many licenses and experiences as you can.
The most reputable and reputable HVACR technician training programs are listed below by Knowinsiders. Ashworth College is the least expensive option on this list for HVAC training. Some of these schools provide practical experience in the HVAC field through internships or similar programs.
Top 20+ Best and Most Prestigious HVAC Schools and Classes in the US
1. University of Northwestern Ohio
Location: Lima, OH
In the heart of the Rust Belt, at the University of Northern Ohio, you can earn a degree in HVAC/R technologies. UNO offers two distinct paths for students looking to broaden their horizons, enabling them to fit their schedules.
Unquestionably, the University of Northwestern Ohio is among Ohio's top institutions for HVAC education. Under the College of Applied Technologies, they provide diploma and degree programs in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC/R).
In addition to the $20 application fee, students must pay $1,750 for books and supplies and $16,200 for tuition and fees.
While a four-year bachelor's degree offers a thorough liberal arts education, a two-year associate's degree gives students the credentials they need to work as HVACR technicians.
While the degree program at UNOH takes about 20 months, the HVAC/R diploma program is only about 16 months long. The degree program is unique because it has more credit hours and concentrates on general education courses.
Regardless of the path they choose, students will graduate from the program with practical experience in HVAC/R and an understanding of the laws that control the industry. Students are ready to apply their knowledge in the real world and become expert professionals right away.
UNO ensures student success by limiting sessions to 20 students and emphasizing hands-on learning. Under the guidance of knowledgeable professionals, 70% of the time that students are in class is spent working on HVAC/R systems.
|HVAC Female Technician|
2. UC Berkeley Extension
Location: Berkeley, CA
One of the best universities in the country for a very long time is UC Berkeley. The impressiveness of its continuing education program is therefore not surprising.
Anyone interested in learning everything there is to know about designing HVAC systems that are energy-efficient can enroll in the HVAC certificate program at the University of California Berkeley Extension. The UC College of Environmental Design has examined its curriculum, which consists of 4 required courses and 3 electives.
|UC Berkeley Extension|
Although this program has no prerequisites, having prior HVAC experience or a degree in engineering is a plus. After paying the non-refundable registration fee, it is much easier than anticipated to register for this online program.
Without accounting for the registration fee and the cost of the required course materials, the estimated cost of the HVAC program at UC Berkeley Extension is $5,080. You can quickly obtain your certificate after completing the program by getting in touch with the department office.
|There are many ways to judge a program's effectiveness, but none are more potent than student reviews. Graduating with an HVAC certificate allowed Gordon Ludwick to leave his job as a stationary engineer and transition into a more rewarding position as an HVAC technician. Thanks to the school's demanding curriculum and flexible scheduling options, Ludwick was able to transition into his new position without spending less time or money at his day job.|
3. Auburn University (Preppy Platform )
You'll adore the certification training that Preppy offers if your dream job is one of an HVAC technician.
This cutting-edge educational tool has teamed up with the highly regarded Auburn University to give students the best possible certification preparation. The fact that these programs can be finished in as little as 3-6 months is perhaps even more amazing. Consider the amount of money you could save if you were not required to complete a degree in four years.
Additionally, Preppy's program is entirely offered online, allowing busy professionals to take classes whenever it is most convenient for them. Other programs frequently call for some classroom time. For working people and single parents, that can be challenging!
In fact, you can finish the HVAC Technician program in just three to six months and be qualified to take the major HVAC technician certification exams, like the Section 608 Technician Certification offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
When you receive your training through Preppy, Auburn University, a renowned institution renowned for providing top-notch programs, will be your instructor. This will look great on your resume and attract the interest of potential employers.
4. InterCoast College
A for-profit private company called InterCoast Colleges provides certificate and occupational degree programs. They offer students online training programs in addition to having six locations throughout California.
The HVAC technician training program at ICC is made to get students ready to put in and maintain heating and cooling systems in houses, shops, and other structures. Students may continue working or start working while still in school thanks to the comprehensive nature of the course and the inclusion of their EPA and OSHA 10 certifications in the training.
But we do have some worries. You must attend physical classes because this is a hybrid course. This program will be inaccessible to those who live outside a reasonable driving distance of their locations because they only have locations in the state of California. In addition, unlike the other choices on the list, it is not an accredited university. The course can be completed in up to 9 months, which is up to three times longer than at other institutions on this list.
5. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Location: Boston, MA
Students who are considering a career in HVACR are aware that they will need to undergo specialized training. When there is work to be done, they, on the other hand, do not want to waste time in the classroom.
One of the top HVAC colleges in Massachusetts is BFIT, also known as the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, which was established in 1908. You might find their certificate program in HVAC&R Technology interesting.
Students can complete their certificate program in eight months and 800 hours, giving them everything they need to get started in the field. With a variety of evening and daytime class options, students can create a schedule that best meets their needs.
Even better, the Institute is aware of the potential cost of attending college. They support their students by working on their special MentorWorks project. With this choice, students can postpone paying their tuition until they start making money from their careers.
This school might be ideal if you want to become a successful HVAC technician. After completing the program, you will receive a certificate in HVAC&R technology as well as certificates in R-410 A and OSHA safety.
The cost of the HVAC&R Technology program at BFIT, excluding tool costs, health insurance, and the required technology fee, is $8,475 per semester.
6. Lincoln Tech
Since 1946, Lincoln Tech has operated as a for-profit, private technical institute. The institution provides practical career training courses in a range of industries, including automotive, health sciences, skilled trades, and more.
With the help of its HVAC program, Lincoln educates students about Green Technology while also preparing them to service and maintain heating and cooling systems. We value that the instruction is thorough and that it helps students get ready for a variety of certification exams, including those given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We also appreciate their business relationships.
The classes are only offered in person, so adults with busy work or family schedules who might not be able to make weekly classes could have a problem. Additionally, compared to other programs on this list, the length of training is significantly longer. It might take up to two years in some circumstances to finish. Last but not least, the school lacks university accreditation, which could be a problem for some students.
7. Oklahoma State University's Institute of Technology (OSU)
Location: Okmulgee, Oklahoma
You need not only knowledge but also practical experience to succeed in HVAC technology. Programs in refrigeration and air conditioning technology are available at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.
The Institute of Technology at Oklahoma State University offers a degree in air conditioning and refrigeration that equips graduates with all the skills necessary for professional success. The OSU program provides students with superior knowledge of how to install, maintain, and repair even the most complex heating and cooling systems. It is taught by licensed technicians with decades of experience.
Conversely, OSU does not confine its teaching to the classroom. Instead, each student is required to take part in an internship program. Every student is paired up with a professional expert in the field so they can use the tools firsthand.
In order to encourage students to contribute their knowledge, OSU also allows them to receive credit for prior learning. The OSU fosters a dynamic learning environment where cooperation and collaboration lead to success by bringing out the best in their students.
The OSU Institute of Technology charges $5,760 for its HVAC program. For students who are unable to pay tuition or other fees, the institution offers a number of financial aid programs.
8. Northern Michigan University
Location: Marquette, MI
|Northern Michigan University|
One of the top HVAC training programs in the country is offered at NMU. In order to get you started in the field and prepared for employment, they offer a 2-year HVACR certificate program.
To be effective, an HVACR expert needs to understand how the machinery works technically. There are two ways for students at Northern Michigan University to get that training.
In just 24 months, the HVACR degree from Northern Michigan University's department of technology and occupational sciences can help you break into one of the world's industries with the fastest rate of growth.
The HVACR program at NMU costs about $20,812 per year, so you'll need a little more than $40k to finish it.
The school's two-year HVACR technology certificate program has a high completion rate. The 44 credits needed for certification are earned while students study under the direction of qualified professionals. For a variety of industries, they learn how to build cozy and energy-efficient environments.
For students interested in pursuing a more in-depth education, NMU offers a two-year associate's degree in applied science. This challenging path includes all of the specialized courses from the certification track as well as liberal arts electives.
Students who choose this route receive a higher level of education, enabling them to work as HVACR technicians and earn a bachelor's degree at the same time.
9. Excelsior College
Location: Albany, NY
One of the top online HVAC schools that offers adults a better, more flexible way to learn was established in 1971, Excelsior College. You should have a GED or high school diploma before enrolling in this program, though it's not necessary.
The work-ready certificate is the main goal of Excelsior College's HVAC/R Technician program. Students will be given everything they need to earn the certificate, including a waiver from the state test. Trainees can work as master technicians after receiving certification under the direction of a licensed expert.
The HVAC/R curriculum at Excelsior is entirely online, and it is taught by a professional with years of experience actually installing and fixing systems. This enables students to get the training they require as quickly as possible. Students study such subjects as machine specifications, safety protocols, and other subjects.
Because of its excellent support and clearly laid out course plans, Excelsior College is a fantastic option for HVAC professionals across the nation.
KnowInsiders advise submitting an application for this program only if you are a complete novice without any HVAC certifications. Your lessons will be provided by a qualified HVAC instructor with years of experience and numerous certifications.
Excelsior College charges about $8,945 for its HVAC/R program.
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10. Ferris State University
Location: Big Rapids, MI
|Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI)|
Have you ever thought about how you could advance your HVAC career?
The HVAC School at Ferris State University is among the best in the nation thanks to its full accreditation and rich resources.
Ferris State offers a wide range of options, in contrast to the majority of the colleges on this list, which concentrate on working professional certificates.
The only qualification for this program is an Associate in Applied Science in HVACR Technology. Energy management and efficiency in HVAC/R systems are the main topics of the Bachelor of Science program.
|Ferris State University|
The institution's industry-focused associate's degree program equips students with the knowledge and abilities they need to start working in the field right away. Regardless of prior experience, the associate's degree offers students everything they need to become HVAC specialists and combines classroom instruction and laboratory practice.
One of just two universities in the nation that grants a bachelor's degree in HVAC is Ferris State. An HVAC BA is a fully-featured liberal arts degree that provides students with both a well-rounded education and everything they need to become experts in heating and cooling. Students with degrees in HVAC are therefore in high demand in a wide range of technical fields.
The annual tuition for the HVAC program at Ferris State University is roughly $12,740 for Americans and Canadians and $20,552 for international students.
|The private industrial school that is now Ferris State University was established in 1884. The school was made a state institution in 1950, and a state university in 1987. Students who attend the public university for four years are prepared for careers in a range of industries. |
In addition to certification training, Ferris also offers a Bachelor of Science in HVACR (the R stands for refrigeration). Students therefore receive both practical training and theory. In addition, Ferris offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science in HVACR Technology program, which is shorter than the four years needed for a bachelor's degree.
11. Cuesta College
Open enrollment programs are available at Cuesta College and have been created to equip students with the knowledge and abilities necessary to land professional-level jobs in a variety of in-demand professions.
We value the fact that their HVAC program is entirely online and is taught by professionals. Students will be ready to take the EPA 608: Section 608 Universal Technician Certification exam as well as the HVAC Excellence ESCO Group: 17 Employment Ready Certificates, NATE: Ready to Work Certificate, and other exams.
Our worries stem from the fact that this is a for-profit company rather than an accredited university, many of which have faced scrutiny in recent years.
This private school provides a wide range of HVACR-related courses, programs, and exam preparations. The courses have been created to give HVAC technicians the most crucial foundational knowledge, preparing them for a career in the industry.
We appreciate that the training is thorough and entirely online. The institution is a certified NATE Training Provider.
Despite this, the university-level training is longer to complete at this school than at some of the other options on this list.
This university has a higher tuition fee. Despite the fact that they offer a payment plan, their costs are still considerably higher than those of the other schools on this list.
13. Ashworth College
Location: Norcross, GA
|Best HVAC Schools|
Ashworth College appears to be the least expensive online HVAC school on this list of the top HVAC schools. You can finish this course in about 4 months, and it will provide you with all the knowledge you need to pass the EPA certification exam.
The online curriculum for Ashworth's HVAC diploma track prioritizes the needs of the student. By providing self-paced programs, Ashworth enables students to continue their education while holding down a full-time job, per their schedule.
Even better, Ashworth charges a very low price for this training. The program's total cost is $629, which can be paid in a single payment or six $55 monthly installments. Additionally, Ashworth offers financial aid to those in need.
It is one of the most affordable online HVAC training programs, as evidenced by their 4.8-star ratings. Students will receive study materials, guides for the EPA certification exam, access to a vibrant online community, and thousands of research resources.
In addition to receiving a voucher for their EPA Section 608 Certification, a digital textbook outlining the fundamentals of HVAC/R, and online access to all of the program's modules, students who complete Ashworth College's career diploma program in heating and air conditioning receive these benefits.
The tuition for HVAC training at Ashworth College is approximately $799 or $999 (if you plan to pay monthly). If you want more adaptable payment options, get in touch with them. This includes the price of the ESCO Institute-proctored EPA Section 608 Certification exam.
14. Altierus College
A for-profit institution for health care studies and skilled trade training, Altierus College was established in 1890. There are a number of reasons why its HVAC program is among the best.
The curriculum includes practical training and one-on-one support to help students meet professional standards and the market demand for HVAC technicians. It emphasizes ongoing maintenance of HVAC fixtures and equipment, ensuring entry into the field upon program completion.
The all-in-one course structure (accredited by regulatory bodies and ESCO Group) combines theory and practice to make sure that students are well-versed in all HVAC terminologies and systems. This aids in preparing students in advance for all of the fieldwork. Students can practice, work, and live comfortably while enrolled in the program at Altierus College.
15. Penn Foster College
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Beginner students can prepare for the EPA certifications with Penn Foster College's online HVACR Technician Career Diploma Program. It can be finished in less than a year and is completely accredited.
Candidates must have access to high-speed internet and a working email address, as well as be at least 17 years old at the time of application. To prepare students for entry-level careers as HVACR technicians in the residential and light construction industries, Penn Foster developed a self-paced online HVACR program.
Over the course of the program's eight classes, students improve their skills. These seminars cover everything, from business registration systems to HVACR principles.
Modern distance learning tools are used in the HVACR curriculum to deliver straightforward, simple-to-understand content. The lectures combine fundamental ideas with useful instruction so that students can immediately put what they've learned into practice.
At the conclusion of the program, Penn Foster provides each student with a voucher to take their certification exam along with a success guide.
For careers as HVAC technicians, refrigeration mechanics, and other related fields, Penn Foster certification is a good choice.
The approximate cost of this program is $899 if you pay it all at once or $1089 if you prefer monthly payments. Your tuition, EPA certification, and textbook fees are all included.
16. University of North Dakota
Location: Grand Forks, ND
|University of North Dakota|
The University of North Dakota was founded in 1833 and is now regarded as one of the best educational and research institutions in the country. The online HVAC/R technician training is one of almost 230 fully accredited academic programs that UND, which has over 13,000 students, offers.
The fully online HVAC program at the University of North Dakota allows students to earn their NATE or HVAC Excellence certification in under a year. Because the program is entirely delivered through course videos and asynchronous classes, students don't have to wait for the start of the typical semester to start.
Even better, students don't have to miss work because they can attend the classes on their own schedule.
Under Baker's direction, students gain a foundational understanding of the trade. These classes cover HVAC fundamentals like electrical motors and all-weather systems.
The annual cost of UND's online HVAC/R training, including tuition and other fees, comes to about $11,982.96. Reduced tuition rates are available to dependents, active-duty service members, and veterans.
17. Pensacola State College
Pensacola State College is one of Florida's top HVAC schools, despite being the last on our list. They have a program that combines theoretical, simulation, and practical instruction for an HVAC vocational certificate.
Your NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) certification can be obtained in less than a year (for full-time students) or longer (for part-time students) with the assistance of this program.
The HVAC-VC program in Pensacola costs $342.96/credit hour for non-residents, $114.58/credit hour for residents of Alabama, and $85.74/credit hour for residents of Florida.
18. New England Institute of Technology (NEIT)
Location: Rhode Island
The Rhode Island-based New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) offers a number of associate and bachelor's degrees that range in length from 18 months to three years. Your real-world skills will be prepared for you by its lab-based learning environment. Students receive instruction from subject matter experts with rich experience and expertise to help them make more informed career decisions.
You will be qualified to work as a technician in the heating, cooling, and refrigeration industries once you graduate. Graduates of this program are also qualified to pursue a Business Management Bachelor of Science.
Students can get help from the financial aid office at NEIT with a number of federal, state, and private programs, including the FAFSA.
19. Porter and Chester Institute
Since 1946, The Porter and Chester Institute has been one of Connecticut's top institutions for HVAC education. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) has granted the institute accreditation. These government organizations have also given The Porter and Chester Institute permission to train sponsored students:
Services for Rehabilitation Bureau
Commission for Rehabilitation in Massachusetts
Services for worker rehabilitation
CT state agency approving veterans' benefits
VA benefits are approved by the state of Massachusetts.
In less than a year, the HVAC program at the Porter and Chester Institute will have you ready for work. It is a hybrid program that combines on-campus instruction with online lectures and labs.
20. Milwaukee Area Technical College
More than 170 degree, diploma, and certificate programs are available through Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), whose faculty includes business experts. Get a high-paying job and a degree that is both affordable and of high quality.
Business and management, community and human services, general education, creative arts, design and media, healthcare, manufacturing, construction and transportation, as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are among the pathways offered at MATC.
The college offers a degree in air conditioning and refrigeration systems as well as a diploma program in heating, ventilation, and refrigeration for service technicians.
The associate degree takes two years to complete, and it offers career training for refrigeration technicians, sales representatives, system supervisors, and system designers in addition to air conditioning technicians.
Quick Facts About HVAC
• Even though the majority of HVAC certifications and degrees offer a similar foundational education, each has a different focus and set of specializations. Some universities put a lot of focus on both theory and application. Others emphasize the importance of entering the lab and learning through experimentation.
• Assume that before enrolling in a comprehensive associate degree program, you only want to obtain an HVAC certificate. Consequently, you should anticipate making an annual salary of at least $45k. You might be prepared to enroll in a few more classes to complete your AS degree. The average annual salary for those with an AS in HVAC is $52,000, so you can anticipate a significant wage increase. With time, there is a greater chance of making more than 76k annually.
• You'll need to enroll in a lot of specialized coursework if you want to earn an associate's degree. Other topics that might be covered include brazing and piping, sustainable energy, and thermodynamics. Associate degrees typically take two years to complete, whereas certifications take six to twelve months.
• An HVAC degree is available online. This online HVAC training program was created to offer busy students who don't have the time to commit to an on-campus program a flexible, convenient learning experience.
• By using the most recent diagnostic tools, the appropriate hand tools, and contemporary shop equipment, you learn what HVAC technicians do today, not what they did "back in the day." Four days a week classes allow you to learn more than several years of following an HVAC service truck could.
More Best HVAC Colleges in the US
Northern Virginia Community College
Northern Virginia Community College is one of the biggest community colleges in the US, with 80,000 students and 3,400 faculty members. More than a hundred associate's degree and certificate programs are available.
Students who complete HVAC programs are prepared for full-time employment in the service, maintenance, repair, and installation sectors. A two-year associate's degree or a one-year certificate program in HVAC technologies are both options for students.
Miami Dade College
167 different countries and 63 different languages are represented in the student body at Miami Dade College. As a result, it is one of the US colleges with the greatest diversity of cultures. The campus provides 300 certificate, associate, and baccalaureate degree programs.
A 4-year technical certificate in HVAC technologies is offered by the college. Students are prepared for journeyman positions in the industry through a combination of classroom training programs and on-the-job training.
Houston Community College
The public, open-admission Houston Community College trains students for employment in a variety of fields, including HVAC.
The fundamentals and modern developments in climate control systems are taught in Houston Community College's Associate of Applied Science certificate program for HVAC.
College of Southern Nevada
The College of Southern Nevada enrolls students from over 60 different nations and provides 150 degree and 70 certificate programs. The college offers daytime, evening, weekend, and online courses and has the lowest tuition in Southern Nevada.
The college offers associate degrees in air conditioning technology and critical systems with 60 credits as well as programs for entry-level air conditioning technicians with 18.5 credits.
Riverside City College
More than 100 degree and certificate programs are available at Riverside City College at reasonable costs. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has granted the college accreditation.
One to two year associate and certificate programs in HVAC technology are offered by RCC.
The best HVAC schools in the United States are represented here. Since there is no silver bullet, we decided against ranking the options. There are certificate-only programs, associate- and bachelor's degree-only programs, and everything in between.
Some of these institutions place an emphasis on leadership training, while others prioritize teaching students about renewable energy, but they all do an excellent job of preparing students for careers as HVAC technicians. Whether your career goals lie in installation or design, one of these HVAC programs will get you there.
To determine which HVAC training programs were the best, we considered each one's national standing in addition to other factors such as completion and retention rates, cost, and starting salaries for recent grads.
Based on our findings, we have compiled a list of the top HVAC degree programs in the United States. PayScale, the highly regarded U.S. News & World Report, and the National Center for Education Statistics all contribute to our data.
The HVAC industry is both exciting and demanding to work in. Those who don't like routine may find that working in HVAC is a good fit, as it often requires traveling from one location to another to fix problems or install new machinery.
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