Best HVAC Technician Schools

Become Team
Become Team
November 11, 2021

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for all occupations is $56,310 — which includes all levels of schooling, training, and experience. The average pay for an HVAC technician, on the other hand, is $53,410, which is a good salary for a job that does not require a four-year degree. Depending on the HVAC school and degree, schooling typically lasts anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, and technicians must take an EPA certification exam.

15 Best HVAC Technician Schools

Each of the following HVAC technician schools is accredited by an industry-recognized organization, and they're all affordable. Here are some of the best HVAC technician schools in the country in alphabetical order:

How We Choose the Best Schools

We chose the best HVAC technician schools based on the following criteria:

  • Under $35,000 net price
  • Over 50% graduation rate
  • Accredited by either HVAC Excellence or the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA)
Ben Franklin Career Center Dunbar, WV

School type: Public
Net price: Free
Graduation rate: 74%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Ben Franklin Career Center has an HVAC technician program for high school students. It's a two-year program that students attend for half the school day. Once they finish, they'll have the skills necessary to become HVAC techs.

Berks Career & Technology Center Leesport, PA

School type: Public
Net price: $11,667
Graduation rate: 79%
Accreditor: HVAC Excellence

Berks Career & Technology Center's HVAC / Refrigeration program allows students to take certifications necessary for their career, including those from OSHA, EPA, and HVAC Excellence.

Carver Career Center Charleston, WV

School type: Public
Net price: $8,585
Graduation rate: 84%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Carver Career Center's HVAC technician program takes 11 months to complete. It includes a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience.

Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center Choctaw, OK

School type: Public
Net price: $2,250
Graduation rate: 75%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center offers a residential HVAC technician program that students can complete in nine months.

GateWay Community College-Central City Phoenix, AZ

School type: Public
Net price: $2,109
Graduation rate: 85%
Accreditor: PAHRA

GateWay Community College's Central City campus has three different programs for HVAC students:

  • HVAC Residential Installation and Service Technician (Day)
  • HVAC Residential Installation and Service Technician (Night)
  • HVAC Technician Night
Great Oaks Career Campuses Cincinnati, OH

School type: Public
Net price: $11,160
Graduation rate: 87%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Great Oaks Career Campuses offers a Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning program where students can earn Industry Competency Exam and EPA certifications.

Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center Altoona, PA

School type: Public
Net price: $7,807
Graduation rate: 76%
Accreditor: HVAC Excellence

Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center has a program where students can learn HVAC-specific curriculum on top of related plumbing and electrical coursework.

Indian Capital Technology Center-Muskogee Muskogee, OK

School type: Public
Net price: $6,672
Graduation rate: 98%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Indian Capital Technology Center's Muskogee campus offers two HVAC programs: Residential HVAC Technician and Mechanical Journeyman.

Meridian Technology Center Stillwater, OK

School type: Public
Net price: $7,707
Graduation rate: 73%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Meridian Technology Center offers two HVAC specializations: Residential HVAC Installer and Residential HVAC Technician. The technician program is a step up from the installer program.

Miami Valley Career Technology Center Englewood, OH

School type: Public
Net price: $11,360
Graduation rate: 86%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Miami Valley Career Technology Center offers an HVAC-R Technician program. The "R" refers to refrigeration.

Mitchell Technical College Mitchell, SD

School type: Public
Net price: $18,791
Graduation rate: 73%
Accreditor: HVAC Excellence

Mitchell Technical College offers both a Heating & Cooling Technology associate degree program and a one-year diploma program.

Suncoast Technical College Sarasota, FL

School type: Public
Net price: $12,163
Graduation rate: 92%
Accreditor: HVAC Excellence

Suncoast Technical College's Heating, Ventilation, AC/Refrigeration program takes seven months to complete, and you'll earn nine certifications during the course.

Traviss Technical College Lakeland, FL

School type: Public
Net price: $7,614
Graduation rate: 75%
Accreditor: HVAC Excellence

Traviss Technical College offers both a daytime and evening schedule in its Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration program.

Tulsa Technology Center Tulsa, OK

School type: Public
Net price: $5,439
Graduation rate: 75%
Accreditor: PAHRA

Tulsa Technology Center's HVAC technician program is available to both adults and high school students.

York County School of Technology-Adult & Continuing Education Tulsa, OK

School type: Public
Net price: $8,228
Graduation rate: 75%
Accreditor: HVAC Excellence

The Adult & Continuing Education Center at York County School of Technology offers an HVAC program that students can complete during the evening and in less than a year.

How to Become an HVAC Technician

Anyone interested in learning how to become an HVAC technician should expect between 6 months to two years of training. Schooling can either be done while in high school via your county's vocational/technical school, a community college, or an independent trade school. Upon completion, you may receive a professional certificate or an associate degree. HVAC technicians often need a basic understanding of physics, math, plumbing, and electronics, so while not required, additional education is often beneficial.

Many entry-level technicians work beside a master HVAC technician. HVAC apprenticeships typically last from three to five years. As an apprentice, you will further your skills by learning how to use tools and read blueprints.

Lastly, the EPA requires all technicians to be certified in refrigerant handling. This means you must pass the certification exam prior to any work as an HVAC technician. Depending on your state, you may also have to take a licensing exam.

FAQs on HVAC Technician Programs

Do you have to go to school to become an HVAC technician?

Check with your state's guidelines, as some states don't require it. However, you will be working with highly hazardous materials as an HVAC technician, and proper schooling can aid your safety. You will also be more employable with the proper credentials in place.

How long is HVAC technician school?

Programs typically last between a single semester (6 months) and four semesters (two years).

How much is HVAC technician school?

Costs vary from school to school and state to state. To gauge how much a program costs at a community college, determine how much the school charges per credit hour. Next, find out how many credits are needed to graduate.

To find the best HVAC technician programs, determine how far away you are willing to go to school, and then compare costs per credit hour between schools — but cheaper isn't always better. You may want to consider a more expensive school if it has internship and apprenticeship opportunities.

Each school on our list costs less than one year at a four-year college, and they average $8,103. However, you could pay more or less depending on where you live.

How to Choose the Right HVAC Technician School

HVAC technician schools should have:

Other Ways to Become an HVAC Technician

Because installing and repairing HVACs is a highly technical process that involves working with hazardous materials, schooling and training are highly recommended. You might be able to find an employer that will train you on the job, though. Whether you need to become professionally licensed to work on an HVAC or not largely depends on your state.

However, many employers require schooling, so it might be difficult getting an apprenticeship or entry-level job without professional education.

Financial Aid for Your HVAC Technician Program

HVAC Scholarships

National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Founders' Scholarship

Clifford H. "Ted" Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation

Electrical & Gas Industry Association (EGIA) Foundation HVAC Scholarship

HVAC Technician Grants

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants

Become Team
Become Team
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