When choosing where to earn an air conditioning technology credential online, it is important to consider factors like program length and comprehensiveness, as well as interactivity.
How to Select an Online Air Conditioning Technician School
Students considering online air conditioning technician schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Prospective students wishing to enroll in an online air conditioning degree program can choose between certificate programs and associate's degree programs in the field. While most programs are campus-based, there are a few community colleges and online schools that offer distance-learning programs. Students must then weigh the program comprehensiveness with their time in school.
Time in School
Online certificate programs in air conditioning technology are typically short, lasting about a year or less. Associate's degrees require two years of full-time study that includes some general education coursework that can be transferred to a 4-year degree program.
On-campus air conditioning technician programs require that students complete many hands-on exercises. Online programs attempt to fill this gap by utilizing animations, images, and video clips to simulate hands-on practice. Prospective students should consider the interactivity of the course content being offered by a college or university. An air conditioning technician program that excludes dynamic course content may put students at a disadvantage.
While standalone air conditioning degree and certificate programs can be found, many programs also include instruction in heating and ventilation. These programs are called HVAC, which stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The advantage of these programs is that they broaden students' knowledge and give them the opportunity to compete for jobs that require knowledge of more than air conditioning technology.
List of Common Online Air Conditioning Technician Programs
Online Certificate in Air Conditioning Technology
Online air conditioning technology or HVAC programs differ in length. For example, some online programs require at least 320 hours of study, while others consist of a single course. However, these single-course online air conditioning certificate programs often contain many modules that cover topics such as HVAC electrical components, air conditioning systems and heating systems. Other multi-course programs include courses such as:
- Refrigeration systems
- Airflow methods
- Electrical systems
Online Associate of Science in Air Conditioning Technology
The major difference between associate's degrees and certificate programs in air conditioning technology or HVAC is the inclusion of general education courses in English, science, general math and a communications course. Core air conditioning courses vary slightly from program to program. Typical classes include topics such as:
- Air conditioning applications
- Commercial refrigeration systems
- HVAC electrical theory and applications
- Residential gas heating
Schools with Online Programs in Air Conditioning Technology
Penn Foster Career School offers an online HVACR career diploma at a flexible, student-focused pace allowing you to earn your education on your own time. Some programs can even be completed in as little as five months. This diploma certifies that the holder is well-versed in various HVACR technologies and how to repair, maintain, and install them. The main purpose of these programs is to prepare graduates for certification within the field.
Ashworth College has a similar program designed as EPA certification prep, offering a comprehensive education in HVACR technology for both businesses and residencies. In addition to a 12-page study guide, completion of this program comes with a $75 voucher for the certification exam. Many virtual field trip opportunities are available over the course of the program for the purpose of enhancing your learning.
When searching for schools offering online HVACR and air conditioning technology education programs, be sure to look into an institution's program availability, length, and comprehensiveness. Interactivity with the material is also important to consider.