Top Schools for HVAC & Refrigeration Maintenance

Find out which top schools provide training in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) technology. Read about the program options at three colleges and universities, and find a table that lists other schools in the U.S. that offer instruction for HVAC-R technicians.

School Overview

Formal training in HVAC-R technology can be found at three high-ranking regional universities, which include Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, Northern Michigan University and the University of Alaska. Lewis-Clark State College, the top school on our list, offers a full complement of programs leading to a certificate or associate or bachelor's degree. Students at Northern Michigan University and the University of Alaska can earn a certificate or a degree in mechanical engineering respectively.

Top U.S. Schools with HVAC-R Programs

1. Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID

Lewis-Clark State College ranked 26th among regional universities in the West in 2011, according to U.S. News & World Report. The only postsecondary school in Idaho with occupational programs in HVAC-R technology, the college offers both 1-year and 2-year technical certificate programs, an Associate of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Applied Science. Program emphasis is on problem-solving, maintenance and repairs, and practice-based instruction allows students to become familiar with the same technical and working conditions found in the industry. Course topics include studies in electricity, gas heat, motors and resistive heating; students also learn how to service home appliances.

2. Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI

Northern Michigan University is a large public school that placed 66th on U.S. News & World Report's list of regional universities in the Midwest for 2011. The university offers a 45-credit certificate program in HVAC-R technology that trains them for positions as journeymen mechanics, service technicians and wholesalers at air conditioning companies, repair shops or retail stores. Once enrolled, future technicians study basic heating and refrigeration, air delivery systems and applied electricity; they also have the chance to complete a 1-4-credit internship. Additionally, a significant number of credits earned through the certificate program can be transferred to the Associate of Applied Science in Climate Control Technology.

3. University of Alaska - Anchorage

The University of Alaska in Anchorage ranked 75th among best regional universities in the West, as designated by U.S. News & World Report in 2011. Through the university's School of Engineering, students can pursue a mechanical engineering program that offers major coursework in HVAC-R technology. Core coursework includes topics in arctic heat and mass transfer, automatic control and arctic materials engineering.

Ten Good Schools with HVAC-R Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Arkansas Tech University Home to 100 student organizations Russellville, AR
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Over half of its students finish their programs in three years or less Boston, MA
Florida State College at Jacksonville Degree program in air conditioning, refrigeration and heating technology Jacksonville, FL
Lewis-Clark State College Certificate, associate and bachelor's programs in HVAC-R Lewiston, ID
Northern Michigan University Functions as both a university and a community college for the Marquette area Marquette, MI
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology - Okmulgee Air conditioning and refrigeration technology program available Okmulgee, OK
Pensacola State College Home to more than 100 different degree options Pensacola, FL
The University of Texas at Brownsville Diverse student body Brownsville, TX
University of Alaska - Anchorage Training in HVAC-R available through the mechanical engineering program Anchorage, AK
University of Northwestern Ohio College of Applied Technologies offers degree program in HVAC-R technology Lima, OH

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