Students in Massachusetts can learn about HVAC equipment and components through certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. Certificates are the most common. Courses cover topics in the installation, repairing and troubleshooting of HVAC systems. Some credits can be transferred to higher-level degree programs.
Most programs can be completed in less than a year, and some are available part time in the evenings. Internships may also be available. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that individuals who work with refrigerants obtain licensure. Programs may also prepare students for certification.
Bay State School of Technology
Located in Canton, Bay State School of Technology offers both commercial and domestic refrigeration and air conditioning programs. The commercial program consists of 100 hours of Massachusetts Refrigeration Code training and 100 hours of Massachusetts Electrical Code training. Students also take courses involving ice machines, walk-in refrigerators, commercial refrigeration equipment and heat pumps.
The domestic program ensures students understand how to install and service kitchen and laundry equipment. Students also take courses to prepare for the EPA Certification. Both programs provide students with a laptop and take seven months to complete.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is based in Boston and has an 800-hour HVAC & R certificate. Students have the option of participating in a full-time program or one during the evening. The program also prepares students for EPA Certification and includes an optional 10-credit OSHA Safety certificate. Courses also provide students with the 150 hours of electrical code training needed for state licensure.
Branford Hall Career Institute
Branford Hall Career Institute is located in Springfield, and students can pursue an HVAC/R certificate. The program is 29 credits and takes 10 months to complete. Students take courses in residential systems, commercial systems, commercial refrigeration and indoor air systems.
Massasoit Community College
Located in Brockton, Massasoit Community College features both an HVAC certificate and associate degree. The certificate is 27 credits and includes coursework in basic electricity, HVAC and refrigeration principles, HVAC equipment controls, heat principles and service procedures.
Students in the associate degree must complete a minimum of 67 credits and 22 courses. In addition to general education requirements, the curriculum covers topics in HVAC equipment controls, heating and cooling load calculations, piping design and duct system design.
Motoring Technical Training Institute
Based in Seekonk, the Motoring Technical Training Institute offers a 900-hour HVAC/R technician diploma. Students can complete the program in 30 weeks. Courses provide students with the education and training to perform refrigeration service and maintenance, install equipment and troubleshoot components. A 120-hour internship is also part of the program.
Quinsigamond Community College
Quinsigamond Community College is based in Worcester, and students at the school can pursue an HVAC certificate. The program is two semesters and includes courses in electricity, refrigeration systems, heat theory, air conditioning systems, MA refrigeration code and MA electrical code.
Southeastern Technical Institute
Located in South Easton, Southeastern Technical Institute offers an HVAC certificate that can be completed during the evenings. The program accepts students each year and includes courses in electrical circuits, environmental control units, troubleshooting and installation and controls.
Students are prepared to take the EPA Certification exam and receive OSHA safety training. The program offers students the opportunity to transfer credits into the HVAC technology associate degree at Massasoit Community College.
Springfield Technical Community College
Springfield Technical Community College is located in Springfield and has a 29-credit HVAC certificate. Students can complete the program in two semesters and take courses in energy systems, refrigeration principles, heating system design, power plant operation, electrical applications and air conditioning fundamentals. The program also offers students the chance to earn EPA Certification.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||HVAC Programs||Tuition Fees (2015-2016)|
|Bay State School of Technology||<2-year, private, for-profit; large suburb|| Commercial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning,
Domestic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
|Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large city||HVAC & R Certificate||$16,950*|
|Branford Hall Career Institute||<2-year, private, for-profit; midsize city||HVAC/R Certificate||$17,010*|
|Massasoit Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| HVAC Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in HVAC Technology
| $4,488 in-state,
|Motoring Technical Training Institute||<2-year, private, for-profit; large suburb||HVAC/R Technician Diploma||$15,750|
|Quinsigamond Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||HVAC Certificate|| $188 per credit in-state,
$394 per credit out-of-state**
|Southeastern Technical Institute||<2-year, public; rural fringe||HVAC Certificate||$6,875*|
|Springfield Technical Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||HVAC Certificate|| $5,436 in-state,
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Quinsigamond Community College.