Air conditioning training in the state of Florida is commonly found in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration programs, sometimes called HVAC-R or HVAC programs. Students can find programs at the certificate and associate degree level; however, some colleges offer apprenticeships that combine academic coursework with on-the-job training.
Air conditioning contractors in the state are required to have a license. Contractors can be licensed as either Class A or Class B contractors, and both levels require applicants to take an exam. After passing the exam, aspiring contractors complete an application showing proof of at least 4 years of experience or combined education and experience. Individuals who complete the programs listed below and acquire the appropriate amount of experience can apply for licensure at the state level.
The schools listed below are the ten largest in Florida, which offer these programs.
Eastern Florida State College
Eastern Florida State College, formerly known as Brevard Community College, located in Cocoa, Brevard Community College offers an HVAC certificate. The program is 32 credits and requires that students complete 1,350 clock hours. In addition to a co-op work experience, students are required to take courses in refrigeration and air conditioning components, residential load calculations, heat pump technology, HVAC troubleshooting and mechanical systems.
Daytona State College
Students at Daytona State College, in Daytona Beach, can choose to enroll in a technology or mechanic program in air conditioning, refrigeration and heating; both programs feature courses and lab work. The mechanic program is 33 credits and 1,000 clock hours, while the technology program is 45 credits and 1,350 clock hours.
Students in the 3-semester mechanic program take courses in basic electricity, A/C motors and controls, residential air conditioning and refrigeration, air conditioning wiring and heat load calculations. The technology program is four semesters, and students learn about commercial refrigeration, fossil fuel heating, refrigerants, air conditioning wiring and basic electricity.
Florida State College of Jacksonville
Florida Coast Career Tech is a division within Florida State College at Jacksonville and offers an air conditioning, refrigeration and heating certificate. The program can be completed in one year, and students take courses involving installation and troubleshooting, refrigeration cycles, heat measurement, safety, piping and electricity.
Hillsborough Community College
Hillsborough Community College is based in Tampa and offers an HVAC apprenticeship program affiliated with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Apprenticeship Training. The program combines academic coursework with hands-on training, and graduates from the program earn journeymen employment status.
Indian River State College
Located in Fort Pierce, Indian River State College offers several types of air conditioning programs, including a 600-hour and a 750-hour career training program. Students also have the option of enrolling in a 25-credit certificate program.
The air conditioning, refrigeration and heating technology associate degree program consists of general education requirements, core and elective coursework and four cooperative work experiences. An apprenticeship in the field is also available and requires that students complete 8,400 clock hours of education and training.
Miami Dade College
At Miami Dade College, in Miami, students can choose from an associate degree or apprenticeship program in air conditioning, refrigeration and heating. Students in the associate degree program are required to complete 38 credits of major coursework and 11 credits of electives in such areas as air conditioning controls, engineering computations, technical math and air conditioning design. The apprenticeship program consists of four terms, each requiring the completion of 2,160 clock hours.
Palm Beach State College
Located in Lake Worth, Palm Beach State College has an HVAC-R certificate program that requires students to complete 1,350 clock hours. It features courses in HVAC-R principles, electricity, electronics and refrigeration systems, indoor air quality, HVAC-R system installation and repair and commercial HVAC-R mechanical components. Students are also required to complete four fieldwork experiences.
Pensacola State College
Pensacola State College is based in Pensacola and offers a 45-credit HVAC certificate. The program is available in full-time and part-time formats, and students are able to earn certification through the National Center for Construction Education and Research. Full-time students can complete the program in three terms.
Santa Fe College
Gainesville's Santa Fe College has an air conditioning, refrigeration and heating technology certificate and HVAC apprenticeship. The certificate program features 1,350 contact hours, and students take courses in refrigeration principles, air conditioning fundamentals and automotive air conditioning.
The HVAC apprenticeship is 8,000 hours, and the curriculum includes four levels of courses that cover topics in heating and cooling, duct systems, basic electronics, troubleshooting, air distribution and indoor air quality.
Seminole State College of Florida
Based in Sanford, Seminole State College of Florida offers an HVAC-R certificate. The program is 270 hours and combines classroom work with lab study. Students learn about HVAC-R tools, refrigerants, codes, safe work practices and HVAC-R fluids.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Air Conditioning Programs||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Eastern Florida State College||2-year, public; large suburb||Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology Certificate|| $2,496 (in-state),
|Daytona State College||4-year, public; small city|| Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology Certificate,
Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Mechanic Certificate
| $3,104 (in-state),
|Florida State College of Jacksonville||4-year, public; large city||Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Certificate|| $2,878 (in-state),
|Hillsborough Community College||2-year, public; large city||HVAC Apprenticeship|| $2,506 (in-state),
|Indian River State College||4-year, public; large suburb|| Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology,
Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology Apprenticeship
| $2,764 (in-state),
|Miami Dade College||4-year, public; large city|| Associate of Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology,
Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Technologies Apprenticeship
| $2,838 (in-state),
|Palm Beach State College||4-year, public; large suburb||HVAC/R Certificate|| $2,444 (in-state),
|Pensacola State College||4-year, public; small city||HVAC Certificate|| $2,704 (in-state),
|Santa Fe College||4-year, public; midsize suburb|| Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology Certificate,
| $2,563 (in-state),
|Seminole State College of Florida||4-year, public; large suburb||HVAC-R Certificate|| $3,131 (in-state),
Source: *NCES College Navigator