HVAC training is offered at many colleges and trade schools around the country. Learn about some of the common features of these programs and what to expect while earning a certificate.
HVAC, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technology, is the science of designing and controlling interior climate. Training in the maintenance and installation of refrigeration units, ice makers, and related technology, may also be included in this field. HVAC programs usually have extensive hands-on and practical components. These allow trained HVAC technicians to ensure comfortable and healthy conditions for residential, industrial, and commercial applications. Adult education programs in air conditioning technology are detailed below.
Programs at a Glance
- HVAC/R training is typically held on-campus during the days and evenings, available to those who have a high school education or the GED equivalent and/or score a 4 or above on the WorkKeys Assessment.
- It typically takes more than 600 hours of training to complete these programs.
Adult Education in HVAC Technology Programs
Full-time courses, which generally consist of 600 hours or more of instruction, are offered in HVAC technology. With lectures and hands-on training, students will gain knowledge that brings them up to date with industry standards.
Coursework in an Air Conditioning Technology Program
HVAC courses will teach you to plan, design, install and operate building ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems. Students train to work on both residential and commercial appliances, learning how to service each depending on their usage and function. Electrical theory, wiring, and schematics reading are among some of the topics covered in class. In addition to being of benefit to aspiring HVAC technicians, these courses can also be very useful to design engineers, plant managers, contractors, and architects. Adult learners may find evening classes helpful in terms of schedule flexibility although daytime classes are also available.
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
As of May 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median hourly salary for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is $22.07. Top earners in the field had a median hourly salary of $35.26, with those employed in the aerospace product and parts manufacturing industry earning $34.82 and those in natural gas distribution making $32.33.
The states with the highest employment of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers were Florida, California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania, respectively. The highest paying states, respectively, were the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota, and New Jersey.
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers were reported to have a projected job growth of 14%, from 2014-2024, per the BLS. By 2024, an additional 39,600 jobs were projected to have been created in the field.
Many institutions offer programs in HVAC/R installation and repair and adult students may particularly benefit from the availability of evening classes. In-person training in this field will provide them the opportunity to develop hands-on skills and practical exposure in working with various equipment.