HVAC Technician: Trade School Diploma Summary

HVAC diploma programs teach aspiring technicians to install, maintain, and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Students learn through classroom work and hands-on experiences, which prepare them for the certification exam.

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Essential Information

HVAC technicians install heating and air conditioning units in office buildings, schools, homes and many other settings. In a diploma program, students are taught how to follow specifications and blueprints, connect electrical wiring, and utilize combustion test equipment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals interested in becoming HVAC technicians can prepare by taking high school mechanical drawing, blueprint reading, computer applications, chemistry, physics, shop math and electronics courses. Programs usually take one year or less to complete and require a high school diploma or GED equivalent prior to admission.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Construction Management and Trades
  • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
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  • Precision Metal Working
  • Precision Systems Maintenance
  • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance

HVAC Trade School Diploma

Diploma programs are usually offered through trade schools as well as community and junior colleges. Coursework in HVAC diploma programs includes:

  • Cold water air conditioners and domestic appliances
  • HVAC system maintenance
  • Electricity basics
  • Air quality problem-solving
  • Installation of HVAC systems
  • Industrial and commercial refrigeration systems

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Employment of HVAC technicians and refrigeration mechanics and installers is expected to increase at a much faster-than-average rate of 14% between 2014 and 2024. Job prospects will be excellent, especially for those who have completed trade school programs, the BLS reported (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the median annual salary of HVAC technicians and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $45,110.

Continuing Education and Licensure Information

Graduates of these programs may be expected to earn Universal Certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before finding employment. Some schools offer this certification as part of the program. According to the BLS, students can earn EPA certification in three areas, including type I for servicing small appliances, type II for work with high-pressure refrigerants or type III for work with low-pressure refrigerants.

The BLS reports that many states also require technicians to be licensed. To earn a license, applicants need work experience and will likely be expected to take an exam.

Students interested in pursuing advanced education in HVAC can find associate and bachelor's degree programs. These programs could include training on digital control systems or duct design.

Diploma programs, which are often offered in trade schools and community colleges, prepare students for careers in HVAC installation and maintenance. HVAC technicians who obtain a diploma, licensure, or certification from EPA are generally preferred by employers and have good job prospects.

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