There are both undergraduate and graduate-level programs that include training in HVAC design. They can be found at two-year colleges and technical schools, as well as four-year universities.
10 Schools with HVAC Design Programs
These schools offer training in HVAC design:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|California Polytechnic State University||San Luis Obispo, CA||4-year, Public|| Bachelor's
| $9,001 in-state undergraduate,
$20,161 out-of-state undergraduate
|Community College of Allegheny County||Pittsburgh, PA||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,999 in-district
|Rowan-Cabarrus Community College||Salisbury, NC||2-year, Public||Associate
|Sacramento City College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Associate
|Ferris State University||Big Rapids, MI||4-year, Public|| Associate
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||Williamsport, PA||4-year, Public|| Associate
| $15,810 in-state,
|Delaware Technical Community College||Dover, DE||2-year, Public||Diploma
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Continuing Education Course||$795**|
|University of California - San Diego||La Jolla, CA||4-year, Public||Graduate Certificate||$3,270 (total program cost for 2016-2017)**|
|University of California - Riverside||Riverside, CA||4-year, Public||Undergraduate Certificate||$2,000**|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for HVAC design schools:
- Some undergraduate certificate and associate's degree programs for aspiring HVAC technicians include courses in HVAC design, while higher-level programs prepare students to dedicate their careers to the field. Therefore, it is important for prospective students to consider their career goals when choosing between programs.
- Many graduate-level programs are intended for HVAC and engineering professionals who already work in the field. These full-time workers may want to look for programs that allow for online or part-time schedules that accommodate their work obligations.
- To ensure education meets industry standards, students should check for HVAC design degree programs that are accredited by professional organizations, such as the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation or the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
- For students with little or no previous education or experience, it's important to make sure that they meet acceptance or prerequisite requirements of a program prior to applying.
Undergraduate Certificate Programs
Undergraduate certificate programs are intended to prepare students for entry-level jobs as HVAC installers and technicians. However, a few programs include HVAC design courses within their curricula. In most cases, these programs take one year or less to complete.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs in HVAC design typically take two years to complete and can lead to degrees like an Associate in Science in HVAC Systems Design or an Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology. Graduates of associate's degree programs are prepared to work as technicians installing and repairing HVAC equipment and designing HVAC systems.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Undergraduate programs in HVAC design can include a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in heating, ventilation & air conditioning design technology or a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology program with a concentration in mechanical engineering technology. Bachelor's degree programs provide students with technical training for careers in HVAC equipment maintenance and design, as well as the business skills needed for supervisory roles.
Master's Degree Programs
Some Master of Science (MS) programs in mechanical engineering offer a concentration in HVAC that emphasizes the design of HVAC systems. Students in these programs take advanced courses in mechanical engineering and write a thesis in a particular area of interest, such as HVAC design. In total, these programs typically take two years to complete, but some are available in accelerated, five-year BS/MS formats.
Graduate Certificate Programs
Some schools provide graduate certificate programs for trained HVAC designers and engineers. These programs provide advanced coursework and prepare graduates for professional advancement in the field. Some courses may be available online.
Continuing Education Courses
Another option for experienced HVAC professionals and engineers is a standalone course in HVAC systems design. Courses are available in self-paced an online formats, making them ideal for students who work full-time. Upon completion, students are awarded continuing education units that can be applied to meet re-certification requirements or employer standards.
There are many educational options for students who are interested in HVAC design, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is important for students to consider their career goals when choosing between programs.