School and Ranking Information
The Omaha, NE, area has five options for individuals who wish to pursue careers in HVAC. The three schools below are ranked according to first-time student graduation rates, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
- Winner: Vatterott College has the highest graduation rate and offers a diploma and an associate's degree in HVAC technology.
- Runner-Up #1: Southeast Community College is located in Lincoln, NE, but it offers a strong program and has the second-highest graduation rate.
- Runner-Up #2: Metropolitan Community College Area has a certificate of achievement and an associate's degree in HVAC, as well as certificates in heating and air conditioning.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Vatterott College||Southeast Community College||Metropolitan Community College Area|
|Location||Omaha, NE||Lincoln, NE (48 miles from downtown Omaha)||Omaha, NE|
|School Type||2-year, private for-profit||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$41,806 (total estimated associate's program cost),
$28,436 (total estimated diploma program cost)**
|$11,725 (total estimated program cost)**||$2,520 (in-state), $3,668 (out-of-state)*|
|HVAC Programs Offered||Diploma and associate's degree||Associate's degree||Certificates and associate's degree|
|HVAC Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in (2011-2012)||44*||25*||58*|
|Most Popular HVAC Program (2011-2012)||Diploma (36)*||N/A||<1 Year Certificates (36 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2009 Entering Class||46%*||23%*||22%*|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), **School websites.
Winner: Vatterott College
- Career services include resume reviews, practice interviews and campus career fairs
- In 2011-2012, 93% of all first-time students received some kind of financial aid, per the NCES
Vatterott College offers a 72-credit HVAC mechanic diploma program and a 106-credit HVAC technology associate's program. Students complete both lab and didactic sessions; topics include blueprints, soldering techniques, power generation and duct work. The diploma can be earned in roughly 60 weeks, while the associate's program may be completed in 90 weeks.
Runner-Up #1: Southeast Community College
- 94% of HVAC graduates had a job or continued their education after the 2011-2012 school year
- Recent graduates earn an average of $13.15 per hour
The HVAC associate's degree program at Southeast Community College prepares graduates for careers as service or installation technicians. The curriculum is split in half, balancing theory and hands-on learning. The 6-semester program includes five on-campus semesters and one paid cooperative education semester. Coursework includes hydronic theory, sheet metal, refrigeration theory, heat pump principles and electronics fundamentals.
Runner-Up #2: Metropolitan Community College Area (MCCA)
- Students can participate in the college's carpool program
- The school has an online job posting center
MCCA has a 49.5-credit HVAC technology certificate program, as well as a 97-credit HVAC associate's program. Core courses cover advanced refrigeration, oil burners, electrical theory and all-weather systems, among others. Additionally, students may pursue 24-27-credit certificates in heat pumps, heat systems, air conditioning and refrigeration.
Other School Options
Northeast Community College in Norfolk, NE, and Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City, IA, offer HVAC programs. Both schools are located roughly 80-100 miles away from Omaha.