Milwaukee Schools with HVAC Programs
Prospective students interested in pursuing a career in the field of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) have three area schools from which to choose, all of which are part of the Wisconsin Technical College System. This article examines those schools, none more than 30 miles from downtown Milwaukee, and the programs they offer, which generally include refrigeration training in addition to HVAC studies. Also included is a table of information that can help prospective students decide which school might be their best option. A table covers data regarding the schools' enrollment, graduation rates and tuition and is displayed in a format that makes comparisons easy.
- Milwaukee Area Technical College offers a Diploma in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology. The Oak Creek campus where these programs are offered is approximately 11 miles from the city center.
- Waukesha County Technical College is around 18 miles from downtown Milwaukee. Its offerings include a technical certificate program in refrigeration service and a technical diploma program in refrigeration, air conditioning and heating service technician.
- About 28 miles from downtown Milwaukee, Gateway Technical College offers an HVAC apprentice program.
Comparison of Schools
Students need to consider many factors when choosing a school for their training. The following table presents pertinent information in a concise fashion.
|Milwaukee Area Technical College||Waukesha County Technical College||Gateway Technical College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||14,012*||7,696*||9,166*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb||Midsize suburb|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$4,491 in-state; $6,174 out-of-state*||$4,340 in-state; $6,206 out-of-state*||$4,369 in-state; $6,352 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||73%*||55%*||62%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||51% for full-time students; 44% for part-time students*||66% for full-time students; 58% for part-time students*||64% for full-time students; 61% for part-time students *|
|Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014)||11%*||44%*||31%*|
Source: *NCES, College Navigator
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is a diverse, community-based technical school that's spread across four campus locations in the Milwaukee area. At the Oak Creek campus, MATC offers two programs in the field of HVAC, including a 2-year A.A.S. degree program and a diploma program. A refrigeration and air conditioning apprenticeship may be available.
Diploma in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heating Service Tech
The diploma program requires the completion of 31 credits of coursework. Students take classes in basic refrigeration and system operations, gas and oil burner servicing, electrical circuits and controls, and wiring methods. This program offers start dates during the months of January and August.
Associate of Applied Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
The air conditioning and refrigeration technology Associate of Applied Science degree program provides training focusing on the installation, servicing and maintenance of equipment. Students receive a broad foundation in math, electricity and thermodynamics that is required for understanding the mechanics of HVAC systems.
Students can expect coursework that includes heating systems, welding fundamentals for HVAC and digital energy management systems. A special emphasis is placed on refrigerants and their proper recovery and safe use. Credit for a co-op work experience may be available.
Waukesha County Technical College
Located 18 miles outside of Milwaukee in Pewaukee, WI, Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) provides a hands-on approach to education that helps students build skills that ready them for immediate employment upon graduation. WCTC offers prospective students a 28-credit technical diploma program in refrigeration, air conditioning and heating service, as well as a 9-credit certificate program for those that want to specialize in refrigeration service.
Technical Certificate - Refrigeration Service
The technical certificate program includes coursework focusing on commercial refrigeration at both the introductory and advanced levels. Training is provided through traditional learning methods, including lectures, and through lab work to develop first-hand skills in refrigeration service techniques and methods.
Technical Diploma - Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating Service Technician
The technical diploma program requires the completion of 11 courses and can be completed in about a year or less depending on how many courses are taken each term. Students learn about the fundamentals of heating systems, refrigeration applications, geothermal and alternative energy systems and basic mechanics of HVAC systems.
Gateway Technical College
Gateway Technical College is a 2-year public school located about 28 miles from downtown Milwaukee. For prospective applicants seeking an HVAC apprenticeship, the school offers a program that includes paid training in preparation for a career in the field.
HVAC Apprentice Program
This specialized apprentice training program takes five years to complete and includes instruction within the school classroom as well as on-site job training. Candidates study the basics of HVAC, forced-air heating, hydronics, cooling fundamentals, air quality, commercial refrigeration, and more. Program application requirements include finding your own approved trainer for the apprenticeship, passing an aptitude test, having a valid driver's license, and being physically fit.