HVAC Schools in Alabama with Degree Program Descriptions

Jul 19, 2019

Alabama has more than 15 colleges that offer HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for 10 of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Individuals interested in becoming HVAC or HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) technicians typically need to complete formal training programs. Students in Alabama may choose to earn a certificate or associate's degree in the field. Some programs include refrigeration training, while others do not. Associate's degree programs include general education courses in addition to the certificate curricula. Many schools offer internship or other work-study opportunities.


Bevill State Community College

Bevill State Community College in Jasper has an air conditioning and refrigeration program that's approved by the Alabama Board of Heating and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors. Students can choose from a long-term certificate or a two-year associate degree program. The course load is similar between the programs; however, the degree program also has courses in mechanical/gas safety codes and commercial refrigeration along with additional general education courses. The Career Technical Education Division at also offers co-op/internship opportunities to students.

Bishop State Community College

Bishop State Community College offers an air conditioning/refrigeration technology program through the Division of Engineering and Construction Technology at the Southwest campus in Mobile. Students can choose from a certificate or associate degree program. Through theory and practical courses, students learn to install, maintain and repair HVAC-R systems in a variety of settings. Students pursuing the degree can choose complementary studies in business or electrical training. The only admission requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent.

Calhoun State Community College

The air conditioning and refrigeration program at Calhoun State Community College in Tanner offers the following areas of focus: advanced ACR (air conditioning/refrigeration), system design, ACR commercial and ACR business. Students are trained in the repair, troubleshooting and maintenance of HVAC-R systems. Coursework specific to air conditioning covers refrigeration, commercial units and residential cooling systems. Students also learn how to handle refrigerants. Coursework specific to furnaces and boilers explores heating pumps, fuel efficiency and airflow. Students are educated in ventilation practices, building code requirements and piping. Short-term certificate programs that prepare students for entry-level employment are offered also available in ACR fundamentals, system fundamentals or advanced ACR.

Gadsden State Community College

Located in Gadsden, this public college offers studies in air conditioning and refrigeration through a certificate program and an associate degree program; associate students must complete 22 credits of general education courses in addition to courses focused on HVAC concepts. While investigating the basic practices involved in residential, commercial and industrial HVAC systems, students are trained to test, repair and troubleshoot electrical wiring in air conditioning units. Coursework examines electronics, electrical safety and electrical controls used to regulate air conditioners, furnaces or heaters. Students in the associate program also complete an internship and take a course that can prepare them for professional certification exams. The school also offers a short-term certificate that only requires 29 credits of coursework.

Lawson State Community College

Lawson State Community College is located in Birmingham and has an air conditioning/refrigeration program that teaches students to install and service HVAC-R systems. The 23-credit hour short-term certificate prepares students for entry-level employment in this field, while the certificate and associate degree programs provide more advanced study and help with career advancement. Course topics include HVAC-R electric circuits and components, heat pump systems, HVAC-R service procedures, troubleshooting HVAC-R systems, mechanical/gas/safety codes and blueprint reading. Students must take orientation and workplace skills preparation courses. All three programs include internships.

Northwest - Shoals Community College

HVAC students have several program options at Northwest - Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals. The air conditioning/refrigeration technology program offers a 57-credit hour career certificate program and a 75-credit hour Associate in Occupational Technology degree program. To earn the degree, students must complete all of the courses contained in the certificate program and 18 additional credits of general education courses. The college also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Systems Technology with an air conditioning and refrigeration option.

Shelton State Community College

Based in Tuscaloosa, Shelton State Community College offers an air conditioning and refrigeration certificate and an associate degree program, so students can choose their level of study based on career goals. Both programs prepare students for careers as HVAC technicians; the degree program requires more general education courses and offers internship opportunities.

Southern Union State Community College

Southern Union State Community College, a public school located in Wadley, has various programs designed to teach students about air conditioning and refrigeration. The school's technical education division offers two certificate programs and an Associate of Occupational Technologies program with HVAC studies. These programs can prepare students to become HVAC service workers or technicians who can work on units in residential or commercial settings. The associate program can be completed in five terms and includes courses in refrigeration piping, heat pump systems, HVAC electrical circuits and microcomputer applications.

Wallace Community College

Located in Dothan, Wallace Community College (also known as George C. Wallace State Community College - Dothan) offers an air conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) program at its Wallace campus and at the Ventress Correctional Facility. The ACR program teaches students to install, repair and maintain HVAC-R systems with an emphasis on residential and light commercial systems. The ACR program allows student to choose from an associate degree program as well as a short-term certificate program.

Wallace State Community College

Hanceville-based Wallace State Community College (also known as George C. Wallace State Community College - Hanceville) offers a 4-5 semester heating and air conditioning certificate program and a 5-6 semester HVAC program. Upon completion of these programs, students are prepared to take the state contractor's licensing exam and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) refrigeration exam.

Career Requirements

To work as an HVAC contractor in Alabama, a candidate must pass a contractor's license examination through the Alabama Board of Heating and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors. Additionally, licensed contractors are required to complete four hours of continuing education each year to maintain or renew their credentials.

Alabama has several colleges that offer HVAC training programs that prepare students to take certification exams and work as HVAC technicians.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting HVAC Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Bevill State Community College Two-year; public; distant town Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Long-Term Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
$5,086 in-state; $9,214 out-of-state*
Bishop State Community College Two-year; public; midsize city Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Technology Certificate,
Associate in Occupational Technologies in Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Technology
$4,740 in-state; $8,610 out-of-state*
Calhoun State Community College Two-year; public; fringe rural Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Short-Term Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
$4,820 in-state; $8,690 out-of-state*
Gadsden State Community College Two-year; public; small city Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Short-Term Certificate,
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
$3,840 in-state; $7,056 out-of-state*
Lawson State Community College Two-year; public; midsize city Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Short-Term Certificate,
Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Certificate,
Associate in Occupational Technologies in Air Conditioning/Refrigeration
$4,740 in-state; $8,610 out-of-state*
Northwest - Shoals Community College Two-year; public; small city Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Career Certificate,
Associate in Occupational Technology in Air Conditioning/Refrigeration,
Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Systems Technology with Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Option
$4,711 in-state; $8,581 out-of-state*
Shelton State Community College Two-year; public; small city Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
$4,467 in-state; $8,907 out-of-state*
Southern Union State Community College Two-year; public; remote rural Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Short-Term Certificate,
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate,
Associate in Occupational Technologies in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
$4,440 in-state; $8,310 out-of-state*
Wallace Community College Two-year; public; fringe rural Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
$4,680 in-state; $8,550 out-of-state*
Wallace State - Hanceville Two-year; public; distant town Heating and Air Conditioning Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in General Technology HVAC
$4,740 in-state; $8,610 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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