HVAC Schools in Virginia Beach with Certificate Program Overviews

Nov 13, 2018

The Virginia Beach area has a couple of schools offering training in the HVAC field, and two are located within around 35 miles of downtown. Learn about the requirements for the available certificate and degree programs so you can make an informed education decision.

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Virginia Beach HVAC Schools

Students only have a few school options for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) programs in the Virginia Beach area, both of which are located within a 45-minute drive of downtown. Read about their undergraduate training programs and coursework, and review the table at the beginning of the article to learn about student enrollment figures, graduation rates or other stats.

  • Thomas Nelson Community College is the option with the smaller student population. In addition to offering certificates in the field, this school also has an HVAC associate's degree program. The campus is about 37 miles from central Virginia Beach.
  • At about 11 miles away, Tidewater Community College is the closest option to downtown Virginia Beach. It has an air conditioning and refrigeration certificate training program and an associate's degree with an HVAC concentration.

Comparison of Schools

Take time to look over the following table to get information on the schools' costs, retention rates and more.

Thomas Nelson Community College Tidewater Community College
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 8,268* 22,776*
Campus Setting Midsize city Midsize city
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $4,679 in-state; $10,607 out-of-state* $5,434 in-state; $11,362 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017) 65%* 70%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (2017) 60% for full-time students* 61% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014) 19%* 20%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Thomas Nelson Community College

This college offers two certificate program, an associate's degree program, and a workforce credential course in HVAC. Students in any of the programs can take an air conditioning course that's designed to prepare them to take the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) certification test.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Career Studies Certificate

This program requires students to complete 22 credits. Students can learn about the basics of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Courses also include circuits and controls, heating systems, and heat pumps.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate

In addition to HVAC studies, students also take courses covering English composition, technical mathematics, college success skills and first aid and safety. This 35-credit program includes courses in heat pumps, heating systems, circuits and controls and basic refrigeration.

Associate in Applied Science in Technical Studies with a Concentration in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

This program requires a total of 67 credits, which includes general education courses. The HVAC portion of the program includes many of the same courses as the certificate programs, such as heating systems, mechanical codes and air conditioning and refrigeration analysis. Students are also required to complete two work-based learning experiences totaling six credits.

HVAC Technician - Workforce Credential

Offered through the school's Workforce Development division, this program focuses on terminology, techniques, and troubleshooting. The 160-hour course includes a variety of hands-on experiences, such as assembling, sealing and insulating duct work; installing a thermostat; and using tools to check temperature and pressure settings.

Tidewater Community College

This school's HVAC program is aimed at HVAC newcomers or current technicians who are looking to reinforce their skills. This program can lead to HVAC technician and sales positions.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate

This three-semester program covers residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration controls, heating systems and heat pumps. Students also receive instruction in psychrometrics, hydronics, duct construction and maintenance, applied technical mathematics and advanced HVAC troubleshooting. Courses covering English composition and college success skills round out this 35-credit curriculum.

Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

This program offers three areas of specialization in commercial, residential and supervision and management HVAC/Refrigeration. Coursework for these programs will prepare students to sit for exams offered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, students can go on to earn their bachelor's degree in HVAC/R or projection management after completing the associate's program.

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