Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) programs in Missouri typically lead to the award of certificates or associate's degrees; sometimes, they take the form of courses instead. All types of programs can lead to eligibility for licensure as an HVAC worker. Some programs include training on refrigerant handling, while others do not. Associate's degree programs include general education classes in addition to the core curricula, while certificate programs only include the core. Schools may offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on training through supervised work-study, internship, or apprenticeship opportunities.
The state of Missouri does not regulate HVAC workers, but these professionals may need to meet specific requirements in their city or county of employment. For example, HVAC workers in Saint Louis County must complete 7,500 hours of work experience in the field to qualify for the Residential HVAC Servicer-Installer Journeyman License. Workers in St. Charles County must have the appropriate license, which is obtained by passing the necessary exam. Aspiring HVAC professionals should check with the local government that regulates this profession in the area where they plan on working.
Below are 10 of the largest schools that offer HVAC programs in Missouri, followed by a comparison table that provides info on tuition and the programs available at each school.
Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center
Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau is a part of the Cape Girardeau public school system. It offers an HVAC program for high school students and adults. In the first year, students learn the basics of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. By the second year, they get hands-on experience with electrical circuits and heating/air conditioning systems. Upon completion of the program, students should be prepared for the EPA certification exams relevant to HVAC systems.
East Central College
East Central College is located in Union and offers an Associate of Applied Science degree program in HVAC/R. Students may choose between a full-time day program and a part-time evening option. Upon graduation, students are prepared to work as HVAC/R technicians, and some courses may transfer to a 4-year institution if a student wishes to continue his or her education. Courses cover forced air heating, equipment installation and testing and troubleshooting air conditioning units. Students may also pursue a Certificate of Achievement in HVAC/R, which includes many of the same HVAC courses found in the associate's program.
Franklin Technology Center
The Franklin Technology Center in Joplin offers a certificate in HVAC technology. Students learn through a series of classroom lectures, demonstrations and hands-on lab work. This 720-hour program covers commercial and residential refrigeration systems, heat pumps, motors, installation and troubleshooting methods and duct design. Upon completion of the program, students must pass the necessary EPA refrigerant certification exams before they're awarded the certificate.
Hillyard Technical Center
Located in Saint Joseph, Hillyard Technical Center has a 2-year HVAC course available. Students learn about safety, basic refrigeration, soldering and electricity. During the second year, they get to work with domestic and commercial refrigeration, heat pumps and heating systems. The program consists of 1,080 hours and can prepare students to become entry-level HVAC, heating or refrigeration technicians. Students also get to take the EPA refrigerant certification exam.
Located in Hillsboro, Jefferson College offers an associate's degree and certificate program in heating, refrigeration and air conditioning technology. The certificate program requires 41 credits, and the associate's program consists of 64 credits of coursework. Students in both programs get to take courses in basic electricity, principles of refrigeration, residential heating systems and customer relations. Students are required to purchase a tool kit through the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Department.
Linn State Technical College
Linn State Technical College, which is located in Linn, offers an Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology. Required courses include sheet metal fabrication, residential electrical wiring and drafting for HVAC. The program also features an internship that allows students to learn from a skilled HVAC technician. Students learn about the installation, maintenance and repair of HVAC systems. They are required to join the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), and students who choose to take the exams can become certified in four different RSES areas.
Mineral Area College
Found in Park Hills, Mineral Area College has a certificate and associate's degree program in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technology. Both programs require students to take courses in communication, human development, mathematics, science and computer literacy, in addition to core courses in basic welding, basic electricity, residential cooling/heating, commercial refrigeration and refrigeration controls. The associate's program also requires students to complete two internship courses.
Ozarks Technical Community College
Ozarks Technical Community College offers HVAC courses at its main campus in Springfield. Students may choose to pursue a certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree. All students are taught with state-of-the-art equipment. Students in both programs can expect to take courses in technical math, refrigeration theory, commercial refrigeration systems and refrigerant handling. The associate's program includes additional coursework and supervised work experience.
Ranken Technical College
Ranken Technical College is located in St. Louis and offers certificate and associate's degree programs in HVAC/R. Graduates of these programs are prepared for entry-level employment as HVAC/R mechanics, but they also have the option of specializing in a particular area within the field. The programs cover electrical circuits, bending sheet metal and piping, freezers, ice-making equipment and residential/commercial HVAC systems. Additionally, students may choose to continue on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management.
Rolla Technical Institute
The HVAC/R program at Rolla Technical Institute in Rolla takes two years to complete. While enrolled, students are members of the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES). In addition to gaining preparation for the EPA refrigerant certification exam, students learn about piping, heat pumps, thermodynamics, refrigeration and energy conservation.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||HVAC Degree Programs/Certificates Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2018-2019|
|Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center||2-year; public; remote town||HVAC Course||Not available|
|East Central College||2-year; public; fringe rural|| Certificate of Achievement in HVAC/R,
Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
|$2,592 in-district; $3,480 in-state; $4,896 out-of-state*|
|Franklin Technology Center||2-year; public; small city||Certificate in HVAC Technology||$8,890*|
|Hillyard Technical Center||2-year; public; small city||HVAC Course||$6,494 for course**|
|Jefferson College||2-year; public; distant rural|| Certificate in Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology
|$3,330 in-district; $4,920 in-state; $6,510 out-of-state*|
|Linn State Technical College||2-year; public; distant rural||Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology||$6,120 in-state; $11,160 out-of-state*|
|Mineral Area College||2-year; public; distant town|| Certificate in Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
|$3,670 in-district; $4,870 in-state; $6,430 out-of-state*|
|Ozarks Technical Community College||2-year; public; midsize city|| Certificate in Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning,
Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
|$3,392 in-district; $4,640 in-state; $5,600 out-of-state*|
|Ranken Technical College||4-year, primarily associate's; private, not-for-profit; large city|| Certificate of Technology in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration,
Associate of Technology or Associate of Science in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
|$14,457 per year*|
|Rolla Technical Institute||2-year; public; remote town||HVAC/R Program||$7,200 per year*|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School's website.