If you’re considering a career as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician, HVACClasses.net is here to help you get started. Whether you’re looking for accredited HVAC training programs in your area, trying to find apprenticeships, or curious about getting certified, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. There’s even a salary guide to help you learn how much employers pay in your area!
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FAQs About HVAC Classes
In order to become a certified technician, you’ll need to first complete a formal HVAC training program. In this section, we’ve provided answers to the most-frequently-asked questions that most people have about this process.
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What is HVAC Training?
When you go through an HVAC training program, you’ll be instructed in the use of tools and equipment required to service and install heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems in both residential and commercial settings. The two primary methods of getting trained are to either:
- Complete an apprenticeship, or
- Graduate from a trade school or technical college
Completing an HVAC apprenticeship is a process that typically lasts between three and five years and requires the trainee to complete at least 2,000 hours of hands-on training. During this time, the apprentice technician is instructed in the use of tools and equipment from a licensed professional, and is also expected to attend at least 144 hours of training in theory.
The general focus of the training received during an apprenticeship falls on the following areas:
- Climate control processes for heating and air conditioning
- The role of ventilation, ductwork, insulation, etc. in climate control
- Installation and maintenance of wiring and other elements of HVAC systems
- Reading and using blueprints and schematics
- Strategies and best practices for customer and dealer service
- Be a high school graduate, or hold a GED
- Be a minimum of 18 years of age at the beginning of the apprenticeship
- Hold a current driver’s license
- Pass a drug screening test
- Be able to pass a basic aptitude test in math and English
Trade Schools and Technical Colleges
An increasingly popular alternative to going through an apprenticeship is taking HVAC classes at trade schools or technical colleges. Most programs last between six months and two years (depending on whether the student is pursuing a diploma, certificate or associate’s degree) and provide training in all of the same areas that one would learn as an apprentice.
Trade School or Apprenticeship?
The decision of whether to go through an apprenticeship, or enroll for HVAC classes at your local vocational school often comes down to a matter of personal preferences. While the instruction provided through each approach will be very similar, the duration of the program, cost of training, etc. will be quite different. A look at reasons to consider each follows.
3 Reasons to be an HVAC apprentice
The following three things should be considered if you’re interested in becoming an HVAC apprentice.
- You’ll get paid while you learn your trade
- You’ll have the opportunity to network with prospective employers
- You’ll receive daily hands-on training in real work situations
3 Reasons to go to a trade school
These are three things you’ll want to think about if you’re considering going to a trade school.
- You can become eligible to work sooner than you would through an apprenticeship
- You’ll receive more well-rounded training in a wider range of HVAC-related fields
- Employers are increasingly interested in hiring those who have completed formal training
How Long is HVAC Training?
The duration of your HVAC training will depend on two primary factors. They are:
- What level of education are you pursuing?
- Are you going to a school or completing an apprenticeship?
As for the amount of time required to complete HVAC programs offered in technical colleges, this will depend entirely on the type of credential you’re pursuing, and whether or not you are a full-time student.
In general, the amount of time required for full-time students to complete each of the following credentials is reflected in the table below.
|How Long is HVAC School?|
|Type of Credential||Average Time Required|
|Job-ready HVAC certificate||4 to 6 months|
|Full HVAC certification||One year|
|Associate’s degree||Two years|
How Much is HVAC School?
The cost of completing your HVAC classes and becoming eligible to take the licensing exam in your state can vary considerably. Of course, the school you choose to attend will have the greatest effect on the cost of your education, but there are other factors to consider as well. These include:
- Are you taking online classes, or campus-based classes?
- Are you eligible for financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc.?
- Which type of credential program are you enrolling in?
The following table reflects some approximate average costs for different types of HVAC programs.
|How Much is HVAC School?|
|Type of Credential||Approximate Cost|
|Job-ready HVAC certificate||$6,500|
|Full HVAC certification||$19,125|
|Associate’s degree||Two years|