Heating, air conditioning, (HVAC/R) technicians work on the systems that control the temperature, humidity, and quality of the air in our homes, workplaces, and all other types of buildings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC employment will grow 13% through 2028.
Because experience is so important, HVAC employers prefer candidates with some kind of formal training or education.
So, if you’re considering a stable career in HVAC, look for some degree or certification.
There are a few options when it comes to HVAC training.
The cost of education depends on the degree and program you’re pursuing.
Table of Contents
Certificate programs are generally offered by technical schools or community colleges.
Such programs are shorter than a standard college enrollment, running between 6 and 12 months.
These programs churn out competent, entry-level technicians without such huge costs.
Depending on the length of the program and the number of courses, certificate programs can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $15,000.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is a 9-month, 800-hour certificate program, and charges $8,495 per semester.
The institute estimates that a student will average about $450 per semester for books.
There are some other fees like HVAC&R Technology of $1,000, and health insurance on average $1,500.
BFIT’s HVAC&R program provides test preparation for the EPA certification.
They also offer an R-410 A certificate and a 10-hour OSHA Safety certificate, upon successful completion.
Northwest HVAC/R Training Center charges provides a one-year program that costs $8,186 on a full-time basis.
The cost of the certification exam depends on the type:
- EPA Section 608 Technician – $24.95 to $120
- North American Technical Excellence (NATE) – starts at $24.95
- Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) – $25 to $30 for exams, $108 to $128 for membership
Associate’s degrees are offered by colleges and usually last 2 years.
Associate’s degrees typically cost from $15,000 to $35,000 with additional fees required for textbooks, software, and other supplies.
Although the price is similar to having a certificate, an associate’s degree in HVAC gives you a broader understanding of the industry and is especially useful to those who want to advance their career.
Bevill State Community College offers an associate in applied science (AAS) degree program in air conditioning and refrigeration.
Students must complete 67 to 68 credits and approximately 24 months to complete a degree.
The estimated tuition is $133 per credit.
The College of Southern Idaho students can earn an associate degree in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration for 60 credit hours.
Estimated tuition is $140 per credit for in-district students, $190 for out-of-district, and $285 for out-of-state and foreign.
HVAC apprenticeships offer experience under the eye of a master technician.
They cost between $500 and $3,000 and take place over the course of 3-5 years.
At the Ogden-Weber technical college, for HVAC Service Technician Apprentice students will pay $2,405.
Estimated material costs are at the price of $1,161.
The estimated HVAC Apprentice (ABC) tuition at the Madison Area technical college is $2,256.
The additional costs vary between $500 and $1,000 for books and supplies, and between $5,000 and $10,000 for housing and food.
For example, at the College of Southern Idaho, the housing facilities, books and supplies, and other expenses cost $5,300.
There are tools that HVAC users need to use and pay subsequently.
Uniform costs are on average $180.
Students seeking financial assistance can partake in a variety of scholarship opportunities.
Scholarships are funded by energy companies, foundations, and the states.
For example, the EGIA Foundation Scholarship Program provides $2,500 annually to 20 students nationwide who are interested in or currently pursuing a degree or technical certificate in the areas of HVAC, especially at the residential level.
Guilford Technical Community College offers a scholarship to students enrolled in the school’s tech program.