HVAC schools are designed to train students in the theories and hands-on skills used by heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) technicians. Through degree, certificate and diploma programs, HVAC school students learn how to install, maintain, and repair HVAC systems and other systems in a variety of environments.
What to Expect in HVAC School
The career training provided by HVAC schools varies based on the credentials being offered and the focus of the program. The three most common credentials awarded by HVAC school programs are associate’s degrees, certificates, and diplomas. These credentials are typically offered by junior colleges, career schools, universities, and other postsecondary schools.
Most HVAC schools provide lecture-based and hands-on courses covering standard HVAC systems. This includes installation, maintenance and repair for residential and commercial heaters, air conditioners, ventilation systems, and other climate systems. Many programs include additional areas such as water treatment or energy efficiency, and some emphasize more modern aspects of the HVAC industry, such as solar energy. These programs are appropriate for students who wish to work in a specialized field of the HVAC industry.
Depending on the credential sought, HVAC schools might offer courses in:
- Mechanical Drawing
- Applied Chemistry
- Blueprint Reading
- Computer Applications
- Temperature Theory and Control
- Equipment Design
Choosing an HVAC School
Because there are many types of HVAC school, it is important to compare details between different schools before enrolling in a program. Almost all HVAC schools require students to have a high school diploma or GED.
Here are a few things to consider when comparing schools:
- Program Length – Depending on the credential sought, HVAC school programs can last anywhere from a few months to around 2 years. Shorter programs (certificates and diplomas) can get graduates into the work force sooner, but longer programs (associate’s degrees) can provide the in-depth expertise it takes to advance further. Which direction you take depends on your specific career goals.
- Accreditation – HVAC school accreditation is a school’s way of certifying that it meets industry standards. If a school is accredited by a reputable organization, it means course content meets basic education standards set by the HVAC industry. Currently there are three well-known accrediting agencies for HVAC schools:
- Career Services – Some schools offer career assistance to graduates. This can include resume advice, job interview coaching, job placement services, or recruitment connections. Schools vary widely in these offerings, so it pays to be aware of what a school offers.
After Graduating from HVAC School
There are two main ways HVAC technicians gain experience beyond the training they receive from their school. One of the best ways to do this is by enrolling in an apprenticeship. These are offered through local HVAC industry organizations such as the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America. An apprenticeship is a combination of in-class instruction and paid on-the-job-training, and usually takes 3-5 years to complete.
Although apprenticeships are considered a great way to start in the industry from the ground floor, they can be unappealing for students or those who are not ready to commit to such long-term training. Fortunately, many HVAC schools offer on-the-job training or externship/internship opportunities. The career services department of your HVAC school should be able to provide information about training and work opportunities.
HVAC Schools Enrolling Now
Since 1946, Lincoln Tech has been helping students achieve professional success through personalized career support and hands-on, job-specific education. Our in-depth training programs are designed to meet the changing needs of today’s tough job market, and cover a variety of fields, including: Health Sciences, Information Technology, Spa & Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Welding, HVAC and Electrical.
What sets Lincoln Tech apart from other schools? Quite a few things, actually; our training programs emphasize experiential, interactive learning activities – that means you’ll do the job before you take the job. Plus, our Certificate, Diploma and Associate degree programs are designed to accelerate your entry into the job market by offering a shorter length of training, so you may be earning valuable on-the-job experience before many of your peers do.
But our strengths go beyond that. Our Lincoln instructors possess a combination of seasoned teaching skills, subject matter expertise and real world experience. Plus, we’ve built working partnerships with important industry contacts in your area. So when you graduate, we’ll help you find a good position and start your career off right.
When it comes to choosing a post-secondary educational institution, keep this in mind: our dedication to your success sets us apart from the competition – and the specialized, career-focused training you’ll receive at Lincoln will set you apart from yours. Lincoln Tech offers flexible daytime and evening programs to accommodate your busy schedule. Financial aid is available for those who qualify and Career Placement assistance is available upon graduation.