HVAC diploma programs are a basic education option for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) students seeking to become entry-level HVAC technicians. HVAC diploma programs normally last from a few months to a year and cover essential concepts in the HVAC field, with little or no focus on general education.
HVAC Diploma Curriculum
HVAC diploma programs cover the fundamentals of the various types of system HVAC technicians work with. These can include residential or commercial systems used to regulate air quality, temperature, water quality, and other environmental elements.
Some typical diploma-level course topics include:
- Fundamentals of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
- Refrigeration systems and components
- Electrical systems and components
- Water treatment
For example, the 47-week HVAC diploma at Lincoln College of Technology covers climate control basics, electricity, heating and refrigeration fundamentals, hermetic systems, energy efficiency and green technology. Some diplomas also offer courses in specialized areas of the HVAC industry such as solar energy or sustainability.
A high school diploma or GED is usually required in order to enroll in an HVAC diploma program.
Some high school courses also help to form a strong foundation for the types of material taught in HVAC school. Some of these courses include:
- Mechanical Drawing
Though not a requirement, any hobbies or strengths in mechanical fields may also prove beneficial while applying for an HVAC diploma.
After Earning a Diploma
One option for recent graduates of HVAC diploma programs is enrolling in an apprenticeship. An HVAC apprenticeship involves working under an HVAC professional to gain hands-on job experience. This usually involves a mix of traditional learning and paid training. Often an apprenticeship can translate into a full-time job opportunity.
Another step graduates can take is certification. While not required in most states, many technicians become certified in specific areas of the HVAC field. There are several organizations that offer HVAC certification, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some education programs even offer practice exams designed to prepare students for certification.