The Best HVAC Schools in the US for 2024

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Would you like to know the best HVAC schools and how much these schools cost in 2024?

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry is one of the underrated and fastest-growing industries in the world, with a market size of about $240.8 billion. The average HVAC technician makes about $60k per year, while experienced and skilled technicians can earn more than $84k annually.

You need both school and work experience to become a good technician. You can gain more experience working as an apprentice for a local HVAC company or joining a union.

The Best HVAC Schools in the United States

Below are the top 10 HVAC schools for aspiring technicians. The cheapest HVAC school on this list is Ashworth College. Some of these institutions offer hands-on training that will help you gain valuable experience in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning industry.

1. University of Northwestern Ohio

The University of Northwestern Ohio is unarguably one of the best HVAC schools in Ohio. They offer diploma and degree programs in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) under the College of Applied Technologies.

UNOH’s HVAC/R diploma program lasts about 16 months, while its degree program takes about 20 months. The degree program is different because it focuses on general education courses and has more credit hours.

Apart from the $20 application fee, students are to spend $16,200 on tuition & fees and $1,750 on books and supplies.

2. UC Berkeley Extension

University of California Berkeley entrance sign

The University of California Berkeley Extension offers a certificate program in HVAC for people interested in learning everything that has to do with designing energy-efficient HVAC systems. Its curriculum, which consists of 4 required courses and three electives, has been reviewed by the UC College of Environmental Design.

Although this program has no prerequisites, having previous HVAC experience or an engineering degree is a plus. Registering for this program is simpler than expected and can be completed online after paying the non-refundable registration fee.

The estimated cost for this HVAC program at UC Berkeley Extension is $5,080, excluding the registration fee and course materials expenses. Upon completing the program, you can easily get your certificate by contacting the department office.

3. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

Founded in 1908, BFIT, also known as the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, is one of the best HVAC schools in Massachusetts. It may interest you that they have an HVAC&R Technology certificate program.

This may be the perfect institution if you would love to become a successful HVAC& technician. Apart from getting an HVAC&R technology certificate after completing the program, you will also get an R-410 A certificate and an OSHA Safety certificate.

The HVAC&R Technology program at BFIT comes for $8,475 per semester, excluding tool charges, health insurance, and the compulsory technology fee.

4. Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

Did you know you can earn an AAS degree in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration? I guess you don’t.

In HVAC technology, you need not only knowledge but valuable experiences. Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology offers air conditioning and refrigeration technology programs.

The HVAC program at OSU Institute of Technology costs $5,760. The institution has several financial aid programs for students who cannot afford tuition or other fees.

5. Northern Michigan University

NMU has one of the best HVAC training programs in the United States. They offer a 2-year HVACR certificate program to get you started in the industry and ready for employment.

The HVACR degree at Northern Michigan University, under the Department of Technology and Occupational Sciences, helps you become a professional in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world in just 24 months.

NMU’s HVACR program costs about $20,812 annually, so you will need a little above $40k to complete this program.

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6. Excelsior College

Established in 1971, Excelsior College is one of the best online HVAC schools that provide adults with a better, more flexible way of learning. Although not required, it’s recommended that you have a GED or high school diploma before taking this program.

I recommend applying for this program only if you’re a beginner and have no HVAC certifications. You will be taught by an experienced HVAC instructor who has been in the industry for decades with numerous certifications.

The HVAC/R program offered by Excelsior College costs about $8,945 per year.

7. Ferris State University


Have you ever wondered how you could take your HVAC career to the next level? Ferris State University is one of the best HVAC schools in the US, offering a bachelor’s degree in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration.

Only those with an Associate in Applied Science in HVACR Technology degree can apply for this program. The Bachelor of Science program focuses on energy efficiency and management in HVAC/R systems.

The Ferris State University HVAC program tuition costs about $12,740 per year for Canadians and US residents and $20,552 per year for students from other countries.

8. Ashworth College

Ashworth College seems to be the cheapest online HVAC school on this list. This course can be completed in about four months and will teach you everything you need to know before writing the EPA certification exam.

Their 4.8-star reviews do not lie; it is one of the most affordable online HVAC certification programs. Besides getting guides on the EPA certification exam, students will also get access to an active online community, thousands of sources for research, and lots of learning material.

Ashworth College HVAC training tuition costs about $799 or $999 (if you intend to pay monthly). You can contact them for more flexible payment options. This includes the cost of the EPA Section 608 Certification exam* proctored by the ESCO Institute.

9. Penn Foster College

Penn foster online school

Penn Foster College has an online HVACR Technician Career Diploma Program for beginners that can help students prepare for the EPA certifications. It is fully accredited and can be completed in less than a year.

Applicants must be at least 17 years of age at the time of application and have access to high-speed internet and a functional email address. Penn Foster’s self-paced online HVACR program was created to prepare students for an entry-level career as HVACR technicians in the residential and light construction field.

This program costs about $899 (if you are paying in full) or $1089 (if you prefer monthly payments). It includes your tuition, EPA certification, and digital textbook fees.

10. University of North Dakota

Established in 1833, the University of North Dakota is one of the top academic and research institutions in the United States. With over 13,000 students, UND offers almost 230 fully accredited academic programs, among which the online HVAC/R technician training is among.

This online course can be completed in less than 12 months and will help you to prepare for your NATE, EDA, or HVAC Excellence certification exams. You will also be taught by Mike Baker, one of the best instructors in the industry.

UND’s online HVAC/R training costs about $11,982.96 annually, including tuition and other fees. Veterans, active-duty military, and dependents are qualified for reduced tuition rates.

What is the highest HVAC certification?

The highest HVAC certification is the HVAC Excellence Master Specialist Level certification for experienced HVAC technicians. To get this certification, you must have a minimum of 3 years of field experience, pass the hands-on performance test, and achieve a passing score on the related written professional level HVAC Excellence technician certification (or equivalent NATE, RSES CM, SM, CMS, UA Star).

The second highest HVAC certification is the HVAC Excellence Professional Level certification. To get it, you must have two years of verified field experience before taking the exams and pass ten written exams (100 questions each).

Certifications matter in this industry, but most employers want your experience. Just try to get as many certifications and experience as you can. You never know when they will come in handy.

Is an HVAC trade school a good idea?

Yes, going to an HVAC trade is a good idea. Heating Ventilation Air-conditioning and Refrigeration technology is rapidly evolving, and guess what happens if you don’t catch up? You will probably become increasingly irrelevant in the industry and miss out on many good opportunities. Staying ahead of the curve and gaining more theoretical knowledge is the way.

Attending an HVAC trade or vocational school is not as expensive as attending college for a bachelor’s degree in HVAC. It’s also a fast way to get some credentials and experience in the industry. You can attend a trade school and complete your program in 6 months to 2 years.

Whether you want to get hired as an apprentice or attend a vocational school is up to you. Going the apprentice route will probably save you some money, and what’s even cooler is that you can do both.

Hopefully, this article has helped you know about some of the best HVAC schools in the US with their tuition fees and curriculum. You can share it with your friends and family. Sharing is caring.

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