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October 22, 2020

 

The Seven Best HVAC Schools In The US and Canada

A good HVAC school can put you on the path to a long, lucrative career.

As demand increases for experienced HVAC pros, more and more people will choose a career in HVAC. And why wouldn’t they? HVAC represents a very lucrative industry that has plenty of room for growth. The multi-billion-dollar industry is growing by 6% every year, so it needs plenty of new professionals to fill the demand. 

While you can learn a lot about HVAC on the job, you need the proper education to get an HVAC certification in the first place. Do a search, and you’ll find dozens of schools around the US and Canada for HVAC, begging the obvious question; which should you choose? 

Here are our top 7 picks of the best HVAC schools in North America. 

  1. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology HVAC&R Program (US)

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, this school will teach you general HVAC procedures, as well as provide an in-depth look at working on refrigerants. You’ll find a big emphasis on hands-on experience here, which will prepare you for certifications like:

  • EPA
  • R-410
  • OSHA

This nine-month HVAC program will give you 800 hours of in-class training. It also offers flexible learning options, with classes available during days, nights, and even weekends. 

  1. North Michigan University HVACR Program (US)

North Michigan University is in Marquette, Michigan. Its two-year program gives you hands-on experience with 44 total credits. 

You’ll get hands-on experience with testing equipment, electrical components, and sheet metal layout. NMU boasts small class sizes, which gives you plenty of one-on-one time with your instructor during labs. 

  1. University of California – Berkeley (US)

UC Berkeley provides a certificate program for HVAC with 11 total units. You’ll spend a minimum of three semesters here learning new HVAC system design and retrofitting existing systems. 

An advisory board of HVAC pros oversees UC Berkeley’s HVAC curriculum, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll learn real-world best practices. If you complete this certificate program, you’ll receive an ASHRAE Certification in the process, too. 

  1. Fanshawe College (CAN)

If you live in Canada and need a reputable HVAC program, never fear. Fanshawe College in Southwestern Ontario provides a 60-week program for HVAC. Complete this program and you’ll get a diploma certifying you as an HVAC technician. 

The Fanshawe College HVAC program gives you the hands-on lab work and theory necessary to succeed in the real world. Best of all, after graduation, you’ll become eligible for the Gas Technician II and III certification exams. 

  1. Centennial College (CAN)

Located in Toronto, Ontario, Centennial College provides a two-year program for HVAC. In this program, you’ll learn how to design, install, and service both residential and commercial HVAC systems. Centennial College is great because it offers courses of study on maintenance and installation for residential, commercial, and even industrial settings. If you want to gain experience in a little bit of everything, this makes for a great program. 

  1. Cambrian College (CAN) 

You’ll find Cambrian College in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, where its diploma program will certify you as an HVAC technician. Cambrian’s curriculum gives you a solid understanding of oil-fired and gas systems, heating, and refrigeration. 

Best of all, the TSSA endorses this program, so upon completion, you can take the Gas Technician II and Oil Burner Technician II exams. 

  1. Online Options

But what happens if you don’t live near an HVAC school? Or you need more flexibility that in-person classes just don’t provide? (Or you want to get started before the COVID crises abates and students can return to classrooms?)

Online HVAC school is an option. However, keep in mind that this isn’t ideal. HVAC is a hands-on job and you want to obtain as much hands-on learning as possible. You’ll find it difficult to gain that kind of all-important experience from a computer screen. However, if you’ve already begun your education/training and need to prep for your state certification, these online options can get you over the finish line:

  • Ferris State University (US): Get your online Bachelor’s degree and learn the fundamentals of HVAC. There are very few Bachelor’s programs available in this field. In fact, this is one of just two in the United States. You’ll need to do in-person workshops for one week every year, though. 
  • Penn Foster Career School (US): This is one of the oldest and largest trade schools in the US. Get a comprehensive understanding of the field in as little as five months with the Penn Foster program. 
  • Dalhousie University (CAN): Located in Nova Scotia, this program is 100% online. You’ll get a solid understanding of HVAC, as well as an HVAC certificate with this program. 

Remember, the key to HVAC success is hands-on experience. If you opt for online school, apprenticeships will prove essential to your career. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of reputable colleges that provide state-of-the-art HVAC education. If you have an interest in pursuing a life in HVAC, get started now—in as little as five months, you could have a brand-new career.