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Degrees in Air Conditioning Repair

You can earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in air conditioning technology or heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technology. Read on to learn more about what degrees are offered and whether you can earn them online, as well as sample coursework and potential income.

What Degrees Are Offered in Air Conditioning Repair?

You can enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in air conditioning technology or HVACR, although associate's degree programs are more common. Both degree programs will teach you how to interpret mechanical blueprints and repair domestic and commercial air conditioning or refrigeration units. Most programs have extensive hands-on lab requirements; some programs feature internships as part of their curriculum. You can usually earn an associate's degree within two years; a typical bachelor's program takes four years to complete.

EducationAssociate's and bachelor's degrees in air conditioning technology or HVACR
Online OptionsDegrees rarely offered due to hands-on requirements; HVACR certificate programs available
Common TopicsRefrigeration installation, thermodynamics and reading schematics in associate's programs; load calculation and residential exhaust systems in bachelor's programs
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% growth in employment for HVACR techs*
Median Annual Salary (2018)$47,610 for HVACR techs*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Online degree programs in air conditioning technology or HVACR are extremely limited due to the need for hands-on instruction under the guidance of faculty. However, you might consider enrolling in an online HVACR certificate program, which will provide you with basic air conditioning technology knowledge. Course content is delivered through reading assignments and multimedia clips. A high-speed Internet connection is required to participate in online programs.

What Are Classes Like?

Associate's degree classes usually teach you how to install, repair and maintain air conditioning units as well as heating and ventilation systems. Prerequisites for an associate's program might include high school-level courses in algebra, physics or chemistry. Common topics that you'll study include:

  • Introduction to air conditioning repair
  • Refrigeration installation
  • Thermodynamics
  • Commercial air conditioning systems
  • Reading schematics

Students in air conditioning technology bachelor's programs learn many of the same technical repair skills as students in an associate's program. However, greater emphasis may be placed on business and management concepts; you might study cost estimation, HVACR regulations, project management and the contracting or bidding process. General education courses in college algebra and English composition are usually required. Additional courses could include:

  • Load calculation
  • Designing control systems
  • Residential exhaust systems

What Jobs Are Available?

With your associate's or bachelor's degree in air conditioning technology, you might find work as an HVACR technician. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of HVACR technicians was expected to rise by 15% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, technicians made a median annual salary of $47,610 in 2018.

In some states, you'll need to be licensed to work as an HVACR technician. Licensure requirements vary from state to state - you'll usually need to take a written exam and provide proof of professional experience, which may range from six months to two years. Check with your state's licensing agency for further details.

Some bachelor's degree recipients who have extensive experience in the field might find work as HVACR supervisors. According to Salary.com, HVACR supervisors earned a median yearly salary of $72,631 in 2019. Additional employment opportunities for both bachelor's and associate's degree recipients may include marketing or sales positions in the HVACR industry.