Online HVAC Certification and Certificate Programs

You can earn your heating, ventilation and air conditioning certificate on campus or pursue a diploma online through a handful of schools. Find out the classes and programs available along with certification options. Schools offering Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Type of HVAC Programs Are Available Online?

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) certificate programs are typically offered on campus because of the hands-on nature of the field; however, a few online diploma programs are available. Diploma programs typically require more classes than certificate programs and prepare you to handle a wider variety of tasks.

Both programs include coursework that covers electricity, preventative maintenance, heating, refrigeration and installation. Electricity coursework covers wiring, electronic components, controls and HVAC regulation components. You'll also learn about the thermodynamic, chemical and circulation elements of a heating and cooling system. In order to install and repair these systems, you'll learn about welding, basic tools and occupational safety.

Upon completion of a certificate or diploma, you can seek work as an HVAC technician or pursue an associate's degree in HVAC. You'll have the skills to repair HVAC equipment and electronic controls. You'll also be able to install, maintain or repair furnaces, boilers, air conditioners and refrigeration systems.

Program Levels Certificate program, diploma, associate's degree
Common Courses Electronic components, HVAC regulation components, thermodynamics, heating and cooling systems
Certificate Program Fields Type I, Type II, Type III
Online Availability Online programs are rarely available; many online programs are offered through for-profit colleges
Licensure Information Some states require HVAC technicians to be licensed
Median Salary (2018) $47,610* (for HVAC mechanics and installers)
Job Outlook (2016-26)15%* (for all HVAC mechanics and installers)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Certifications Are Available?

If you want to handle or work with refrigerants, you must pursue Type I, Type II or Type III certification as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These are specific to small appliances, high-pressure refrigerants and low-pressure refrigerants, respectively. These certifications are acquired by passing a written exam, which is administered at an EPA-approved organization.

You can also take one or more certification exams administered by The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute, HVAC Excellence or the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society. Earning these voluntary certifications demonstrates your professional expertise as an HVAC technician and may help you advance in your career. In order to be eligible for these exams, you must generally have at least one year of installation experience and two years of repair and maintenance experience. These exams are offered at testing sites nationwide.

How Are Online Programs Different?

If you plan to receive HVAC training through an online diploma program - which are commonly offered by for-profit schools - you will study the same topics that are offered in on-campus programs. Some online programs even include basic tools and textbooks as a part of the tuition. You can study at your own pace, but you do not receive the hands-on training that is offered in on-campus programs.

What Should I Know About Licensure and Careers?

Some states require HVAC technicians to be licensed and may also require that you complete an apprenticeship before you can work independently as a licensed professional. Although the requirements vary by state, you can expect to take a basic knowledge test that covers electrical codes, heating and refrigeration.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC installers and technicians earned a yearly median salary of $47,610 in 2018. The BLS also reported that demand for HVAC technicians should increase by 15% from 2016-2026, which is attributed to the number of technicians retiring and the demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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