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Online Education (bachelor Hvac Degree)

By Expert Author: John Srob

If you are mechanically-minded and are good working with your hands, then perhaps you're looking for a good, practical and stable career where your unique skills will be of service. One such career is HVAC/R. HVAC/R stands for heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration, and it refers to the professionals who expertly repair all those systems. HVAC/R professionals install, maintain, and repair heating, cooling and refrigeration systems. A bachelor's degree in HVAC/R is a four-year degree that qualifies you for most jobs in HVAC/R or can be used as a steppingstone to a graduate degree in engineering.

Bachelor's Degree in HVAC/R Success Factors

Earning a bachelor's degree in HVAC/R requires that you are good at troubleshooting, are meticulous and detail-oriented, are very analytical, are good working with your hands and enjoy manual labor.

Bachelor's Degree in HVAC/R Curriculum

The courses you take while earning a bachelor's degree in HVAC/R expertly train you to work with refrigeration and cooling systems. A bachelor's degree in HVAC/R provides specialized training in the handling of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants, which are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Typical HVAC/R courses include mechanical systems, refrigeration, and heating and cooling systems. You can actually begin training for as an HVAC/R professional technician while still in high school by attending high school vocational programs. HVAC/R training is also available at technical schools, community colleges, and in the armed forces. EPA certification is required to work with refrigerants.


A bachelor's degree in HVAC/R qualifies you for most jobs in the field. As most new homes and buildings are built with centralized heating and cooling systems, there is increasing demand for HVAC/R technicians. You can expect to find ample work in residences as well as industries like food service and healthcare. HVAC/R professionals typically start as an assistant to an experienced HVAC/R technician or as an apprentice, which gives you the needed experience to become proficient in the field.

Individuals interested in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) engineering may be interested in two types of programs. At the associate's degree level, HVAC technology (or engineering technology) programs can prepare aspiring HVAC technicians for repair and installation work. Similar programs may also exist at the bachelor's degree level, but an aspiring engineer wouldn't enroll in an HVAC program. Instead, you would enroll in a mechanical engineering program, which may offer the opportunity to study HVAC systems through projects or concentration options.

Entire bachelor's degree programs in HVAC-R technology are extremely rare. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some HVAC-R technicians learn by way of on-the-job training. However, the BLS mentions that employers generally prefer to hire individuals who have completed either an apprenticeship program or a formal technical education program.
There are post-secondary schools that offer HVAC-R programs that lead to an associate's degree. Some of these institutions have articulation agreements with 4-year schools. If you earn an associate's degree, you may be able to enroll in what is essentially a bachelor's degree-completion program in an area such as engineering technology.

You can use the online database maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to help you locate a post-secondary school offering suitable degree programs. In addition, HVAC Excellence is a non-profit, professional organization that maintains a directory of schools that offer accredited HVAC-R programs.
What Can I Expect in a Program?
It usually takes two years to finish an associate's degree program that consists of about 60-67 credits. Completion can lead to an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in HVAC-R Technology. Degree-completion programs can take an additional two years to finish and may lead to a Bachelor of Science.
Since these are degree-granting programs, you'll be required to complete a certain number of general education courses. Typical HVAC-R courses you may encounter include heating and cooling theory and controls, duct design and construction, electricity and electronics, refrigeration, blueprint reading and computer applications.
What Sort of Online Programs Are Available?
Because of the necessity of hands-on training, online programs can be hard to find. Once you earn an associate's degree on campus, you may have the opportunity to complete your bachelor's degree requirements either fully online or by way of a blended or hybrid program. Blended or hybrid programs contain some in-person requirements in addition to online courses. You may have the option of full- or part-time participation in the online programs.

You May Qualify For Financial Aid.

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