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Online Education (associate Degree In Hvac)

By Expert Author: John Srob

An associate degree program in HVAC Technology covers the technical training necessary for obtaining an entry-level position as a heating or air conditioning system technician. Students typically look at concepts such as air flow, air quality, thermal comfort, air distribution, temperature control and general industry standards as set forth by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Other courses also cover on-the-job safety and electronics. Many schools also offer distance learning and online classes for professionals who are unable to commit to an on-site degree program.

Education Prerequisites

Most associate degree programs in HVAC require their applicants to have a high school diploma or a GED. It is rarely necessary for a prospective student to have prior field training or experience working as a technician, nor do schools typically require SAT or ACT scores for admission into a 2-year HVAC program.

Program Coursework

Most schools require a student to complete at least 90 hours of coursework before they are awarded an associate degree. In addition to HVAC-related studies, most programs also include general education requirements in English, math, natural science and the social sciences. Course subjects specific to this field include:

Temperature flow
HVAC troubleshooting skills
Compressor installation and maintenance
Air pressure tests and analysis
Electric heating systems
Residential HVAC
Furnace ignition systems

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

In the HVAC industry, employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed some type of school-based training. HVAC technicians are most commonly employed as maintenance and repair representatives for companies that manufacture HVAC equipment. Some are hired to do installation work, but technicians must also typically be able to maintain and repair systems.

Continuing Education Information

An associate degree in HVAC typically leads to an entry-level job in the field. However, some students go on to become apprentices, which allows them to engage in on-the-job training with a mentor who can teach them more advanced technical skills. Apprentices may go on to obtain certification before they finally enter the profession as full-time technicians. Entry-level certification exams for graduates of degree programs with less than one year of work experience are also available. More experienced technicians are eligible to take exams in specific maintenance and installation areas to work towards becoming specialists with particular types of equipment and systems.

The courses you take while earning an Associate degree in HVAC/R expertly train you to work with refrigeration and cooling systems. An associate 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.


An associate 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. Many Associate degree in HVAC/R graduates 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.

You May Qualify For Financial Aid.

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