HVAC technician education & training requirements + costs

HVAC technicians receive most of their training on-the-job through apprenticeship programs, but some may also attend trade school or community college. This guide goes over those options including the costs for each.

HVAC technician career snapshot

Median pay

$50,590 ($24.32/hr)

Required degrees

None

10-year job growth

5% (Average)

There are many ways to obtain the training and education required to become an HVAC technician. Doing one or more of the options listed below will help you to begin your career in HVAC.

HVAC education & training options

Trade school

Attending trade school is a great option to get the training that you need to become an HVAC technician.

Trade school is a good choice for people who would rather skip the English and History courses and stick to learning what they are actually going to school for—in this case, HVAC.

HVAC trade school can be completed in as little as six months and can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $15,000. The goal of trade schools is to train candidates for entry-level work and prepare them for certification exams.

Community college

Getting an Associate’s degree is a good option for people who want to get a more classical college education along with learning the ins and outs of HVAC.

Community college usually takes about two years to complete but can be done in as little as 18 months. The average cost to attend community college is about $3,440 per year.

Apprenticeship

Another, more cost-effective option to obtain the training required to be a technician is to become an HVAC apprentice. Instead of paying to get HVAC training, apprentices are actually paid to learn.

Department of Labor (DOL) apprenticeship programs can take anywhere from three to five years to complete and include 144 hours of classwork and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year.

Faraday HVAC program

The Faraday HVAC Program helps you start your career in HVAC without having to go to trade school. We connect you with local companies who hire you as an apprentice and pay for your training. This allows you to gain the skills and certifications you need to launch your career in HVAC - without going into debt.

How much does HVAC school cost?

There are multiple options to get the appropriate training to become an HVAC technician. Each option has its pros and cons, but everyone should be able to find an option that meets their wants and needs.

Program Cost Length of program
Faraday HVAC Program Free (100% Employer Paid) 6 weeks
HVAC School (Certificate Program) Up to $15,000 Up to 12 months
HVAC School (Associates Degree) Up to $40,000 Up to 2 years
HVAC Apprenticeship Typically Free Up to 5 years

Faraday HVAC program cost

Overview

We help you start a career in HVAC without any previous experience. After your apply, we connect you with local companies who hire you and pay for your training.

Cost

Free (100% Employer Paid)

Time required

6 weeks

Work opportunities

Faraday partners with HVAC companies across the country to find and train new apprentices.

HVAC school cost (certificate program)

Overview

You can get an HVAC certificate from a trade school to start your career as an HVAC technician. Some examples of HVAC trade schools are Atlanta Technical College, College of Lake County, and Central Georgia Technical College.

Cost

Costs for HVAC certificates typically range from $1,000 to $15,000. For example, the average net cost for Atlanta Technical College is $1,790, for College of Lake County is $3,870, and Central Georgia Technical College is $2,325.

Time required

The time it takes to get an HVAC certificate is from 6 to 12 months.

Work opportunities

After getting an HVAC certificate and your EPA 608 certification, you will have the opportunity to work for HVAC companies around the country.

HVAC school cost (Associate’s degree)

Overview

Another method to obtain training for an HVAC career is to get an Associate’s degree. Some of the top HVAC Associate’s degree programs include Bevill State Community College, Central New Mexico Community College, and Gadsden State Community College.

Cost

It typically costs between $5,000 and $40,000 to get an Associate’s degree. The estimated tuition for Bevill State Community college is $8,900. The estimated tuition for Central New Mexico Community College is $3,640 for New Mexico residents and $19,240 for non-New Mexico residents. The estimated tuition for Gadsden State Community College is $12,464 for Alabama residents and $22,570 for non-Alabama residents.

Time required

It typically takes two years to get an Associate’s degree. The estimated time required for an Associate’s degree from Bevill State Community College, for example, is two years and the estimated time required for Central New Mexico Community College and Gadsden State Community College is five semesters (two and a half years).

Work opportunities

After getting an Associate’s degree and your EPA 608 certification, you will have the opportunity to work for HVAC companies around the country.

HVAC apprenticeship cost

Overview

An apprenticeship is a great way to get HVAC training while also being paid. New apprenticeship opportunities are always opening and a great place to start looking is https://www.apprenticeship.gov/career-seekers.

Cost

Free – you typically get paid as an apprentice.

Time required

Apprenticeships typically take 3 to 5 years to complete but this depends on the specific apprenticeship.

Work opportunities

After completing an apprenticeship, you can try to continue working for the same company, or you can look for a new company to work for.

How to pay for HVAC school

  • Apply for grants. Grants are a great option to pay for HVAC school as they don’t not need to be paid back. The downside to grants is that they can be hard to get as most have strict eligibility requirements and are very competitive.
  • Apply for scholarships. Scholarships are another great option to pay for HVAC school and, like grants, they do not need to be paid back. Like grants, scholarships can be hard to get due to their competitive nature.
  • Fill out the FAFSA. If you are attending a college, the FAFSA shows you what grants, scholarships, and loans you qualify for with a single application.
  • Use savings. Another option to pay for HVAC school is to use savings. This is a good option if you have savings available, as you would not have to go into debt. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough to pay for school out of pocket, so this may not be an option for some people.