People wanting to enter this profitable industry have a number of options for studying and career advancement. Earning a certificate, diploma or degree in the heating and cooling industry qualifies a student to obtain certifications and compete for high-paying jobs. Many HVAC professionals get to be the boss as they run their own small businesses. HVAC professionals also influence government policy because they provide expert input into national energy standards and green energy.

Types of schools

Today, HVAC students hone their crafts in a variety of settings. There is something for every schedule and learning style. Students wanting hands-on instruction can study at a traditional, brick-and-mortar, ground school. Most of these schools schedule convenient classes for a diverse range of students.

Like most types of education and much of the world’s commerce, HVAC training has also gone online. A variety of virtual HVAC schools offer students time flexibility options and the comfort of pursuing their studies from their own home.

Online schools

Online schools offer all the major topics covered in brick-and-mortar HVAC programs, but with the convenience of virtual delivery. Students who study online learn about energy management, piping, efficiency and air quality. Many online schools undergo strict accreditation procedures, like their ground-school counterparts, adding marketable value to graduate degrees.

Attending an online school gives a student the opportunity to study in a niche area. Rather than studying what the school offers, the student can shop around and find the school that the teaches exactly what the student wants to learn. This gives a student the opportunity to study emerging industries and new markets with rising business possibilities. A student can attend school online even if there are no ground HVAC schools is his or her area. A student that needs flexible scheduling to accommodate work or family responsibilities can find a solution with an online HVAC school.

For an HVAC professional who already has a certification, online schools offer a convenient path to continuing education. Many online schools take great care to prepare students for certifications and exams such as EPA certification.

Ground schools

Because state licensure requirements vary from state to state, the benefit of attending a brick-and-mortar ground school is that the school likely tailors its program to the requirements of the individual state. A student attending a ground school knows that the school likely designed the program to meet the employment needs of its graduates, including state certifications and common local professional practices.

Ground schools also offer students the chance to gain practical experience. A student attending an HVAC ground school works with actual equipment. The student doesn’t just see video of how equipment works; rather, they actually work with the equipment with their own hands. Students learn how to troubleshoot heating and cooling problems. They learn how to work with and adjust moving parts. Instructors watch the students with ease and can provide immediate feedback or hands-on assistance with ease.

Finally, attending a ground school gives the students a chance to make friends with others in the industry. These professional contacts and leads may become critical to the students as they network to find jobs and create business.

Types of degrees

HVAC schools offer a variety of educational options, including certificate programs, diploma options, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees. Each degree comes with its own unique requirements and career outlook.


Certificate programs license a student in a particular skill or field of study. HVAC technician diplomas allow students to begin professional work in as little as a few months. In certificate programs, students learn how to inspect, diagnose and repair heating and cooling systems. Certificate programs usually provide a practical education with the goal of preparing the student for gainful employment quickly.


An associate’s degree is a highly regarded educational credential and likely covers a wide variety of topics. A student with an associate’s degree in the HVAC industry is likely well trained for a wide variety of related work. Instructors in this degree program usually have advanced degrees and programs include a combination of theoretical and practical study.

Diploma (professional diploma)

Professional diploma programs verify a student’s advanced skills in a highly specific area. Programs are detailed and tailored to meet a specific need. Diploma programs prepare students to meet specific licensure requirements and obtain competitive employment. A student with an HVAC diploma boasts specific credentials with rigorous evaluation requirements.


A bachelor’s degree in the HVAC industry is an affirmation of a student’s high skill level and preparation of leadership in his or her professional field. A bachelor’s degree prepares a student to work in theoretical and policy-making positions as well as in practical work for private clients.

There are hundreds of HVAC schools in the United States, and sometimes future students find it hard to navigate through them. We understand that first of all you will be looking for training options in your state. This is why we’ve decided to come up with an extensive state-by-state guide that not only lists HVAC schools in a given state, but will also briefly describe the institutions, so that you can evaluate whether it will make sense to broaden your search criteria (yes, sometimes it makes sense to consider a school in neighboring state, for example) or quickly get an idea about the closest school available.

Please note that we not only included in-campus training opportunities, but also online, correspondence or hybrid HVAC schools.

Just click on your state below and look through the HVAC training programmes available:

Once you find the school you like in your state, the process will be fairly simple. We will help you to send you contact info to the school of your choice and members of admission office will be in touch shortly. They will answer all your questions about a program and assist in preparing for admission.