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The Cost of HVAC Training: In-Classroom vs Online

Training for a career can kick-start greater income — especially if that career is in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). In 2021, the average annual pay of an HVAC technician was $54,690, according to BLS, and the top 10% brought in $78,210 or more (bls.gov).

Read: Five Pros Share Why They Pursued HVAC

Let’s break down typical costs of the most common forms of HVAC training and give you an idea of what you could pay in tuition. 

HVAC Tech Online Program Costs

In many instances, online schooling is less expensive because you aren’t paying for campus overhead, room and board, or even books, in some programs. This translates into real cost savings for you and your education. 

HVAC Certificate Online

For instance, a five-month HVAC technician certificate training program online at Penn Foster can be yours for as low as $699. Keep in mind, all numbers listed in this article are before any eligible financial aid is applied. For the many that qualify for financial aid, your out-of-pocket costs could be even lower.

A nationally accredited certificate program such as this can have you career-ready for an entry-level position in the HVAC industry in as few as 6 months!

HVAC Associate Degree Online

Online associate degrees take about two years to finish, and while they do exist for HVAC technician training, completely online associate programs are less common. However, in 2021, more trades programs are moving toward online education than ever before, so availability might increase in coming years.

In general, an online associate degree will usually cost more than an online certificate program, due to the additional credits you’ll take, many of which will not be related to HVAC.

HVAC Tech On-Campus Program Costs

On-campus programs are another way to receive an excellent HVAC technician education. Many people prefer to train in the classroom for the hands-on learning experience.  Depending on your location, you’ll likely have multiple programs to consider, and even more if you’re in a heavily populated area.

Find an in-classroom HVAC training program near you now.

On-Campus HVAC Certificate Programs

On-campus certificate programs are an extremely popular training option. Some of these programs can be completed nearly as quickly as an online option. Plus, you get to learn the trade with your hands. Remember, applicable financial aid could lower your training program costs.

A six-month certificate in refrigeration and HVAC training on campus at RSI has an estimated price of $16,735

On-Campus HVAC Associate Degree Programs

Like we mentioned above, associate degree prices typically run higher than the cost of a certificate. The range, however, does vary.

An HVAC associate degree at Manchester Community College in Connecticut costs an estimated $17,505. Meanwhile, at the New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island, the price of a Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating Technology associate degree is approximately $31,500.

Deciding What’s Best

When choosing your program, consider the following:

  1. There are many scholarships and grants that could turn a higher-cost program into an affordable option for you. Read more about getting financial aid for trade school.
  2. Fast training is one of the biggest benefits of HVAC. You can complete training in as few as 6 months, meaning you’ll be earning money soon after! However, some people enjoy more time in training, taking additional courses that interest them. 
  3. Online HVAC programs can be a great fit for many. If you like to learn independently, they might be perfect for you. For others, a campus-based program may be better. Consider attending in-person training if you want to be getting your hands dirty right alongside other students.

 Find an accredited HVAC training program now and start toward a good career that can transform your life!


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