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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 2023, the average annual pay of an HVAC technician was $59,620, according to BLS, and the top 10% brought in $84,250 (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 a potential cost savings for you and your education. Keep in mind, that these expenses are before any eligible financial aid is applied. For many students that might qualify for financial aid, your expenses may be even a little lower.

HVAC Certificate Online

A nationally accredited certificate program can have you career-ready in as few as 6 months. Certificate programs are great alternatives for students who want quicker training than what they might find at a university, and tend to be lower in cost too.

While the exact price depends on the program itself, many certificate programs range in price from hundreds of dollars, to a couple grand. You can expect some form of hands-on training required — even in an online certificate program.

HVAC Associate Degree Online

Online associate degrees take about 2 years to finish, and while they do exist for HVAC technician training, but completely online associate HVAC programs are less common. This is mainly due to the fact that, as mentioned previously, HVAC training programs tend to require some form of hands-on training.

Generally speaking, online associate degrees tend to be more costly than online certificate programs. This is mainly due to the additional credits/pre-requisite classes you are required to take for an associate degree. However, some prefer an associate degree because it can give students a more well-rounded education.

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. Your location can determine the amount of on-campus HVAC programs that are available to you. Some locations have more on-campus options than others.

You can find an in-classroom HVAC training program near you!

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, as well.

On-Campus HVAC Associate Degree Programs

As mentioned above, associate degree prices typically run higher than the cost of a certificate. The range, however, does vary — some schools might charge just under $18,000, whereas others could fall just over $31,000. It depends on your specific school.

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. Comparatively faster training than 4-year university programs is one of the biggest benefits of HVAC (or any trade for that matter). You can complete training in as few as 6 months, meaning, once you are employed, you can begin 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 working toward one of the hottest trades in the industry.


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