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How Much Is Online HVAC Training vs. Classroom Training?


Have you heard that phrase, ‘the almighty dollar’? Some days, our cash doesn't feel anywhere near that powerful, especially if you’ve been employed in jobs that don’t maximize your potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported this as well: In 2019, Americans with some higher education made more money than those without additional schooling.

Training for a career can kick-start greater income—especially if that career is in heating, cooling, and ventilation! Consider this: In 2019, the average annual pay of an HVAC technician was $51,420, according to BLS, and the top 10% brought in $77,920 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 with real-life tuition examples.

HVAC Tech Online Program Costs

Many of us are used to finding savings on the internet. We can locate the lowest price on an item with the click of a mouse. Does that same opportunity translate into career training for HVAC online? Yes, in many instances, because you aren’t paying for campus overhead, room and board, or even books, in some programs. 

HVAC Certificate Online

For instance, a 5-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—and in under half a year!

HVAC Associate Degree Online

Online associate degrees take about 2 years to finish, and while they do exist for HVAC technician training, completely online associate programs are uncommon. However, in 2020, more trades programs are moving toward online education than ever before, so availability might increase.

In general, an online associate degree will usually cost much 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. Some people prefer to train in the classroom for the hands-on learning experience. If that’s you, then great! 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 6-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.

What’s Best

When you’re assessing your options, coming to a decision can get overwhelming fast. Can we give you some things to think about that may help?

  1. The listed price doesn’t have to be the end-all, be-all decision maker. 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 most satisfying benefits of HVAC. You can complete training in as few as 6 months, meaning you’ll be earning money soon after! However, the fastest training program may be best for you, or it might not. Some people enjoy more time in training, taking additional courses that interest them. This is your education experience; shape it how you want.
  3. The options: Online HVAC programs can be a blessing—train when and where you want. If you like an individualistic way to learn, they might be perfect for you. For others, a campus-based program is better: Consider attending in-person training if you want to be getting your hands dirty right alongside other students.

Make your dollars work for you. Find YOUR accredited HVAC training program now, and start toward a good career that can transform any initial investment into high pay!

Reference: Bls.gov - Education pays

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