10 Top HVAC Bachelor’s Degree Programs

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Getting a great career off the ground means building a strong foundation in the field you want to pursue. With HVAC careers, it is no different, but there are a range of paths that you can follow towards that will lead you towards that critical first job, and eventually to a sustainable and rewarding career.

Many HVAC professionals get their start with a two-year degree or a certificate. This can be an expedient way to get one foot in the door with some basic HVAC knowledge. However, for those ambitious individuals who want to go further in the field and perhaps even own their own HVAC business one day, a Bachelor’s Degree can represent a major competitive advantage. According to CareerOneStop, an employment site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, just 4.1% of HVAC technicians have a Bachelor’s Degree, making it an impressive indicator on any resume.

Following you will find 10 highly rated schools that offer a Bachelor’s program in HVAC technology or closely related fields, such as facilities management or operations management. Earning this type of degree demonstrates not only a willingness to learn, but a capacity to lead. Any of these programs could be a tremendous launching pad for a new HVAC career.

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan maintains a Bachelor's Degree program in Technology Management. While this program is not exclusive to HVAC students, those who have an Associate's Degree in HVAC (as well as other fields) are eligible to apply. Students must complete a number of general education courses, including a writing seminar, before graduation. Courses specific to the major include Information Technology Management and Organizations, Technology Project Management, and Principles of Macroeconomics. This type of degree is ideal for someone who wants to aim for a management role at an HVAC company. Aside from these requirements the major is generally open-ended and appropriate for anyone with a technology-based associate's degree who wishes to pursue further studies.

Ferris State University

Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan offers a two-year Bachelor's Degree program for HVAC students. All applicants must have completed an Associate of Applied Sciences degree from Ferris State University or another approved college to be eligible for the Bachelor's program. To graduate, students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and fulfill all general education requirements, in addition to the HVAC-specific course load.

Lewis-Clark State College

Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho offers a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in HVAC studies. In addition to HVAC courses, students must take general education courses in English, Social Sciences, and Natural Science. To obtain the BAS degree, students at LCSC must complete a total of 120 credit hours.

Minnesota State University at Moorhead

The Minnesota State University campus at Moorhead has articulation agreements with local community colleges, including Hennepin Technical College. This means that HVAC students who obtain an Associate of Applied Science degree at any of these schools are able to transfer to MSU to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Operations Management. This program also has online learning options, for the ultimate in flexibility.

New England Institute of Technology

At the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, students can pursue a two-year degree in HVAC. From there, graduates are eligible to continue their studies at NEIT and pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management. Graduates of this program will have a fundamental understanding of HVAC technologies in addition to background in the technologies that are driving global business overall. NEIT graduates can go on to purse a career in HVAC repair, or start their own business with the knowledge they have gained.

New York City College of Technology

The Department of Environmental Control and Facilities Management at New York City College of Technology (also known as City Tech) offers two HVAC programs. The first is an Associate of Applied Science track that takes two years of study. Those choosing to continue can earn a Bachelor of Technology degree in facilities management. Both of these programs prepare students to explore an HVAC career in New York City or elsewhere after graduation. Graduates of the bachelor's program have gone on to manage large facilities including hospitals, office buildings, and universities.

North Central University

The HVAC program at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota is unique when compared to the other bachelor's degree programs on this list. Students at NCU who complete the program will receive both a Bachelor's of Applied Sciences from NCU and an Associate of Applied Sciences degree from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. This means the NCU program is ideal for those students who know they want to pursue a Bachelor's Degree and do not want to have to apply again after completing their two year degree.

Pennsylvania College of Technology

The Pennsylvania College of Technology, located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Design Technology. Graduates of the program will have a marketable background in business management and supervision in addition to HVAC skills, making this a valuable degree for anyone wanting to pursue supervisory work. Applicants must take either the SAT or ACT and should have a high school background in algebra as well as communications.

Ranken Technical College

Ranken Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science HVAC degree. Students who complete this track can apply their credits earned towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Management. In this way, Ranken students can learn the technical ins and outs of HVAC installation and maintenance as well as the management skills required to take on a supervisory role. There are both daytime and night classes available, giving added flexibility to the program.

Siena Heights University

With campuses throughout Michigan, including a main campus in Adrian, Siena Heights University is an ideal choice for those seeking an HVAC bachelor's degree in Michigan or the Midwest. The Bachelor of Applied Science degree allows students in a variety of trade disciplines, including HVAC, to earn a bachelor's degree. Interested applicants must already have an Associate of Applied Science degree from an accredited institution. An apprenticeship or other hands-on training is required for completion of the degree.

Methodology

Although there are many different HVAC programs throughout the U.S., not very many are designed with a bachelor's degree as the end goal. The following are the criteria we used to choose the programs that appear on this list.

  1. Flexibility Whether someone is a recent high school graduate or is looking to change careers, it is hard to commit to a four year program without any type of background in the field. Many of the programs on this list offer both an associate's degree and bachelor's degree track. This gives students the opportunity to start their career after two years, or to carry on with their education in hopes of landing a more senior role.

  2. Accreditation & Endorsement Accreditation is an important part of any institution of higher learning and HVAC programs are no exception. The schools on this list are accredited by nationally recognize groups, such as the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) and endorsed by such agencies as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). These bodies evaluate the degree programs to make sure they meet certain programmatic standards so that all graduates are well prepared for a career in the HVAC industry.

  3. Career Prospects Four years is a long time to study anything so it is important that graduates are prepared for real jobs. The programs on this list make it a point to train students in both the technical aspects of HVAC maintenance and installation as well as the management and communication components of actually working in the field.

Barry Franklin

Barry is the Editor in Chief of HVACClasses.org, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures, which he joined as partner in 2013 after almost 20 years in the financial software industry.

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