HVAC Training Schools in Missouri

Connect With HVAC Schools

In the Show-Me State with its balmy summers and cool winters, there’s a thriving demand for skilled professionals in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R). In this relatively high paying industry, there’s an array of Missouri-based trade associations supporting workers in this field. For example, the Missouri Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors was incorporated in 1985 and represents 106 licensed contractor firms across the eastern region of Missouri (MO). Not only does the group offer educational programs to fulfill varying municipal licensing requirements, but it also boasts a monthly newsletter, a lending library, legislative advocacy, networking events, and group discounts for some services. Two other organizations of note are the Eastern Missouri Mechanical Contractors Association, which provides a state-of-the-art training center, and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Kansas City (MCA-KC), which has training events, labor relations resources, and legal advocacy at the local and federal levels for issues affecting the industry. In 2015, the MCA-KC celebrated its 125th anniversary, and it continues to be a mainstay HVAC organization in the KC area.

HVAC installers and technicians in Missouri have varied responsibilities in their profession such as laying electrical wiring and pipes; repairing or maintaining system components (e.g., motors, humidifiers, hermetic compressors, filters, fans, controls, split systems, water pumps, economizers, etc.); calculating heat loads and losses; soldering and brazing parts; keeping detailed customer service records; engaging in ongoing training; performing all HVAC work to manufacturer specifications; keeping active municipal credentialing (as necessary, in cities such as KC); being fluent in versatile system types (e.g., oil burning, gas, geothermal); and making recommendations to clients to improve the energy-efficiency or cost-effectiveness of systems.

While some of these professionals focus on one point-of-entry (e.g., installation, maintenance, etc.) or a type of equipment (e.g., commercial refrigerators, oil-burning furnaces), others may be generalist workers capable of servicing a range of equipment types. It’s important to add that as of December 2016, there wasn’t a specific state license required, but local requirements on permitting vary by municipality, a variable discussed in the licensing section below. Also, all workers nationwide who handle refrigerants must get the EPA Section 608 certification, the sole nationally mandatory credential in this field.

This guide covers the wealth of accredited HVAC training schools in MO, as well as the growth projections in the industry, salary prospects, and local licensing procedures.

Featured Online Programs

Penn

Learn online, at a pace that's right for you

Online HVACR Technician Career DiplomaRequest Info
Online Automotive HVAC Essentials Certificate Request Info

Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Missouri

As mentioned in the introduction, HVAC is a high-growth industry in Missouri and beyond. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Dec. 2015) predicted a 14 percent increase in openings in this field nationwide between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average growth anticipated across all occupations (7 percent) during that time period. There’s evidence that the countrywide projected growth of HVAC openings is roughly similar to that in MO. Projections Central (Dec. 2016) reported that there would be a 13.1 percent explosion in positions in this field during the same decade; with the expected addition of 640 fresh openings in MO’s HVAC industry, it’s considered to be a discipline on the rise.

There are varied forces contributing to the steady stream of opportunities for MO HVAC workers. Not only do these systems need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, but since most modern structures have climate control systems, the servicing needs are steady throughout the year, even during the lower spring and fall seasons. Furthermore, many owners of older buildings opt to upgrade or retrofit their structures with state-of-the-art HVAC equipment, and this too provides a wealth of opportunities. In areas of high rates of construction like Kansas City, there’s a particular need for HVAC installation services. Additionally, the legislation continually evolves regarding the energy-efficiency of systems, not to mention all clients’ desire to have the most cost-effective solutions in place, twin forces which are contributing to the healthy employment atmosphere for these workers.

The BLS (Dec. 2015) notes that HVAC workers incur one of the highest rates of injury and illness among American professions for several reasons: these skilled professionals may be expected to lift heavy equipment, deal with refrigerants, travel to job sites in all weather conditions, and occasionally work in cramped conditions. All of these features of the job can lead to a higher-than-average incidence of muscle strains, electric shock, frostbite, burns, and other work-related complications. As long as HVAC professionals in MO don proper safety equipment and have rigorous training prior to completing projects in the field, these risks can generally be kept to a minimum.

As proof of the booming industry in HVAC, Indeed (Dec. 2016) had 387 relevant HVAC openings in MO, including positions with Springfield Mechanical Services Inc., A & E Kitchen Service LLC, Hornbuckle Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing Inc., Harster Heating & Air Conditioning Company, Vogel Heating & Cooling, Energy Solutions of St. Louis, Nob Hill Apartments, Reddy Ice, Sierra Air, Mercy, Arizon Companies, A & E Kitchen Service LLC, Fairfield Inn (Marriott), Academy Air Heating & Air Conditioning, Captive-Aire Systems Inc., Remodel STL, DAVCO Mechanical Services LLC, Brentwood Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., and New Systems Air Conditioning & Heating. Monster (Dec. 2016) boasted an additional 51 MO openings with varied employers such as AB May, Hunter Engineering, Midwest Underground Technology, Lennox International, Tradesmen International Inc., Sodexo, and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing (KC), to name a few.

Missouri HVAC Salaries

Not only is HVAC a high-growth profession, it’s also relatively lucrative, especially for a profession requiring only one to two years of postsecondary training. As proof of point, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2015) reported that the 274,680 HVAC workers around the country made an annual average salary of $47,380, and had the following percentiles:

United States of America (274,680 HVAC workers): $47,380 annual average salary

  • 10th percentile: $27,790
  • 25th percentile: $34,920
  • 50th percentile (median): $45,110
  • 75th percentile: $58,070
  • 90th percentile: $71,690

Put into hourly figures, the above numbers equated to:

USA: $22.78/hr. average

  • 10th percentile: $13.36/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.79/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $21.69/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $27.92/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $34.47/hr.

These figures varied slightly according to a different source of data. Payscale (Dec. 2016)—a site which relies on self-reported salaries—found that its 451 HVAC respondents had the following percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $29,000
  • 25th percentile: $35,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $42,886
  • 75th percentile: $53,000
  • 90th percentile: $67,000

An additional 2,486 HVAC workers offered Payscale (Dec. 2016) their salaries in hourly figures, resulting in the following percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $13.00/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.00/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $18.00/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $24.00/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $29.00/hr.

Impressively, HVAC professionals in Missouri were paid slightly higher than the national averages from both data sources; this is notable because MO is also one of the most affordable states in the country in which to live, and salaries here go further than elsewhere. In fact, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2016) reported that MO was the eighth most affordable state in the country, boasting special savings in housing and transportation relative to other US states. Keep this additional bonus in mind while evaluating the generous salary figures for MO HVAC workers.

The BLS (May 2015) reported that there were 4,280 HVAC mechanics and installers in MO with an average annual salary of $48,490 and the following percentiles:

Missouri (4,280 HVAC workers): $48,490 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $27,260
  • 25th percentile: $33,950
  • 50th percentile (median): $46,100
  • 75th percentile: $60,610
  • 90th percentile: $75,940

And in hourly terms:

MO: $23.31/hr. average

  • 10th percentile: $13.10/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.32/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $22.16/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $29.14/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $36.51/hr.

Not surprisingly, these figures also varied among the 12 BLS-designated regions in Missouri. St. Louis was the top-employing area in this career field, and Kansas City boasted the highest mean wages. Here were the numbers of HVAC workers employed, the averages salaries, and the wage percentiles:

Cape Girardeau, MO-IL (80 HVAC workers): $46,690 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $31,050
  • 25th percentile: $37,710
  • 50th percentile (median): $44,410
  • 75th percentile: $51,340
  • 90th percentile: $63,650

Central Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area (250 employed): $40,790 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $26,820
  • 25th percentile: $32,940
  • 50th percentile (median): $37,840
  • 75th percentile: $47,550
  • 90th percentile: $58,420

Columbia, MO (220 employed): $52,840 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $41,090
  • 25th percentile: $45,130
  • 50th percentile (median): $52,330
  • 75th percentile: $60,410
  • 90th percentile: $67,600

Jefferson City, MO (60 employed): no additional data available

Joplin, MO (unknown number employed): $49,520 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $30,140
  • 25th percentile: $38,070
  • 50th percentile (median): $53,920
  • 75th percentile: $59,620
  • 90th percentile: $63,090

Kansas City, MO-KS (1,560 employed): $58,720 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $34,780
  • 25th percentile: $43,520
  • 50th percentile (median): $56,200
  • 75th percentile: $68,860
  • 90th percentile: $93,540

North Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area (160 employed): $34,850 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $25,590
  • 25th percentile: $28,150
  • 50th percentile (median): $32,660
  • 75th percentile: $41,340
  • 90th percentile: $48,270

Southeast Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area (350 employed): $48,150 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $28,980
  • 25th percentile: $34,930
  • 50th percentile (median): $44,450
  • 75th percentile: $65,620
  • 90th percentile: $74,270

Southwest Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area (240 employed): $38,160 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $18,350
  • 25th percentile: $28,800
  • 50th percentile (median): $34,880
  • 75th percentile: $43,750
  • 90th percentile: $70,110

Springfield, MO (410 employed): $44,750 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $31,080
  • 25th percentile: $34,790
  • 50th percentile (median): $42,580
  • 75th percentile: $53,950
  • 90th percentile: $64,990

Springfield, MO (unknown number employed): $33,170 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $16,780
  • 25th percentile: $18,080
  • 50th percentile (median): $32,670
  • 75th percentile: $38,550
  • 90th percentile: $65,800

St. Joseph, MO-IL (unknown number employed): $33,170 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $16,780
  • 25th percentile: $18,080
  • 50th percentile (median): $32,670
  • 75th percentile: $38,550
  • 90th percentile: $65,800

St. Louis, MO-IL (1,580 employed): $48,620 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $26,660
  • 25th percentile: $31,360
  • 50th percentile (median): $49,090
  • 75th percentile: $61,130
  • 90th percentile: $73,310

Lastly, here were the same figures in hourly terms:

Cape Girardeau, MO-IL: $22.45/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $14.93/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $18.13/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $21.35/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $24.68/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $30.60/hr.

Central Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area: $19.61/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $12.90/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.84/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $18.19/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $22.86/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $28.09/hr.

Columbia, MO: $25.40/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $19.76/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $21.70/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $25.16/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $29.04/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $32.15/hr.

Jefferson City, MO (60 employed): no additional data available

Joplin, MO: $23.81/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $14.49/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $18.31/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $25.92/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $28.66/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $30.33/hr.

Kansas City, MO-KS: $28.23/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $16.72/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $20.92/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $27.02/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $33.11/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $30.33/hr.

North Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area: $16.75/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $12.30/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $13.53/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $15.70/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $19.87/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $23.21/hr.

Southeast Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area: $23.15/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $13.93/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.79/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $21.37/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $31.55/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $35.71/hr.

Southwest Missouri Nonmetropolitan Area: $18.35/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $8.82/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $12.41/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $16.77/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $21.03/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $33.71/hr.

Springfield, MO: $21.51/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $14.94/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.73/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $20.47/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $25.94/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $31.25/hr.

St. Joseph, MO-IL: $15.95/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $8.07/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $8.69/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $15.71/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $18.53/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $31.63/hr.

St. Louis, MO-IL: $23.38/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $12.82/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.08/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $23.60/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $29.39/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $35.25/hr.

Accredited HVAC Schools in Missouri

Fortunately for aspiring HVAC professionals in MO, there is an abundance of accredited training schools in the state. The two main program-approval entities nationwide are HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA); interested students are encouraged to check out those websites or the HVAC programs homepage to learn about how programs are accredited.

In MO, there were seven HVAC Excellence-accredited programs as of December 2016. For example, the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center provides training in conjunction with the local Mineral Area College. Classes include fundamental circuitry, refrigeration systems, schematics reading, and troubleshooting systems, to name a few. Preparation for the EPA Section 608 certification is also provided, and credits from qualifying CGC & TC programs may be transferred to MAC for an associate of applied science (AAS) degree.

Hillyard Vocational Technical School of St. Joseph offers a nine-month HVAC/R program, featuring preparation for several certification exams such as the HVAC Excellence Gas HEAT and other Employment-Ready certifications, EPA 608, and R410A Safety. The program comprises 900 clock hours of training, and estimated costs can be determined through the school’s interactive HVTC cost calculator.

Ozarks Technical Community College of Springfield has a 63-hour AAS degree program with advanced training in basic refrigeration theory & application; electricity for heating, refrigerators & A/C; refrigerator motors & controls; air distribution systems; commercial refrigeration systems; and residential heating & air conditioning. Tuition costs per credit vary by course and residency, falling between $98 and $216 per credit hour of education.

There’s one MO program boasting both HVAC Excellence and PAHRA accreditation: the State Technical College of Missouri with a campus in Linn provides a competitive AAS program in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technology. Courses include the fundamentals of refrigeration & air conditioning; electrical fundamentals; residential & commercial heating & cooling; commercial refrigeration; sheet metal duct fabrication; and more. For in-state residents, these programs cost $159.75 per credit hour and for non-residents, it’s $319.50.

Lastly, some aspiring HVAC professionals in MO may live in more rural regions of the state or have other scheduling conflicts preventing them from attending an on-campus program. Luckily there’s a wealth of distance-based programs as well, which are discussed on the online HVAC programs page.

HVAC Certification & Licensing in Missouri

Prior to beginning work, HVAC technicians in Missouri must ensure that they have all proper credentialing prior to agreeing to a project. As mentioned in the introduction, there is one mandatory certification for all people nationwide who work with refrigerants—the EPA Section 608 certification—of which there is four subtypes:

  • Type 1 (small appliance)
  • Type 2 (high-pressure appliances)
  • Type 3 (low-pressure appliances)
  • Type 4 (universal)

Other organizations which offer employment-ready credentials recognized by employers in MO include:

To learn about how to achieve credentialing through these agencies and which types of certifications are available, please visit the HVAC certifications page.

Finally, as mentioned above, there is currently no state license required to perform HVAC work in Missouri. That said, the requirements for permits vary widely between municipalities. For example, the Kansas City Planning & Development requires HVAC contractor licensing through its permits division. To qualify, candidates must submit:

  • A completed ‘certificate’ application with reference letters
  • An application fee ($55)
  • Passing score (at least 70 percent) on the KC exam, or an equivalent

Above all, prospective HVAC workers in MO are strongly advised to check with all municipal authorities prior to beginning work, as HVAC permitting procedures vary by jurisdiction.