HVAC Training Schools in Dallas, Texas

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For residents of Dallas who are seeking a high-growth career with accelerated training and relatively high pay, becoming a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional can be an excellent choice. It’s no surprise that this city is in need of qualified HVAC workers given the hot summers, often with highs in the 90s. There’s also a vibrant support network in Dallas; in fact, the city hosted the 2013 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Expo® and Winter Conference (Southwest HVAC News). The event offered around 200 hours of continuing education (CE) opportunities to be applied to various types of HVAC credentials and licenses. Some of the topics covered at this event included energy conservation; large building design; industrial & transportation ventilation; HVAC/R fundamentals & equipment; guidelines & codes; and facility management.

One trade group of note the Dallas area is the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of North Texas, a not-for-profit contractor association. The parent organization, the PHCC, was founded in 1883 and has continually provided resources for HVAC workers across the country such as training, networking events, group insurance, access to a workers compensation trust, legal advocacy, and other services. The North Texas chapter even offers discounts on various certification classes and a competitive apprenticeship program.

In Dallas and beyond, HVAC mechanics and installers fulfill an important role in climate control, taking on responsibilities such as performing heat load & loss calculations; troubleshooting HVAC equipment & components (e.g., motors, intake & exhaust fans, economizers, humidifiers, pumps, wiring, pipes, gauges, air ducts, valves, blowers, furnaces, hermetic compressors); soldering & brazing parts; giving clients new system upgrades or energy efficiency recommendations; staying on top of legislative changes; keeping detailed customer service records; and maintaining all necessary permitting or licensure through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Some of these skilled professionals choose to specialize in a type of equipment (e.g., industrial ventilation). It’s important to note that all refrigeration specialists nationwide are required to seek the EPA Section 608 certification; this is due to the difficulty and environmental sensitivity of handling common refrigerant chemicals.

This guide serves as a resource for people in Dallas and surrounding areas of the Lone Star State which are seeking information about becoming an HVAC professional in the region. It includes a discussion of the rising employment opportunities, the salary prospects, accredited training programs, and HVAC licensure procedures in Dallas and beyond.

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Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Dallas

As mentioned in the introduction, the employment prospects in HVAC are expanding rapidly across the country, especially in the Lone Star State. As proof of point, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Dec. 2015) reported that there would be a 14 percent explosion in HVAC positions across the country between 2014 and 2024, much more robust than the average growth anticipated across all professions during that time period (7 percent). Furthermore, there’s evidence that the future looks even brighter in Texas. In fact, CareerOneStop (2016)—a partner of the US Department of Labor—anticipated that HVAC mechanics and installers would be the tenth fastest-growing career among people in the state with “some college.” In more detailed terms, the COS projected a 29 percent explosion in HVAC opportunities across Texas between 2014 and 2024; with the expected addition of 6,740 fresh positions in this field in the coming years, the prospects looks especially bright in this area.

Also, Texas already employs the second-most HVAC workers of any state in the US at 21,810, just behind Florida’s 26,390. And the BLS (May 2015) found that two of the ten top-employing metropolitan regions in the US were located in TX: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and the Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division. In sum, there’s no shortage of opportunities in the Lone Star State, and particularly in the Dallas area.

Dallas HVAC technicians work in a wide array of commercial and residential environments, including factories, schools, hospitals, and other structures. Approximately one in ten HVAC workers across the country were self-employed in 2014, and another 63 percent worked in the contractor’s’ industry.

It’s important to note that people in this line of work may suffer a higher-than-average rate of injury compared to other American occupations. This is due to the physical nature of the work which carries an elevated risk of electrical shock, muscle strains, tears, burns, and other problems. That said, with adequate training and the use of safety equipment, these complications can be kept to a minimum.

Some HVAC professionals in Dallas work normal business hours, while others may be called upon to work evenings, holidays, or weekends, especially during the high summer season when demand peaks. The fact that HVAC systems generally need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years and the rising incidence of year-round service contracts are two factors contributing to the steady demand in this industry.

Finally, there’s much evidence across popular job posting sites that opportunities in HVAC are on the rise in Dallas. In fact, Indeed (Nov. 2016) had 478 relevant HVAC worker postings from the Dallas area, including openings at Comfort Experts, Direct Energy, Tempo Mechanical Services Inc., City Wide Mechanical, HTS Texas, AC Appliance Pros, Airstar Services, Perfectly Green Corp., Millian-Aire Enterprises, Intertek, Lennox International, Hedrick Mechanical, Crawford Services, United Services Mechanical, Cushman & Wakefield, Progress Residential, Pearce Services LLC, and Moore AC & Heating Services. Monster (Nov. 2016) boasted an additional 408 employers seeking HVAC techs from the region, including Vertech Services LLC, Elite Services Company, Almcoe Refrigeration, AIP Aerospace LLC, Hawkes & Company, Mid America Apartment Communities, A/C Rescue Inc., Temperature Pro Dallas, VIOX Services, Texas Health Resources, and more.

Dallas HVAC Technician Salary Data

Not only is Texas one of the more affordable states in the country, but also the HVAC worker salaries are roughly on par with the national averages. By illustration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2015) reported that there were 274,680 HVAC mechanics and installers nationwide with an annual average salary of $47,380. In more detailed terms, the range of these national salaries was reflected by the following percentiles:

United States (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

And for those who prefer salaries in hourly figures, the wages above equated to:

United States: $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.

Interestingly, these figures varied by source of data. For comparative purposes, here were the salary percentiles for 451 HVAC workers nationwide according to Payscale (Nov. 2016), a site which aggregates self-reported data:

United States (451 HVAC respondents)

  • 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 respondents gave their hourly salaries to Payscale (Nov. 2016), and they had the following percentiles:

United States (2,486 HVAC respondents)

  • 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.

In Texas, the averages and percentiles were only slightly lower than the national figures. This is significant because TX is more affordable than roughly 80 percent of US states. As proof of point, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2016) found that TX was the eleventh cheapest state, boasting particular savings in housing and groceries relative to the rest of the country. Please keep this fact in mind while evaluating these regional salaries for HVAC professionals.

The BLS (May 2015) reported that there were 21,810 HVAC workers across TX, the second-most of any US state. Here are the wage percentiles for the Lone Star State:

Texas (21,810 HVAC workers): $42,830 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $26,840
  • 25th percentile: $33,110
  • 50th percentile (median): $40,610
  • 75th percentile: $51,080
  • 90th percentile: $61,460

And in hourly figures:

Texas: $20.59/hr. average

  • 10th percentile: $12,90/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.92/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $19.52/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $24.56/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $29.55/hr.

In Dallas, the figures were even higher. While Indeed (Nov. 2016) reported that HVAC workers in Dallas had an annual average salary of $42,000, the BLS (May 2015) reported that the HVAC professionals in this area commanded an average salary of $45,390 or $46,460, depending on which side of the city. Here were the average salaries, numbers of HVAC workers employed, and wage percentiles among the 13 BLS-designated regions of TX around Dallas:

Abilene, TX (60 HVAC workers): $41,740 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $24,370
  • 25th percentile: $32,020
  • 50th percentile (median): $41,110
  • 75th percentile: $53,580
  • 90th percentile: $60,270

Border Region of Texas Nonmetropolitan Area (100 employed): $32,310 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $22,670
  • 25th percentile: $26,260
  • 50th percentile (median): $30,130
  • 75th percentile: $36,970
  • 90th percentile: $46,490

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (5,480 employed): $45,390 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $30,870
  • 25th percentile: $35,260
  • 50th percentile (median): $42,970
  • 75th percentile: $54,380
  • 90th percentile: $63,450

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division (3,880 employed): $46,460 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $31,850
  • 25th percentile: $35,740
  • 50th percentile (median): $43,560
  • 75th percentile: $56,010
  • 90th percentile: $67,630

Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division (1,600 employed): $42,780 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $28,540
  • 25th percentile: $34,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $41,810
  • 75th percentile: $50,810
  • 90th percentile: $60,150

Killeen-Temple, TX (420 employed): $35,710 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $21,810
  • 25th percentile: $31,220
  • 50th percentile (median): $35,910
  • 75th percentile: $41,830
  • 90th percentile: $49,220

Longview, TX (170 employed): $41,000 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $27,950
  • 25th percentile: $33,990
  • 50th percentile (median): $39,350
  • 75th percentile: $47,430
  • 90th percentile: $57,870

North Texas Region of Texas Nonmetropolitan Area (430 employed): $39,320 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $27,580
  • 25th percentile: $32,970
  • 50th percentile (median): $38,080
  • 75th percentile: $46,360
  • 90th percentile: $54,840

Sherman-Denison, TX (unknown number employed): $41,150 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $24,050
  • 25th percentile: $28,640
  • 50th percentile (median): $37,440
  • 75th percentile: $55,110
  • 90th percentile: $61,560

Texarkana, TX-AR (90 employed): $40,770 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $28,660
  • 25th percentile: $34,940
  • 50th percentile (median): $40,990
  • 75th percentile: $47,730
  • 90th percentile: $51,700

Tyler, TX (160 employed): $40,710 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $26,010
  • 25th percentile: $30,190
  • 50th percentile (median): $40,940
  • 75th percentile: $49,750
  • 90th percentile: $58,400

Waco, TX (260 employed): $36,760 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $21,410
  • 25th percentile: $25,120
  • 50th percentile (median): $34,270
  • 75th percentile: $44,330
  • 90th percentile: $57,730

Wichita Falls, TX (130 employed): $40,640 avg.

  • 10th percentile: $24,940
  • 25th percentile: $28,590
  • 50th percentile (median): $35,960
  • 75th percentile: $47,620
  • 90th percentile: $63,560

Lastly, here were the figures of HVAC workers around Dallas in hourly terms (BLS May 2015):

Abilene, TX (60 HVAC workers): $20.07/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $11.72/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.39/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $19.76/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $25.76/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $28.98/hr.

Border Region of Texas Nonmetropolitan Area (100 employed): $15.53/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $10.90/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $12.63/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $14.49/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $17.77/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $22.35/hr.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (5,480 employed): $21.82/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $14.84/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.95/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $20.66/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $26.15/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $30.50/hr.

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division (3,880 employed): $22.34/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $15.31/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $17.18/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $20.94/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $26.93/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $32.52/hr.

Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division (1,600 employed): $20.57/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $13.72/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.35/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $20.10/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $24.43/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $28.92/hr.

Killeen-Temple, TX (420 employed): $17.17/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $10.49/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.01/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $17.27/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $20.11/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $23.66/hr.

Longview, TX (170 employed): $19.71/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $13.44/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.34/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $18.92/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $22.80/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $27.82/hr.

North Texas Region of Texas Nonmetropolitan Area (430 employed): $18.90/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $13.26/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.85/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $18.31/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $22.29/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $26.36/hr.

Sherman-Denison, TX (unknown number employed): $19.78/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $11.56/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $13.77/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $18.00/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $26.50/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $29.60/hr.

Texarkana, TX-AR (90 employed): $19.60/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $13.78/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.80/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $19.70/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $22.95/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $24.86/hr.

Tyler, TX (160 employed): $19.57/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $12.51/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $14.52/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $19.68/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $23.92/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $28.08/hr.

Waco, TX (260 employed): $17.68/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $10.29/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $12.08/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $16.48/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $21.31/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $27.76/hr.

Wichita Falls, TX (130 employed): $19.54/hour avg.

  • 10th percentile: $11.99/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $13.75/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $17.29/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $22.89/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $30.56/hr.

Accredited HVAC Schools in Dallas

Prior to becoming an HVAC professional in Dallas, it’s crucial to receive proper training and preparation for the career. There are two main organizations which accredit HVAC training programs: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). To learn about how each approves institutions and programs, check out the organizations’ websites or the “accreditation” section of the HVAC programs homepage.

As of November 2016, there was one HVAC Excellence-accredited program in the Dallas area. Lincoln Tech’s Grand Prairie, TX campus is located in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Courses in this HVAC training program include introduction to climate control systems; electricity; basic refrigeration systems; air conditioning; warm air heating; and energy efficiency & green technology systems. There’s a world-class 152,000 square-foot facility which hosts HVAC classes and other vocational training. Lincoln Tech’s HVAC program costs between $18,000 and $24,000.

There’s also one PAHRA-accredited program in nearby Wichita Falls at Vernon College. Its heat, ventilation, and air conditioning career and technical courses include air conditioning control principles; troubleshooting; basic electricity for HVAC; and heat pump operation, among others. Notably, this program is one of the more affordable at $ 50.00 per credit for residents of Wilbarger County and $95.00 per credit for other TX residents.

Another local institution offering HVAC training is the Dallas County Community College. It has several certificate and degree programs in HVAC technology across various campuses (e.g., Cedar Valley College and Eastfield College). In DCCC’s two-year associate of applied science (AAS) degree program, students take courses such as basic thermodynamics; introduction to refrigeration; heat transfer; refrigeration containment; basic electricity for HVAC; air conditioning control principles; commercial refrigeration; residential air conditioning; gas & electric heating; and energy management, to name a few. Students are offered preparation for the EPA Section 608 exam—mandatory for all HVAC workers nationally who handle refrigerants—as well as ICE and state contracting exams. These programs cost only $59 per credit hour for county residents and $111 for those living out of county.

Lastly, Remington College of nearby Garland provides a 12-month HVAC training program with specialized training in how to work with geothermal & hydronic heating systems; heating units; heat pumps; air distribution units; and refrigerators. Remington boasts a state-of-the-art 10,500 square-foot training facility where instructors provide hands-on training using HVAC electrical wiring; compressor fault simulators; cooling tower demonstrators; and other advanced equipment.

For people living in more rural regions of the state or have other time commitments preventing them from attending an on-campus program, there are various distance-based HVAC training programs available. For an overview of some of the accredited programs in other parts of TX or web-based classes, check out the HVAC schools in Texas or online HVAC programs pages, respectively.

HVAC Licensure in Dallas

In addition to receiving proper training in the field, aspiring HVAC professionals in Dallas also must seek all necessary credentialing. There are both national and regional certifications and licenses available.

First, as mentioned above, there is one required credential for all HVAC/R workers nationwide who handle refrigerants: the EPA Section 608 certification. There are four types which vary by category of equipment: type 1 (small appliance), type 2 (high-pressure appliances), type 3 (low-pressure appliances), and type 4 (universal).

There are also several other national organizations which offer competency-based certifications in specific skills. Some of these agencies include:

To discover how to pursue these credentials, please visit the HVAC certifications page.

Second, HVAC workers in TX must have proper local credentialing as well. The main regulatory authority for TX HVAC workers is the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which registers and licenses people in this field. It offers the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (ACR) Technician Registration, the entry-level credential in this field for those working under licensed HVAC contractors. Please note that registration does not require an exam, but becoming a “Certified ACR Technician” does. These credentials cost $20 and $35, respectively.

For those experienced HVAC professionals seeking to advertise their services to the public, they must pursue an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor License. To qualify, candidates in TX must pass a comprehensive examination following the submission of a $115 application fee and proof of 48 months of practical experience under the guidance of a licensed contractor. There are several types of HVAC contractor licenses available, including:

  • Environmental Air Conditioning
  • Commercial Refrigeration/Process Heating & Cooling
  • Combined Environmental Air Conditioning & Commercial Refrigeration/Process Heating & Cooling

There are also Class A and Class B (restricted) categories, which vary by size of equipment. It’s important to note that TX has licensing reciprocity with South Carolina and Georgia.

Lastly, Dallas City Hall registers various types of mechanical contractors including refrigeration specialists. To qualify, a candidate must complete an application; show proof of state licensure; and pay a $120 application fee.

Above all, HVAC professionals in TX are strongly encouraged to reach out to local city administrators to ensure that they have all proper credentialing prior to beginning work.