ONLINE HVAC CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
For those interested in learning the fundamentals of HVAC systems or deepening their competencies in various subfields, enrolling in an online HVAC certificate program is one possibility. These programs are ideal for entry-level HVAC professionals. As part of the program, students typically receive vouchers to take specific HVAC certification exams.
Here are eight featured online certificate programs for HVAC professionals, aspiring and current:
The University of North Dakota (UND)—in a partnership with Education to Go (ed2go)—provides an online HVACR certified technician program. This comprehensive training program is designed to prepare installers and technicians to successfully pass a range of national HVAC certification exams, including the EPA 608 Refrigerant Handling Exam; the R-410A Refrigerant Handling Qualification; and the students’ choice of NATE certification exams (stage 1 or stage 2). Please note that as part of the program, students receive vouchers to sit for the most common industry certification exams.
Ashworth College—in a partnership with the ESCO Institute (the HVAC industry’s largest provider of EPA Section 608 Certification testing)—provides an online diploma in heating and air conditioning that can be completed in as few as four months. The comprehensive program provides lessons on the field as a whole and then digs deeper into 13 specialized sections including tools of the trade, refrigeration systems, electrical systems, residential heating and air conditioning, commercial systems, design, and more.
Ultimately, the Ashworth College HVAC Career Diploma provides preparation for the EPA Section 608 Certification exam. Program tuition includes a voucher for the exam (a $75 value) and a bonus 12-page ESCO study guide. Ashworth College is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Council.
Penn Foster Career School offers students a DEAC-accredited online career diploma that will help them take the first step towards becoming an HVACR technician. This online program is designed to help students prepare for HVAC certification and can be completed in as few as five months. Through eight units of training—including courses on electrical systems, math for the trades, and fundamentals of HVACR—students are trained to install, repair, and maintain home and commercial systems. As part of their program, graduates of Penn Foster Career School’s HVACR Technician Program are also given a voucher for the EPA Certification Test.
Penn Foster Career School also offers students a DEAC-accredited online career certificate program that will help them develop their skills in the essentials of Automotive HVAC. This online program covers automotive engine heating and cooling systems along with EPA rules, regulations, and safety practices. As part of their program, graduates of Penn Foster Career School’s Automotive HVAC Essentials certificate program will also receive an ASE test-prep book to help them prepare for the ASE Heating and Air Conditioning test.
The Pinnacle Career Institute (PCI)—accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)—prepares students to sit for the EPA and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) core service certifications. As part of PCI’s online certificate program, students receive a starter set of tools: gauge manifold, multimeter, tin snip, tubing cutter, and tool bag. In addition to web-based coursework in airflow principles, refrigeration fundamentals, and basic electronics for HVAC, students are required to complete an 11-day bootcamp in Kansas City, MO, where PCI boasts a 10,000-square-foot interactive lab for students to test and expand upon their newfound abilities.
The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) offers an online residential HVAC certificate, comprising three modules and 28 lesson units in subjects such as how to design a ducted distribution system; how to size equipment appropriately; how to perform residential load calculations; and more. These certificates are valid for five years. ACCA also offers certification programs in light commercial HVAC design; EPIC instructor competencies; refrigerant handling (EPA 608); and two ACCA-developed Qtech certifications (quality installation and home performance).
California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) provides a 320-hour online HVAC technician certificate through a partnership with ed2go. This program prepares students for a variety of certification exams, including local gas filter and fuel oil licensing; types 1 and 2 refrigerant handling exams (EPA 608); the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute’s (AHRI) Industry Competency Exams (residential HVAC or light commercial HVAC); and NATE’s service-specific certifications.
The University of Central Florida (UCF) hosts an online HVACR certified technician program, an all-inclusive training which also gives students vouchers for several exams: refrigerant handling (EPA 608 and R-410A); and the students’ choice of NATE certifications.
Excelsior College provides an online, comprehensive HVAC technician certificate program which typically takes 12 months to complete. The 16 sections are delivered through web tours, animations, images, and interactive quizzes, preparing students for refrigerant handling (EPA 608 and R-410A), as well as HVAC Excellence or NATE certifications.