Accredited HVAC and HVAC/R Schools in Mesa, AZ
In the past, HVAC professionals in Mesa were able to start as helpers and learn the trade through on-the-job training. A few still do so, but opportunities for untrained workers are rare. Most workers now attend classes or participate in an apprenticeship program. Formal training and apprenticeships can open up more employment opportunities.
Apprenticeships include approximately 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and around 144 classroom hours annually for three to five years. The Arizona Department of Economic Security Apprenticeship Office provides information for workers seeking to obtain job skills. Employers and associations offering HVAC and other apprenticeship opportunities are sorted by region. Programs and positions for Mesa are listed in the Phoenix Metropolitan region.
SMART Local 359 offers an apprenticeship program that includes HVAC training. The program takes five years to complete and includes 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 720 hours of coursework through the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). Classes are taught in the evenings at the Phoenix facility. The cost is $855 annually.
The adult education department at East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa has formed a partnership with the Arizona Builders Alliance to offer paid apprenticeships. HVAC/R is among the programs available. Details are available on their website.
In addition, workers seeking HVAC and HVAC/R apprenticeship programs can find several available through national industry associations such as:
- Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC)
- Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
- Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA)
Information as to coursework offered and the cost is available on their websites.
Other aspiring HVAC professionals in Mesa choose to enroll in accredited formal diploma, certificate, or degree programs. Accreditation is an evaluation of the quality of an educational institution’s program by an independent agency. The evaluation includes both the curriculum and the instructors. When choosing a school, it is essential to determine if it is accredited and which organization granted accreditation.
Two main industry organizations evaluate and accredit HVAC programs: the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA), which has awarded accreditation to Gateway Community College in Phoenix, AZ, and HVAC Excellence, which has not currently accredited an Arizona program.
Please note that all of the following programs have been accredited by a regional authority.
East Valley Institute of Technology
In addition to the above-noted partnership for apprenticeship training, EVIT offers an HVAC/R certificate program. Students receive training in the following:
- Electrical maintenance
- Residential, commercial, and industrial wiring
- Air distribution and balancing
- Electronic controls and circuits
- How to install, service, and repair air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating equipment
- Appliance repair
Graduates are eligible to sit for the EPA Section 608 exam and NATE certification exams.
- Location: Mesa, AZ
- Accreditation: Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Tuition: $5,400
- Program length: Ten to 12 months
Gateway Community College
Gateway offers a newcomers pre-apprenticeship construction program. The curriculum includes instruction in:
- OSHA-10 certification
- Using hand and power tools
- Reading blueprints
- Materials handling
- Green construction
The tuition is $1,062, and graduates are awarded a certificate of completion. Gateway also offers the following HVAC programs:
- Residential and light air conditioning certificate: 22-25 credit-hours
- Air conditioning, refrigeration, and facilities technology certificate: 44-47 credit-hours
- Air conditioning, refrigeration, and facilities degree: 72-74 credit-hours
Coursework for all three programs is divided between classroom lectures and hands-on training in the school’s labs. The residential and light air conditioning certificate includes the following curriculum:
- Refrigeration applications and components
- Preparation for EPA Section 608 exam
- Load calculation and duct design
- Industrial and construction safety
The air conditioning, refrigeration, and facilities technology certificate adds the following coursework to the above:
- Motors, controls, and wiring diagrams
- Air and water balancing
The degree program includes all of the above, with the addition of coursework in computers, math, and humanities. Graduates complete 65-71 credit-hours to earn their degree.
- Location: Phoenix, AZ
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); PAHRA
- Tuition: $85 per credit hour
- Program length: Certificate (18 to 24 months); degree (two years)
The Refrigeration School, Inc.
RSI, a private school, offers HVAC/R training in day and evening classes. Students learn through classroom lectures and hands-on training in a modern lab. Instructors are able to program real-life troubleshooting problems using electronic equipment. The curriculum includes coursework in:
- Fundamentals of electricity
- Fundamentals of refrigeration
- Residential and commercial comfort systems
- Refrigeration systems and practices
- Advanced troubleshooting
Graduates may be qualified to seek employment as entry-level technicians.
- Location: Phoenix, AZ
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Tuition: $15,710
- Program length: Six months