Accredited HVAC Schools in Arkansas
For aspiring HVAC professionals in Arkansas, there are a couple of accredited training schools available. The two main accreditation agencies nationally are HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). This program-approval process is important to establish a baseline standard of preparation and training for the HVAC career. To learn about how programs are evaluated, please visit either of the above websites or the HVAC programs page.
As of April 2021, there were two HVAC Excellence-accredited programs in Arkansas: Arkansas State University—Beebe, and Arkansas Tech University—Ozark.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University—Beebe provides a 34-credit technical certificate, and a 10-credit certificate of proficiency in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration technology. These programs train students in installing and servicing HVAC/R systems and equipment. They will learn about troubleshooting and servicing varied types of systems and develop knowledge and skills to pursue a satisfying job in the field.
The technical certificate in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration technology includes courses such as electrical motors and components, gas heating systems, electric circuits and controls, air distribution, materials, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems, and air conditioning and refrigeration components, among others. The courses earned in this technical certificate can be applied toward an associate of applied science in general technology degree.
The certificate of proficiency in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration technology includes courses such as air distribution, materials, and air conditioning and refrigeration components.
Graduates of these programs will be well prepared to install, service, and maintain, HVAC systems. As they advance in their career, they can also graduate by installing furnaces, completing ductwork for heating new homes, and servicing air conditioners.
- Location: Beebe, AR
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; HVAC Excellence
- Expected Time to Completion: 6 months
- Estimated Tuition: Residents ($102 per credit); Cleburne County resident ($97 per credit); out-of-state ($174 per credit)
Arkansas Tech University
Arkansas Tech University offers a technical certificate in air conditioning and refrigeration and an associate of applied science degree in air conditioning and refrigeration.
The technical certificate in air conditioning and refrigeration consists of 36 credits and includes courses such as fundamentals of electricity, tubing and piping, basic compression and refrigeration, industrial controls, electronic components, and residential systems.
The associate of applied science degree in air conditioning and refrigeration is made up of 60 credits and includes all the courses mentioned above. Additionally, students also delve into commercial refrigeration, sheet metal, welding for trades and industry, air conditioning service, boiler operations, and introduction to computers. Students are required to complete the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 Certification Test that will earn them a universal license.
Students will be trained to install equipment, wiring, and accessories, determine causes of operating errors, conduct inspections and tests of products, services, or processing to evaluate the quality of performance, determine the kind of equipment and tools needed to do the job, and repair machines or systems.
Apart from these programs, Arkansas Tech University also offers an associate degree in air conditioning and refrigeration facilities management options, a technical certificate in air conditioning and refrigeration facilities management option, and a certificate of proficiency in construction technology.
The facilities management option empowers graduates to take up significantly better employment opportunities. The certificate of proficiency in construction technology may be applied towards the technical certificate in facilities maintenance as well as the associate of applied science degree in air conditioning and refrigeration with an emphasis in facilities management.
- Location: Ozark, Arkansas
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; HVAC excellence
- Expected Time to Completion: AAS degree (four semesters)
- Estimated Tuition: In-state ($129 per credit); out-of-state ($258 per credit)
While there are no PAHRA-accredited programs in AR, there are other options available:
Arkansas Northeastern College
Arkansas Northeastern College of Blytheville provides an AAS in general technology with an air conditioning and refrigeration option, a technical certificate in air conditioning and refrigeration, and a certificate of proficiency in air conditioning and refrigeration. These programs help students develop skills for installing, repairing, servicing, and inspecting air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
The associate of applied science degree requires successful completion of 60 credits, while the technical certificate is made up of 30 credits. The certificate of proficiency consists of 16 to 17 credits. The curriculum includes courses such as introduction to air conditioning, tubing, pipe, and welding, HVAC electricity, electrical components and motors, schematics, fundamentals of gas and electric heat, and residential systems, among others.
- Location: Blytheville, Arkansas
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
- Expected Time to Completion: AAS degree (two years); technical certificate (one year); certificate of proficiency (one semester)
- Estimated Tuition: In-county ($72 per credit); out-of-county ($82 per credit); out-of-state ($132 per credit)
University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College
Finally, the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College (UA-PTC) of North Little Rock offers the following programs in HVAC/R technology: Associate of applied science degree (AAS), a technical certificate (TC), and a certificate of proficiency (COP) program. These programs help students in developing a wide swath of academic and technical skills and knowledge.
The certificate of proficiency requires successful completion of 15 credits. Courses include technical mathematics, basic electrical circuits, introduction to HVAC/R, and principles of HVAC/R I, and II.
The technical certificate consists of 32 credits. It includes all courses from the certificate of proficiency, with the addition of HVAC/R internship, residential or commercial HVAC, heating systems, commercial refrigeration, and unitary refrigeration.
The AAS degree is made up of 61-62 credits. It includes all courses from the technical certificate with additional courses such as computer concepts, social science, and boiler operations.
These programs help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in the HVAC/R industry. After graduation, they can take up roles such as HVAC service technician, HVAC/R drafter, refrigeration service technician, HVAC/R designer, building inspector, energy auditor, and HVAC/R estimator.
- Location: North Little Rock, AR
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
- Expected Time to Completion: AAS degree (four semesters); technical certificate (three semesters); certificate of proficiency (two semesters)
- Estimated Tuition: In-State ($134 per credit); out-of-state ($175 per credit)
For residents of more rural regions of AR or those with commitments preventing them from attending a traditional, on-campus HVAC program, there are also distance-based programs available. To learn about these schools, please visit the online HVAC programs page.