Accredited HVAC Schools in Colorado
For aspiring HVAC technicians in Colorado, there is an array of quality training programs available. While some of these skilled professionals seek out an apprenticeship to learn the hands-on techniques of the trade, others enroll in diploma, certificate, or degree programs in HVAC technology.
There are currently two main entities that accredit programs and institutions offering HVAC training: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).
To learn about how programs are approved, please refer to the HVAC programs accreditation section.
As of July 2020, there is one HVAC Excellence-accredited school in Colorado:
Pikes Peak Community College
Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, offers the only HVAC Excellence-accredited programs in Colorado. It has the following HVAC courses of study:
Residential HVAC/R certificate program – This program is made up of 35 credit-hours, preparing graduates for positions such as apprentices or helpers. It involves courses such as basic refrigeration, fundamentals of gas heating, electricity for HVAC/R, piping skills for HVAC, residential air conditioning, and air conditioning and refrigeration controls.
Industry upgrade certificate – Designed for employed technicians who are looking to advance their skillset, this 18 credit-hour certificate involves courses such as direct digital controls, heating for commercial, advanced refrigeration, residential heat pump service, and advanced air conditioning.
Direct digital controls certificate program – Comprising 15 credit-hours, this certificate program qualifies graduates for entry-level employment as environmental control technicians for HVAC systems in industrial and commercial facilities. Applicants for this program will need at least four years of work experience or a degree in HVAC or facilities management technology. Courses include a survey of electronics, building automation: installer; building automation: service, and building automation: advanced operations
Associate of applied science (AAS) degree – This 68-credit-hour degree program involves the same courses as the certificate programs, as well as additional trade classes in commercial heating, hot water heating systems, advanced HVAC/R, and heat pumps. Students in this program learn communication and technical writing skills and take classes in computer applications or computer literacy, math, and workplace psychology. They complete the program with an internship or sheet metal fabrication.
On successful completion of the program, graduates can take up roles such as HVAC installer or repairer, HVAC contractor, business owner, or HVAC instructor.
- Location: Colorado Springs, CO
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and HVAC Excellence
- Tuition: Resident rate without COF ($193.35 per credit-hour); resident rate with COF ($153.35 per credit-hour); non-resident rate ($629.25 per credit-hour)
- Program length: Industry upgrade certificate (two semesters); direct digital controls and residential HVAC certificates (three semesters); AAS (four semesters)
IntelliTec Colleges has a campus in Colorado Springs that prepares students for entry-level employment as an HVAC technician. With a strong focus on refrigeration, students in the program have the opportunity to complete an 18-month associate of occupational studies (AOS) degree with advanced training to pass professional certification exams including the EPA Section 608.
Courses in the program include organizational communication & etiquette, fundamentals of electricity, basic gas furnaces and safety, heating fuels and combustion analysis, alternative heating systems, refrigeration theory and EPA certification, advanced refrigerations, residential air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and duct design and blueprint reading, among others.
Preparing students for entry-level employment in the HVAC industry, the program provides students with the confidence and know-how to succeed in a new career. They learn all about installing, maintaining, and repairing HVAC/R systems.
Graduates of the program can take up roles such as refrigeration technician, HVAC control technician, heating equipment technician, HVAC service technician, facility maintenance technician, HVAC mechanic or HVAC installer, and many such positions. Graduates will also be prepared to earn the EPA Certification, Mechanic IV Licensing, and additional certifications.
- Location: Colorado Springs, CO
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: 19.5 months
- Estimated Tuition: $39,950 (including uniforms, books, and tools)
Front Range Community College
Front Range Community College has campuses around Colorado, but its Loveland campus offers the state’s only PAHRA accredited HVAC program. It offers an AAS degree and four certificate programs such as HVAC/R fundamentals, residential HVAC, light commercial HVAC, and commercial refrigeration.
The 15-credit HVAC/R fundamentals certificate includes an introduction to HVAC, basic refrigeration, electrical components, and basic electricity. The other certificates build on these basics. The 35-credit residential HVAC certificate provides additional education in advanced HVAC, customer service, troubleshooting, communication skills, and more.
The 37-credit light commercial certificate is similar to the residential HVAC certificate, with an additional focus on industrial controls. Finally, the 28-credit commercial refrigeration certificate covers commercial refrigeration.
The 60-credit HVAC/R degree program includes all of the coursework required for the certificate programs, as well as an internship or capstone project, and general education coursework in English, math, science, and an elective.
Students in this program will be trained to safely handle refrigerants, troubleshoot HVAC/R systems, operate gas fuel torches used in brazing and soft soldering, perform general maintenance and servicing of HVAC/R systems, and develop the highest level of professionalism as well as communication skills.
- Location: Fort Collins, CO
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and PAHRA
- Tuition: Resident ($153.35 per credit-hour); non-resident ($230.05 per credit-hour)
- Program length: AAS degree (four semesters); residential HVAC (three semesters); light commercial (three semesters); commercial refrigeration (two semesters); HVAC/R fundamentals (one semester)
Red Rocks Community College
Finally, Red Rocks Community College of Lakewood provides both degree (AAS) and certificate programs in HVAC. Its AAS degree program is made up of 62 credit-hours and includes courses such as fundamentals of gas heating, piping skills for HVAC, air conditioning systems, basic sheet metal, heating controls, mechanical codes, and servicing forced air systems, among others.
Apart from the AAS degree, Red Rocks Community College offers the following certificates:
- Air Conditioning-AHRA Certificate (37 credit-hours)
- Refrigeration-AHRR Certificate (31 credit-hours)
- Refrigeration Level I-AHRR Certificate (11 credit-hours)
- Refrigeration Level II-CTHO Certificate (23 credit-hours)
- HVAC Fundamentals-AHRF Certificate (15 credit-hours)
- HVAC Control Technician-CTHM Certificate (18 credit-hours)
- Forced-Air Heating-AHRFH Certificate (30 credit-hours)
- Hydronic Heating-AHRHH Certificate (30 credit-hours)
Graduates of these programs can find employment in roles such as air-conditioning, air-balancing, facility maintenance, refrigeration servicing, heating, and service.
- Location: Lakewood, Colorado
- Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
- Expected Time to Completion: Varies (one to four semesters, depending upon the program)
- Estimated Tuition: Resident ($148.90 per credit-hour); non-resident ($610.90 per credit-hour)
For students who live in rural regions in CO or are otherwise unable to attend an on-campus program, there are various distance-based training schools available. To survey the options, please check out the online HVAC programs page.