Accredited HVAC Schools in Jacksonville, FL
Most aspiring HVAC professionals in Florida attend classes or participate in an apprenticeship program. Coursework and apprenticeships open up more employment opportunities. Trained workers also start at higher wages and earn more throughout their career.
The Florida Department of Education has a registered apprenticeship program. Apprentices who complete the program earn a completion of apprenticeship certificate and may receive journey-level status in their chosen trade. A list of apprentice sponsors is available, which currently includes several HVAC companies.
UA Local 234 has an apprenticeship program that includes HVAC opportunities. Apprentices receive classroom training as well as employment that provides on-the-job experience. Applicants must meet requirements which include, but aren’t limited to:
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must pass substance testing
- Must be of good moral character
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
A background or aptitude in subjects such as mathematics, science, or industrial arts is recommended. They also offer a pre-apprentice (“helper”) program. The cost of attending is not disclosed on their website.
The Northeast Florida Builders Association also offers several apprenticeship programs, including HVAC. Apprentices are employed 40 hours a week where they receive on-the-job experience. They also attend classes twice a week and are not charged tuition. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, and letters of recommendation, among other requirements. Curriculum is based on the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) standards. The program takes four years to complete.
The local chapters of national industry associations are another source of apprenticeship programs. These include, but are not limited to:
- Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCCA)
- Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMART, formerly SMWIA)
Details of what each association offers in the way of apprenticeships and corresponding fees are available on each association’s website.
Accreditation is a process by which an independent agency evaluates the quality of the curriculum and the instructors. When choosing a school, it is essential to determine if it is accredited, and if so, what agency accredited it. Certain standards must be met before accreditation is granted. Two main organizations evaluate and accredit HVAC programs: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). Both organizations have granted accreditation to various Florida programs, but as of this writing (June 2018), neither has accredited a program in the Jacksonville area. That said, the following programs have regional accreditation from established entities.
Florida Career College, a vocational school, offers a hands-on training program that prepares students for entry-level HVAC jobs. The curriculum includes instruction in basic electricity, basic refrigeration theory and commercial refrigeration application, air conditioning, commercial and residential troubleshooting, green awareness, heating systems and boilers, duct design, reading blueprints, load calculations, and chiller applications.
Students learn through a combination of coursework and time spent in the lab. Graduates receive a diploma.
- Location: Jacksonville
- Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Expected Time to Completion: Nine months
- Estimated Tuition: $20,500
The Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a workforce certificate that prepares students for HVAC employment. The curriculum includes classwork and labs in the following subjects:
air conditioning theory, basic and applied electricity, schematics, HVAC and HVAC/R controls, piping, and applied heating. Graduates may be qualified to take the apprentice certification test.
- Location: Jacksonville
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: One year
- Estimated Tuition: $4,318
The Tulsa Welding School offers a refrigeration technologies program that includes HVAC training. Students complete coursework and hands-on experience in the fundamentals of electricity, the fundamentals of refrigeration, commercial and residential climate control systems, commercial and residential refrigeration, and advanced troubleshooting. Classes are available in the evening and well as during the day.
- Location: Jacksonville
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: Seven months
- Estimated Tuition: Not disclosed
Please note that the schools charge for books, supplies, and other fees in addition to tuition.