Accredited HVAC and HVAC/R Schools in Louisville
In the past, HVAC and HVAC/R technicians began their careers as helpers and learned the trade through hands-on training. It is still possible to do so today, but many workers now attend classes or participate in an apprenticeship program.
The Kentucky Division of Apprenticeship oversees the local apprenticeship system. Registered apprenticeships are voluntary. The role of the Division is to assist in developing programs and standards. Their FAQ contains details of current programs and participants. Certificates of completion are given to apprentices who complete apprenticeships.
The Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Service Technicians of the United Association Local 502 sponsors an apprenticeship program in Louisville. The program takes five years to complete. Students spend a minimum of 246 hours a year in formal classroom training at Ivy Tech Community College. They also spend 1,700 to 2,000 hours on on-the-job training each year. Graduates receive an associate degree in applied science and journey-level status. There is no cost to the student for the program.
Additionally, there are several accredited formal training programs in the Louisville area. When choosing a school, it is essential to determine if it is accredited and by which organization. Accreditation is a process by which an independent agency evaluates the quality of the program, including both the curriculum and the instructors.
Two organizations evaluate and approve HVAC programs. HVAC Excellence has certified two Kentucky schools, one in Louisville and one in Bowling Green. Both programs are profiled below. The other accrediting entity, the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA), has not approved any programs in the state.
Here are some accredited HVAC training programs in the Louisville area and beyond.
Kentucky Community and Technical College
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System includes 16 colleges and 70 campuses throughout Kentucky. Jefferson Community and Technical College is located in Louisville. The HVAC and HVAC/R programs closest to Louisville are at the following schools:
The Bluegrass, Elizabethtown, and South Central colleges offer an associate in applied science (AAS) degree in air conditioning technology, as well as a diploma and certificate programs. Gateway and Jefferson only offer diploma and certificate programs for air conditioning technology.
The certificate programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions. Several types of certificates are available. These include boiler maintenance (20 credits), chiller maintenance (19 credits), domestic air conditioner and furnace installer (35 to 36 credits), environmental system repair helper (9 to 10 credits), environmental control system servicer (24 to 25 credits), and refrigeration mechanic (27 to 28 credits). Not all programs are available at all colleges at all times. Credits earned in a certificate program may be applied to the diploma or associate program.
The certificate curriculum includes classroom lectures and hands-on labs in HVAC, HVAC/R, and electricity fundamentals, as well as coursework relevant to the individual certificate and may consist of general education requirements.
The goal of the diploma program in air conditioning technology is technical-level employment as an HVAC mechanic. The curriculum includes general education classes as well as the fundamentals of HVAC, HVAC/R, and electricity, heat load calculations, duct design, heat pumps, commercial HVAC systems, and special problems. Coursework is completed with selections from an extensive list of HVAC-related electives. Students attend classroom lectures and receive hands-on training in labs for a total of 47 to 56 credits to graduate. Credits earned in the diploma program may be applied to the associate program.
General education courses in the degree program include oral and written communication. The technical coursework includes the basics of HVAC and HVAC/R, electricity and electrical motors and components, heat pump applications, and digital literacy. Electives include blueprint reading, thermodynamics, fluid flow and heat transfer, mechanical design, welding, sheet metal fabrication, electronics, special problems, and dozens of others. Students may also choose journey-level prep coursework. The degree program requires the completion of 60 to 66 credits.
- Location: Lexington, Elizabethtown, Covington, and Bowling Green, KY
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; HVAC Excellence (South Central Kentucky Community and Technical College only)
- Tuition: $169 per credit
- Program length: Six to 12 months for the certificate; 12 to 18 months for the diploma; two years for the degree
Formerly the Sullivan College of Technology and Design, this school offers a certificate program and an AAS degree in HVAC/R technology. Classroom lectures are combined with hands-on training in a new industry-standard lab and externships with a partnership HVAC company.
The certificate program includes HVAC and HVAC/R principles, blueprint reading, math, equipment and system safety practices, fundamentals of electricity, math, building automation, and computer fundamentals. Students also complete an externship and need 43 credits to graduate.
The AAS degree program starts with the same coursework but continues with advanced math and physics coursework, electro-mechanical devices, air and water distribution, heat load calculations, procedures and practices in conducting energy audits, and troubleshooting and systems repairs. Students complete an externship and journey-level preparation as a capstone project for a total of 102 credits to earn their degree.
- Location: Louisville, KY
- Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools; HVAC Excellence
- Tuition: $320 per credit
- Program length: Nine months for the certificate; 18 to 24 months for the degree