Accredited HVAC Training Programs in Massachusetts
In order to become licensed as an HVAC technician in the state of Massachusetts, a certain number of hours of experience in addition to proof of completion of a program at an approved school is required. HVAC technicians in MA must complete a program that has been approved by the Office of Public Safety and Inspection (OSPI).
A complete list of approved schools is available from that department’s website. There are approved schools for HVAC training in Massachusetts in most parts of the state, including Boston, Upton, and Springfield. Some of the programs are offered at technical schools while others are at community colleges and culminate in an associate’s degree. HVAC schools in MA prepare students for the refrigeration licensing exam, but do not offer the exam themselves.
The following programs help students prepare for eventual licensing:
The Peterson School
The Peterson School, with locations in West Boylston, Westwood, and Woburn, offers a range of specialized programs in HVAC/R. Those who are pursuing a well-rounded education can take one of the school’s combo programs that includes training in HVAC, refrigeration, oil and/or gas heat, and basic electricity. The program at the Peterson School is approved by the state for preparation for refrigeration licensing.
The different courses preparing students for EPA certification are:
HVAC/R commercial and industrial refrigeration prep – This beginner class is designed for individuals who do not have any prior experience in the trade, or for individuals who work in the field and want to complete their education requirements in order to obtain an HVAC/R license.
HVAC/R electrical code prep – This course prepares students for the State Refrigeration exam. It is designed for teaching students the fundamentals of HVACR. They take 150 hours of HVAC-related electrical code or 150 hours of journeyman electrical course for satisfying state requirements.
HVACR refrigeration code prep – Prior to taking the HVAC/R license exam, it is recommended to complete this 30-hour class. It is the last class that students must take in order to sit for the licensing exam.
HVAC controls and energy management – Through this course, students will gain practical skills to become effective troubleshooters and installers of HVAC equipment.
- Location: Woburn, Westwood, and Worcester, MA
- Accreditation: N/A
- Expected Time to Completion: HVAC/R commercial & industrial refrigeration prep (15 weeks); HVAC/R electrical code prep (20 weeks); HVAC/R refrigeration code prep (10 weeks); HVAC controls and energy management (17 weeks); three-course program “A” (15 weeks); three-course program “B” (15 weeks)
- Estimated tuition: HVAC/R commercial & industrial refrigeration prep ($4,350); HVAC/R electrical code prep ($1,370); HVAC/R refrigeration code prep ($540); HVAC controls and energy management ($2,060); three-course program “A” ($6,000); three-course program “B” ($6,220)
New England Institute of HVAC
The New England Institute of HVAC offers both day and evening classes for its HVAC program. The 13-week course covers both residential and commercial systems, in addition to basic electrical knowledge and EPA certification prep. This program has also been approved by Massachusetts.
The New England Institute of HVAC’s curriculum components are as follows:
Basic electricity – This includes topics such as Ohm’s law, circuit components and wiring, troubleshooting, low voltage wiring, use of multimeter, series and parallel wiring, schematic symbols, and more.
Oil heat – Explores topics such as sequence of events, primary controls, venting basics, sequence of events, troubleshooting oil systems, basic oil system wiring, and oil tune-up & efficiency testing, among others.
Gas heat – Topics here include direct venting, gas furnace wiring, condensing furnaces, testing individual components, basic components of a gas system, and more.
Miscellaneous heating – This includes topics such as hydronic, zone controls, wiring various systems, and forced hot air.
EPA certification and testing – This covers universal certification preparation, official epa test proctored, vacuum pump operation, and system recovery and charging.
Residential refrigeration – Some of the topics included here are metering devices, latent and sensible heat, component functions, introduction to refrigeration trainer, and window A/C.
Commercial refrigeration – Topics here include pressure and temperature controls, pump down cycle in-depth, superheat and subcooling, and commercial system troubleshooting.
Central A/C and heat pumps – This includes topics such as basic A/C wiring, recovery, evacuation, charging, superheat and subcooling applied, installation procedures, the heat pump, and introduction to heating/cooling loads.
- Location: Lowell, Massachusetts
- Accreditation: N/A
- Expected Time to Completion: 13 weeks
- Estimated Tuition: Day class ($6,975); night class ($5,975)
Springfield Technical Community College
Springfield Technical Community College offers a certificate of completion in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. Offering hands-on experience in energy systems and technology, this program opens up employment for students in avenues such as (HVAC) systems design, power plants operation, and HVAC equipment troubleshooting and repair.
Students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the HVAC industry. Graduates of this program will be qualified to take the test for the EPA certification, a fireman’s license, and the oil burner technician license.
Comprising 29 credit-hours, this program includes courses such as theory of controls, principles of refrigeration, power plant operations, heating system design, combustion control circuits, fund of air conditioning, and HVAC electrical applications, among others.
- Location: Springfield, MA
- Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
- Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
- Estimated Tuition: $321 per credit-hour
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology offers a certificate in HVAC/R providing students with practical expertise and the required knowledge needed to become established HVAC/R technicians. It prepares students for the EPA certification, and also offers the 10-hour OSHA Safety certificate and an R-410 A certificate, upon completion.
This 28 credit-hour program includes courses such as fundamentals of electricity as applied to HVAC/R, refrigeration fundamentals, electrical and mechanical for refrigeration, commercial refrigeration and ice machines, commercial air conditioning and heat pumps, gas heating and residential air conditioning, oil furnaces and hydronic heating, and EPA refrigerants (recovery, recycle, and reclaiming).
Upon successful completion of this HVAC/R certificate, graduates will be able to demonstrate the principles of air conditioning and refrigeration; identify principles of different refrigerants; and show a knowledge of air conditioning and refrigeration components, including evaporators, compressors, condensers, and metering devices. They will also be able to solder, braze, and zoomlock pipes and fittings, as well as troubleshoot mechanical and electrical malfunctions of residential and commercial units.
Graduates will be ready to work for cooling and heating contractors, air conditioning and refrigeration repair and service shops, hospitals, schools, a variety of food industries, office buildings, and local, state, or federal government facilities.
- Location: Boston, MA
- Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
- Expected Time to Completion: Nine months
- Estimated Tuition: $8,495 per semester
Although approval from the state is the most important factor in choosing an HVAC school in MA, applicants may also want to consider programmatic accreditation. There are two organizations in the US that accredit HVAC programs: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).
As of 2020, there are no programs in Massachusetts that have earned accreditation from HVAC Excellence. Two programs in MA are accredited by PAHRA, but they are technical high school-level programs, which are outside of the scope of this page. For more information on the programmatic accreditation process, interested technicians may visit the sites for either organization or the main HVAC programs page on this site.
Additionally, some schools undergo third-party institutional accreditation processes that are not specific to HVAC programs. For instance, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) offers evaluation and accreditation to many continuing education and technical schools. ACCSC evaluates schools based on rates of student achievement, student graduation, and graduate employment. While this type of accreditation is not endorsed by the state of Massachusetts, it can be helpful when comparing HVAC schools in MA.