Accredited HVAC Schools in Michigan
Aspiring HVAC workers are encouraged to seek out accredited training programs. The process of accreditation takes into consideration various aspects of a training program or school, including the quality of facilities, the comprehensiveness of curricula, and various student outcome measures (e.g., average student debt, post-program employment rates).
There are two esteemed program-approval entities in HVAC: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).
Grand Rapids Community College
As of 2020, this is the only PAHRA-accredited HVAC training program in Michigan. GRCC boasts affordable tuition, flexible class scheduling (day or evening), quality job placement assistance, and a focus on the practical applications of all knowledge imparted. There are several HVAC programs available, including a certificate and a two-year associate of applied arts and sciences (AAS) degree in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration technology.
The HVAC/R technology certificate program is made up of 33 credit-hours. The curriculum includes courses such as basic refrigeration; refrigeration applications; heating and cooling controls; heating theory; air conditioning theory; HVAC blueprint reading and design; HVAC/R electronic controls; and more. All credits earned in this certificate program may be applied toward the AAS in HVAC/R technology program.
The AAS program consists of 60 credit-hours featuring hands-on coursework in heating and cooling controls; HVAC/R electronic controls; commercial refrigeration; metallic and non-metallic joining; duct construction and design; mechanical codes; and basic boiler operation.
Students are trained in various areas of HVAC work, as they learn about cooling, filtering and controlling humidity, reading blueprints, diagnosing malfunctions, and using technical manuals.
The program opens up several opportunities for graduates. They can take up roles such as air-conditioning technician, heating and cooling technician, domestic air-conditioning installer, climate control technician, environmental-control-system installer, heating technician, and refrigeration technician.
- Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission and PAHRA
- Expected Time to Completion: 12 months for certificate / 24 months for AAS degree
- Estimated Tuition: Resident ($117 per contact-hour); non-resident ($247) out-of-state ($371)
Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw Community College offers the following HVAC programs:
- Associate in applied science (AAS) in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (60 credit-hours)
- Advanced certificate in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration – Commercial trade (17 credit-hours)
- Certificate in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration – residential (25 credit-hours)
The advanced certificate in HVAC/R is ideal for students wanting to develop skills in HVAC/R installation or mechanics and includes courses such as refrigeration systems; hydronic systems; commercial industry standards with competency exams; energy audits; and air system layout and design.
The residential HVAC/R certificate program prepares students for entry-level employment in the HVAC industry and also prepares them for EPA certification. Courses in this program include heating, ventilation and air conditioning; HVAC sheet metal fabrication; residential and light commercial heating systems; residential and light commercial air conditioning systems; residential HVAC competency exams and codes; and soldering and brazing.
The AAS program—ideal for journey-level technicians ready to complete a degree—provides additional instruction in advanced electrical & direct digital controls; air system layout & design; residential HVAC competency exams & codes; hydronic systems; energy audits; and commercial industry standards with competency exams. The program also prepares students to take up advanced industry-recognized certifications.
- Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission and HVAC Excellence
- Expected Time to Completion: AAS degree (five semesters); certificates (timeline varies)
- Estimated Tuition: In-district ($95 per credit-hour); out-of-district ($164); out-of-state ($227); international ($268)
Finally, the Dorsey Schools offers an HVAC systems technician diploma, providing hands-on instruction in HVAC systems (residential and commercial), electricity, and refrigeration. This program includes preparation for the mandatory EPA 608 Certification. Along with traditional classroom instruction, the program also provides a hands-on learning experience to students.
Classes in this skilled trades program include fundamentals of HVAC; controls; electricity; refrigeration; commercial systems; residential systems; blueprinting, weatherization, and sustainability; EPA standards; industry safety standards; systems troubleshooting and schematics; and more.
The program is taught by professionals who possess experience and expertise in their respective fields. Through the program, students will learn how to install as well as maintain HVAC systems, change filters, calibrate thermostats, repair motors, perform preventative and general maintenance on air and heating units, and handle the maintenance of equipment and tools.
Graduates of the program can pursue roles such as HVAC service tech, HVAC mechanic, HVAC specialist, HVAC technician, service technician, systems mechanic, AC tech, and HVAC installer.
- Location: Roseville and Wayne, Michigan
- Accreditation: Commission of the Council on Occupational Education
- Expected Time to Completion: Less than 12 months
- Estimated Tuition: $16,700 for the program
For those who live in more rural regions of Michigan or have other time commitments preventing them from attending an on-campus program, there are other distance-based HVAC training programs available in addition to the aforementioned AAS (Washtenaw Community College).
To learn about the range of web-based learning available in this field, check out the online HVAC programs page.