HVAC Schools in Kansas City, MO

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HVAC professionals in Kansas City, Missouri (MO) are fortunate to work in a city with a thriving demand for climate control. In fact, the temperature extremes throughout the year make heating and air conditioning truly vital; U.S. Climate Data reported that the average high in July was 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low in December was 26 degrees, figures which underscore the need for skilled heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) professionals.

Furthermore, Kansas City is home to various professional HVAC organizations that provide a myriad benefits to members. The Pipe Fitters Local 533, for example, is dedicated to representing members in a variety of industries, including HVAC. Through this union, members can attain education and training, and members have the opportunity to network by attending monthly meetings to discuss pressing issues or topics in the industry. They also enjoy member discounts on common services for the occupation.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Kansas City also offers membership to contractors across 45 different counties in both Missouri and Kansas. Membership to this organization includes access to continuing education for HVAC professionals, events throughout the year for charitable causes, and valuable partnerships with Kansas State University and Pittsburg State University for student chapters. Generally, these two organizations, along with a number of others, can offer invaluable resources for HVAC workers throughout the Kansas City area.

So what do HVAC professionals in Kansas City do? Here are some of the typical responsibilities:

  • Offer education to customers on how to conserve energy
  • Calibrate all controls to manufacturer specifications
  • Read and interpret blueprints
  • Perform heat load and loss calculations
  • Verify compliance with all local and federal regulations
  • Travel to job sites
  • Keep service records
  • Calibrate all controls to manufacturer specifications
  • Solder and braze parts
  • Maintain all necessary credentialing
  • Test circuitry and components of HVAC equipment

Furthermore, any Kansas City HVAC professional who works with refrigerants must maintain active EPA Section 608 Certification; failing to do so is a violation of the law.

In reality, starting a new job in the HVAC field demands a thorough comprehension of the industry, an interest in the subject matter, and on-the-job training or another type of education. This guide covers accredited HVAC schools in Kansas City, MO, as well as wage expectations in the industry, certification and licensure requirements, and other relevant information.

Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Kansas City

Prospective HVAC workers in the Kansas City area will be encouraged to learn that HVAC is a relatively lucrative and high-growth industry. By illustration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2016) reported that the 294,730 HVAC nationwide earned an average annual salary of $48,320. Furthermore, the BLS (Dec. 2015) predicted that positions for HVAC mechanics and installers would swell 14 percent between 2014 and 2024—an addition of 39,600 new jobs—more than double the average growth projected across all U.S. fields during that same decade (6.5 percent). Specifically in Missouri, Projections Central reported that openings for HVAC workers would grow 13.1 percent, adding 640 new job openings overall, many in the KC area.

There are many factors driving the rapid growth of the HVAC industry. For one, laws and regulations that affect the HVAC industry are constantly changing, requiring skilled workers who are able to constantly provide updates to existing systems. Furthermore, most (if not all) new construction within Kansas City is outfitted with some form of climate-control technology that is installed and maintained by an HVAC professional. And finally, HVAC systems must be replaced every 10 to 15 years, requiring routine maintenance in the interim to continue functioning properly.

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to view the scope of the HVAC industry in Kansas City is by scouting for jobs by using an online search engine. A search on Monster (August 2017) for the term “HVAC” yielded 371 job postings throughout the region in Missouri and Kansas, including those with companies such as the LiRo Group, Confidential Company, Tradesmen International, Inc., Goodman Manufacturing, FirstKey Homes, and PepsiCo North America Beverages, among many others. A similar search on Indeed (August 2017) yielded 574 results with businesses including Carrier Enterprise, LLC, Liberty Public Schools, Garmin, Hogan Preparatory Academy, Velociti, and Henderson Engineers.

HVAC Worker Salary in Kansas City

According to the BLS (May 2016), HVAC professionals can earn a fairly high salary, especially compared to other careers requiring similar levels of education:

United States (294,730 HVAC workers): $48,320 annual average salary

  • 10th percentile: $28,440
  • 25th percentile: $35,440
  • 50th percentile (median): $45,910
  • 75th percentile: $58,960
  • 90th percentile: $73,350

In hourly figures, these salaries amounted to:

United States: $23.23/hr. Average

  • 10th percentile: $13.67/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $17.04/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $22.07/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $28.35/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $35.26/hr.

The national figures were slightly different according to another source of data, Payscale (August 2017), which relies on self-reported salaries. Among the HVAC workers reporting their annual salaries, Payscale found these percentiles:

United States: 455 HVAC worker respondents

  • 10th percentile: $28,000
  • 25th percentile: $35,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $43,329
  • 75th percentile: $54,000
  • 90th percentile: $67,000

An additional 2,539 HVAC workers gave Payscale their hourly salary figures, resulting in these percentile wages:

  • 10th percentile: $13.00/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $15.00/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $19.24/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $24.00/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $29.00/hr.

The data for HVAC worker salaries in Missouri is actually fairly similar to national figures. Specifically, the BLS (May 2016) found that the average annual salary for these professionals in Missouri was $48,470 with 5,520 HVAC mechanics and installers statewide:

Missouri (5,520 HVAC workers): $48,470 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $27,440
  • 25th percentile: $34,100
  • 50th percentile (median): $46,150
  • 75th percentile: $60,990
  • 90th percentile: $75,300

In hourly figures, these equated to:

Missouri: $23.30/hour average

  • 10th percentile: $13.19/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $16.40/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $22.19/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $29.32/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $36.20/hr.

Notably, the BLS provides regional data, as well, and there were two distinct geographical regions within 100 miles of this area (including Kansas City itself), which are listed below:

Kansas City, MO-KS (1,740 HVAC workers): $54,250 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $31,300
  • 25th percentile: $37,190
  • 50th percentile (median): $49,950
  • 75th percentile: $64,380
  • 90th percentile: $93,830

St. Joseph, MO-KS (110 HVAC workers): $36,110 average annual salary

  • 10th percentile: $17,560
  • 25th percentile: $19,630
  • 50th percentile (median): $36,410
  • 75th percentile: $43,540
  • 90th percentile: $53,320

Lastly, it’s important to add that the cost of living in Missouri is significantly more affordable than a majority of U.S. states. As proof of point, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2017) reported that MO was the seventh most affordable state in the country, boasting particular savings in housing.

Accredited HVAC Schools in Kansas City

There are varied pathways to joining the HVAC industry in Kansas City. Aspiring HVAC workers can obtain a formal degree; pursue a certificate; complete an apprenticeship; or otherwise receive structured on-the-job training.

For example, prospective HVAC workers can pursue industry education through the Metropolitan Community College located in Kansas City. The C.C. offers an associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree in HVAC and three related certificate programs. Students pursuing an A.A.S. must satisfy general education requirements and coursework in systems installation, residential and commercial heating and air conditioning, energy management, and electricity for HVAC/R technicians, among other subjects. Tuition costs $103 per credit-hour for area residents; therefore, this 64-67 credit hour program costs between $6,592 and $6,901, depending on the course of studies.

Additionally, aspiring workers can complete an apprenticeship through the Pipe Fitters Local Union 533, which requires five years of classroom and lab training. School is in session for 28 weeks from September through mid-April, and apprentices must attend two evening classes per week. Apprentices are compensated at a rate that depends on the overall pay of the journeyman under whom they are working.

As a final note, prospective HVAC professionals in the Kansas City can complete accredited certificate or degree programs. There are two main organizations which offer accreditation for local HVAC programs: the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) and HVAC Excellence. As of August 2017, there was one PAHRA-accredited program in nearby Overland Park, KS. Johnson County Community College offers both a 64-credit A.A.S. and certificate program in HVAC technology with training in workplace skills, HVAC fundamentals, heating system fundamentals, industrial safety (OSHA 30), load calculations, cooling systems, and technical mathematics, among other subjects. Please contact JCCC’s bursar’s office for a tuition estimate. Also, there was one HVAC Excellence-accredited program in St. Joseph, roughly an hour north of KC. The Hillyard Technical Center offers a nine month program with preparation for several credentialing exams, including:

  • HVAC Excellence Electrical Employment Ready
  • EPA Section 609 exam
  • R410A Safety exam
  • HVAC Excellence Gas H.E.A.T exam

Please contact HTC directly for a tuition quote.

HVAC Certification and Licensing in Kansas City

As mentioned above, all HVAC professionals who handle environmentally sensitive refrigerants must have the EPA Section 608 Certification of which there are four types: type 1 (small appliances), type 2 (high-pressure appliances), type 3 (low-pressure appliances), and type 4 (universal).

In addition, other skill-specific certifications are available in Missouri through several organizations, including HVAC Excellence (e.g., Heating, Electrical, Air Conditioning Technology Plus); North American Technician Excellence (e.g., Industry Competency Exams or ICE); the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (e.g., entry-level Certified Assistant Refrigeration Operator); and a handful of others. These certifications show that a person maintains a certain skillset, which may hold benefits when searching for a job or negotiating for higher pay. For more information regarding the national certifications offered for HVAC professionals, take a look at the main HVAC certification page.

It is also important to keep in mind that while state licensure is not currently required in order to complete HVAC work in Missouri, the same may not be true for Kansas City or other municipalities across the state. Specifically, the Kansas City Planning & Development requires HVAC supervisors to obtain a license through its permits division, which may be achieved by submitting the following information:

  • A ‘certificate’ application
  • Two notarized reference letters
  • An application fee of $55
  • A score of at least 70 percent on the Kansas City examination.

Overall, HVAC workers should always perform due diligence by researching local credentialing requirements prior to beginning work. By doing so, these professionals will ensure that they avoid any violations based on differences in municipal regulations and stay within the law.