HVAC Schools in Nevada

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With temperatures ranging from the blistering hot summer days to near-freezing winter nights, Nevada offers abundant opportunities for those working in the field of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC-R). And HVAC-R professionals in the state enjoy a large amount of professional support, as well; for example, the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors (PHCC) of Nevada offers a wide array of benefits for HVAC-R workers, including numerous membership meetings throughout the year, professional networking events, apprenticeships, newsletters, political representation regarding any issues affecting the HVAC-R industry in Nevada, and discounts for participating members, among others. Separately, the Southern Nevada Air Conditioning Refrigeration Service Contractors Association (SNARSCA) provides representation specifically for air conditioning and refrigeration service contractors, offering classes, discounts at expos, and professional networking.

But what exactly do HVAC-R professionals in NV do during a work day? In general, they retain a number of responsibilities, including:

  • Laying piping structures and wiring for HVACR equipment
  • Performing maintenance on systems, as well as necessary repairs
  • Interpreting blueprints
  • Ensuring all work complies with relevant regulations
  • Testing HVAC-R components and circuitry
  • Brazing and soldering parts
  • Calculating heat loads and losses
  • Calibrating controls per the requirements of the manufacturers
  • Retaining necessary credentials
  • Maintaining service records
  • Providing education to customers on best practices for energy conservation

In addition, all HVAC-R professionals in Nevada who work with refrigerants are required to maintain active EPA Section 608 Certification.

Of course as with virtually all professions, becoming an HVAC-R technician requires preparation and hard work. This guide provides a brief overview of the career, as well as information regarding employment demands, salary prospects, credentialing, and accredited HVAC schools in Nevada.

Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Nevada

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2017) reported that HVAC-R professionals can expect to earn a relatively high salary during their career, and will likely witness a significant growth in their industry that may lead to more lucrative opportunities. As proof of point, the BLS predicted the addition of 48,800 HVACR positions nationally between 2016 and 2026 representing 15 percent growth in openings for this profession. This is double the projected average growth in jobs for all occupations during that time period (7 percent). And the predictions are even more favorable for those living in Nevada; in fact, Projections Central (2017) estimated a 31.7 percent explosion in NV HVAC employment opportunities over the same decade, or an absolute increase of 610 jobs.

There are many reasons that the HVAC-R industry in Nevada is strong and is likely to continue growing throughout the future. For one, these systems must be replaced every decade or decade-and-a-half and require routine servicing and maintenance. Furthermore, regulations and technologies within the HVAC-R industry are constantly changing, which necessitates continuous system updates. Finally, many buildings in Nevada are climate-controlled, and especially in areas of high rates of construction, there exists a significant demand for the installation of new HVAC-R technology. This is particularly relevant in the Las Vegas and Reno areas, where high levels of tourism necessitate a huge number of hotel rooms and casinos that must be kept at a comfortable temperature, even during the sweltering Nevada summers.

As an illustration of the healthy industry, Monster (Nov. 2018) had 72 job postings for HVAC professionals in NV, including opportunities with Johnson Controls, Harris, and Tesla Motors to name just a few. Indeed (Nov. 2018) showed 597 job opportunities in Nevada, including those with the Sierra Air, Inc., Enix Mechanical, Pyro Combustion, and many others.

Nevada HVAC Technician Salary Data

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017) shows that HVAC-R mechanics and installers earn a fairly generous salary, especially compared to occupations requiring a similar amount of postsecondary training. The average pay nationally for these workers was $49,530 per year, which amounts to $23.81 per hour.

In more granular terms, here were the salary percentiles among HVAC workers in Nevada and nationwide:

Annual salary Hourly salary
United States Nevada United States Nevada
Average $49,530 $52,810 $23.81 $25.39
10th percentile $29,120 $31,420 $14.00 $15.10
25th percentile $36,150 $43,510 $17.38 $20.92
50th percentile $47,080 $54,250 $22.64 $26.08
75th percentile $60,270 $62,210 $28.98 $29.91
90th percentile $75,330 $72,410 $36.22 $34.81

The national figures were slightly different according to another source of data, Payscale (Nov. 2018), which relies on self-reported salaries. Among the HVAC workers reporting their annual salaries, Payscale found these percentiles:

United States: 889 HVAC workers responding

  • 10th percentile: $29,000
  • 25th percentile: $36,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $44,532
  • 75th percentile: $56,000
  • 90th percentile: $71,000

An additional 4,873 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: $30.00/hr.

The BLS designated five regions within Nevada for which employment data is available. The 120 HVAC workers in the South Nevada nonmetropolitan area earned the highest average salary in the state with a reported average wage of $57,080. Following are the detailed salary data for the state of Nevada:

Carson City, NV (90 HVAC workers): $49,630 annual average salary

Carson City, NV
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $49,630 23.86
10th percentile $31,790 $15.29
25th percentile $41,700 $20.05
50th percentile $51,800 $24.90
75th percentile $59,340 $28.53
90th percentile $63,790 $30.67

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (1160 HVAC workers): $52,360 annual average salary

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $52,360 $25.18
10th percentile $31,690 $15.24
25th percentile $43,300 $20.82
50th percentile $53,970 $25.95
75th percentile $61,460 $29.55
90th percentile $69,900 $33.61

North Nevada nonmetropolitan area (90 HVAC workers): $52,300 annual average salary

North Nevada nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $52,300/td>

10th percentile $39,250 $18.87
25th percentile $46,670 $22.44
50th percentile $54,250 $26.08
75th percentile $59,480 $28.60
90th percentile $62,620 $30.10

Reno, NV (390 HVAC workers): $53,650 annual average salary

Reno, NV
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $53,650 $25.80
10th percentile $28,610 $13.76
25th percentile $42,910 $20.63
50th percentile $54,750 $26.32
75th percentile $67,370 $32.39
90th percentile $76,300 $36.68

South Nevada nonmetropolitan area (120 HVAC workers): $57,080 annual average salary

South Nevada nonmetropolitan area
Percentile Annual salary Hourly salary
Average $57,080 $27.44
10th percentile $35,770 $17.20
25th percentile $48,180 $23.17
50th percentile $57,670 $27.72
75th percentile $65,150 $31.32
90th percentile $77,700 $37.36

Accredited HVAC Schools in Nevada

There are various ways to become an HVAC-R worker in Nevada. One pathway involves participating in an apprenticeship program. For example, the UA Local 350 Plumbers, Pipefitters and Service Technicians, established in 1906, provides an apprenticeship program for HVAC-R professionals, which takes four years to complete. The applications are accepted in the organization’s Sparks, NV office, and the initiation fee for HVAC-R workers to become part of the union is $250, a requirement for the apprenticeship program. Apprentices receive 144 hours of instruction and earn an average starting wage of $13-15 per hour.

For those that prefer a classroom-based program, one is available through the College of Southern Nevada, which focuses on air conditioning technology and has received approval from the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). Students in this program can expect to take courses on HVAC electrical and mechanical theory, heat load calculations, copper fundamentals, heat pumps, and residential gas heating, among a number of others. Graduates of this program are prepared to obtain their EPA 608 certification as well as HVAC Excellence Employment Readiness certification. The program is held on the Henderson, Nevada campus, and the per credit cost of tuition for a Nevada resident is between $98.75 and $161.75, depending on the course but out of state students can expect to pay more.

Finally, it is also possible to receive HVAC-R training through ATI, an organization based in Las Vegas. This program is accredited by HVAC Excellence and provides participants with a deep working knowledge of the vocation as well as preparation for the EPA Section 608 Certification. Students in the HVAC-R program can expect to take courses on mechanical and electrical troubleshooting, service and repair on residential and light commercial gas heating systems, and the startup of new A/C and heating equipment, among many others. The program takes 10.5 months to complete, and those interested in training through ATI should contact the organization directly to determine their estimated cost of attendance.

In addition to these campus-based programs, there is a wealth of online HVAC programs as well, many of which accept NV-based students.

HVAC Certification and Licensing in Nevada

Before looking for a job, all HVAC-R professionals in Nevada must first obtain the proper certification and licensing necessary to work in this capacity.

To begin, one specific certification is required for all individuals who handle environmentally sensitive refrigerants: the EPA Section 608 Certification. This certification is broken down into four types: type 1 (small appliances), type 2 (high-pressure appliances), type 3 (low-pressure appliances), and type 4 (universal). Please note that most HVAC-R programs will include preparation for the certification exam as part of the curriculum.

Furthermore, there exists a wide array of other entities nationwide that provide skill-based, employment-ready trade certifications. A handful of these organizations, as well as sample certifications, are listed below:

  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) – EPA Section 608, commercial air conditioning, dynamic compression, HVAC-R electrical, etc.
  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE) – air distribution, heat pump [air-to-air], hydronics gas, commercial refrigeration, light commercial refrigeration, etc.
  • HVAC Excellence – Heating, Electrical, Air conditioning Technology [HEAT], HEAT Plus, residential heat load analysis, green awareness, etc.

For more information regarding the extent of available national credentials, make sure to visit the HVAC certifications page.

Finally, all HVAC-R professionals in Nevada have to obtain the required local licensure prior to beginning work. HVAC-R professionals in Nevada must obtain licensure through the Nevada State Contractors Board, as long as the value of the work exceeds $1,000. To receive licensure, an HVAC-R professional must have at least four years of experience as an initial qualification and must submit four notarized reference certificates, a detailed resume, and an application processing fee of $300. Applicants must also submit a financial statement, which has varying requirements, depending on the size of the project. Upon approval of the license, the HVAC-R technician will also be provided information regarding the necessary bond amount, and a surety bond or cash deposit will be required.

It’s also important to note that the Nevada State Contractors Board provides licensure for the classifications listed below:

  • Class “A”—General Engineering Contractor
  • Class “B”—General Building Contractor
  • Class “C”—Specialty Contractor

Each of these license classes is required for a separate purpose, all of which relate to the principal business and the scope of the project. Additionally, some cities in Nevada require special municipal permitting for the installation of new HVAC-R systems. Therefore all HVAC workers are strongly encouraged to reach out to city officials to ensure they have all necessary credentialing prior to taking on any project.

Ultimately, HVACR professionals must perform due diligence before beginning any work to ensure that they have adequate credentialing for the task at hand.