HVAC Trade Schools in Henderson, NV

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The desert weather has not hampered the growth of Henderson, Nevada (NV). In fact, it’s the fastest-growing city in the state, partly due to seniors choosing it as their retirement home. Several master-planned communities are either in the works or have been completed to accommodate the thousands of new residents annually.

Other projects include a Google data center and the new NFL Raiders headquarters, which is expected to be constructed towards the end of 2020. Henderson is only a few miles from Las Vegas and is part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The locale has contributed to the establishment of cultural and entertainment events that support a thriving tourist economy. The city, however, boasts a diversified economy. Henderson has retained its historical manufacturing sector and has added industries that include education, medical, and technology-based businesses such as biomedical, computer, and electronics companies.

Henderson is located in the Mojave Desert. Summers are scorching and winters are cold. Temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s F are normal for summer days. Summer nights provide relief from the heat, as average temperatures are 30 degrees cooler after dark. Winter days are comparatively comfortable, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Winter nights drop slightly below freezing on occasion. Less than six inches of rain falls annually, with the summer monsoon months getting the most moisture. The monsoons are sometimes accompanied by thunderstorms and flash flooding. Snow during the winter is rare, but it does fall on occasion.

Henderson residents spend a lot of time indoors, due in great part to these weather extremes. Many also prefer to avoid the skin damage that the desert sun can cause. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are essential for comfort. Larger businesses, especially those in the hospitality and technology industries, often require the addition of commercial-scale refrigeration (HVAC/R).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2019) reports that 1,140 HVAC mechanics and installers were employed in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV area as of May 2018. Technicians and their employers received training and support from industry organizations that include:

  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of Nevada
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 88
  • Southern Nevada Air Conditioning Refrigeration Service Contractors Association
  • Southern Nevada Home Builders Association
  • UA Local 525 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Service Technicians

Associations such as these work with others in the industry and with government organizations to establish educational, training, and safety standards designed to protect the environment and the health and safety of workers and the public.

Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Henderson, NV

New jobs for all occupations in the US are expected to increase by 5 percent between 2018 and 2028, according to the BLS (2019). An increase of 13 percent is expected for HVAC and HVAC/R technicians during the same time period. The demand for new technicians in Nevada is more than double the national demand. Projections Central predicts an increase of 31.8 percent in new positions by the end of 2026.

Henderson is a boom town. The increase in the population and economic growth have created the need for new residences and commercial structures. Construction is the driving force behind the installation of new climate-control equipment and systems. As older structures are renovated or remodeled, existing HVAC systems must also be replaced with newer equipment that meets contemporary energy efficiency and pollution reduction standards.

Ongoing construction requires trained technicians to install and maintain new and more complex HVAC systems and equipment. “Smart” buildings and facilities with technology requiring climate-control means that technicians have to understand how to use computers and other electronic devices. They are also expected to be skilled at troubleshooting. Those who specialize in new installations occasionally experience unemployment, but the growth and economic diversity of Henderson make that unlikely in the near future. Installed systems need to operate efficiently year-round, regardless of the economy, so technicians who perform maintenance and repair services can expect full-time employment.

HVAC and HVAC/R Salaries in Henderson, NV

According to BLS (2019) statistics, HVAC mechanics and installers nationwide earned a median salary of $47,610 as of May 2018. Technicians in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV area earned an annual median salary of $52,840. The difference in the pay rate isn’t as significant as it appears because the cost of living in Nevada is higher than the national index.

The table below compares national, state, and regional salaries of HVAC professionals:

United States Nevada Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
Number of HVAC Professionals Employed 324,310 1,860 1,140
Average Annual Salary $50,160 $51,590 $50,150
10th Percentile $29,460 $30,000 $28,980
25th Percentile $36,520 $41,800 $40,190
50th Percentile (Median) $47,610 $53,690 $52,840
75th Percentile $60,900 $61,620 $60,670
90th Percentile $76,230 $70,460 $65,920

HVAC Apprenticeships in Henderson, NV

The sophistication of modern HVAC and HVAC/R systems requires specialized training for technicians. Job opportunities for untrained workers are few. Workers who complete an apprenticeship or obtain formal training typically have the most employment opportunities. Trained and experienced technicians often start at higher wages and enjoy greater earnings throughout their career.

Apprentices are paid during their on-the-job training, which usually takes four years or more. They also attend school for a specified number of hours each year. The State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry maintains a list of registered apprenticeships.

UA Local 525 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Service Technicians offers a five-year HVAC apprenticeship at their Las Vegas training center. Details as to hours of training, schedules, and fees are available by contacting the training center.

Various industry organizations, such as the following, offer training as well:

  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCCA)
  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA)

Details as to schedules, curriculum, and fees may be found on their websites.

Accredited HVAC Schools in Henderson, NV

Most postsecondary schools agree to undergo the process of accreditation. Accreditation is an evaluation of the curriculum and instructor which is conducted periodically by independent agencies. Students should ensure that the schools they choose for training are accredited.

Two industry organizations evaluate HVAC and HVAC/R programs. The Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) has accredited the College of Southern Nevada, in Henderson. HVAC Excellence has also accredited the College of Southern Nevada and the Advanced Training Institute, in Las Vegas.

Advanced Training Institute

ATI offers an HVAC/R technician diploma program. Coursework is divided between classroom lectures and hands-on practice in a modern lab. The curriculum includes instruction in mechanical principles, HVAC electricity, gas-fired heating systems, boiler operation, HVAC and heat pump systems, commercial refrigeration and ice machines, troubleshooting, start-up, and installation.

Graduates are prepared to take industry certification exams and are qualified for entry-level employment as HVAC residential and commercial HVAC/R technicians.

The tuition includes the fees for OSHA certification, the EPA certification exam, and the 410A exam. Students are expected to wear uniforms, the cost of which is also included in the tuition.

  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence; Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCSC)
  • Tuition: $14,855
  • Format: On-campus
  • Program Length: 42 weeks

College of Southern Nevada

The college offers four HVAC technology certificate programs:

The curricula include coursework in the following subject areas: electrical and mechanical theory and application, gas heating and heat pumps, copper fundamentals, troubleshooting, ductwork, automatic controls, operation and maintenance of boilers and chillers, commercial refrigeration, reading construction plans and specifications, workplace safety, and customer service.

Non-technical coursework includes core computing competency, information systems, and general education electives. Students also complete an internship for some of the programs.

Not every certificate program includes every course listed. For example, only students seeking the food service certificate take the commercial refrigeration class. The college also offers four HVAC technology degree programs:

Students in the degree programs complete the same technical coursework as those in the certificate programs. They also complete general education requirements in math, composition, communications, human relations, natural science, humanities, history, and a selection of electives.

Students in all programs attend classroom lectures and receive hands-on training in the lab. Although the college is located in Henderson, HVAC programs are conducted at the Western Center in Las Vegas, in their new HVAC Center of Excellence facility.

  • Location: Henderson, NV
  • Accreditation: PAHRA; HVAC Excellence; Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition: Lower-division courses $102.75 per credit-hour; upper-division courses $168.25 per credit-hour
  • Format: On-campus
  • Program Length: Certificates, one year each; degrees, two years each

National Technical Institute

NTI offers three HVAC programs:

  • HVAC install technician – 88 hours, $2,560
  • HVAC technician – 160 hours, $4,650
  • HVAC/R technician – 190 hours, $5,580

Coursework is presented in classroom lectures followed by hands-on practice in a state-of-the-art lab. Students may attend classes during the day or the evening. Students may elect to complete some of the classroom work online.

The curriculum for the install technician program includes electrical theory and application and HVAC/R fundamentals. The HVAC technician program includes those courses, with the addition of advanced air conditioning, gas heating, heat pumps, and troubleshooting. The HVAC/R technician program adds commercial refrigeration to the above coursework.

As part of the coursework for all programs, students prepare for and take the EPA Section 608 exam. The cost of the exam is included in the tuition.

  • Location: Henderson, NV
  • Accreditation: Licensed by the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
  • Tuition: As noted above
  • Format: On-campus and online
  • Program Length: As noted above

Henderson students who are unable to attend on-campus programs may find that an online institution will best meet their needs. Check out accredited online HVAC training programs.

HVAC Certification and Licensing in Henderson, NV

Obtaining industry certifications can increase the employability of technicians. An essential one is the Section 608 certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As mandated by federal law, all HVAC technicians who work with refrigerants must have this credential. The EPA designates four types of certification based on the type and size of equipment worked on. These are:

  • Type I – small appliances
  • Type II – high-pressure appliances and motor vehicle air conditioning
  • Type III – low-pressure appliances
  • Universal – all types of equipment

Further information and practice exams are available on the website.

Industry organizations offer training, 608 certifications, and additional certifications that are designed to increase a technician’s knowledge and employability. A sample includes:

  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
  • HVAC Excellence

There is more information on the HVAC certifications page.

Finally, the Nevada State Contractors Board requires contractors, including HVAC professionals, to obtain a license if they work on projects valued at $1,000 or more. Licenses are issued for the following classifications:

  • Class A – general engineering
  • Class B – general building
  • Class C – specialty (they have 36 specialties, each requiring a separate license)

The specific requirements for each license vary, but in general, applicants must submit proof of a combined four years of experience and education, pass the business and law exam, pass a trade exam, submit financial statements and a bond, complete an application, and pay the application fee of $300. The license fee is $600 and is valid for two years. Contractors working on residences may also need to pay a “recovery fund assessment” fee that varies from $200 to $1,000.

Clark County requires a business license for anyone conducting business within the county. The fee varies according to the type of business. The City of Henderson requires all businesses to register and obtain a business license. Some companies may be required to submit proof of industrial insurance. The fee varies according to the type of business. Licenses must be renewed every six months.

As licensing requirements are always subject to change, HVAC technicians are encouraged to ensure they comply with state, county, and city licensing agencies before working on any project.

Sandra Smith

Sandra Smith was introduced to the HVAC industry when she worked as a bookkeeper and secretary for a small air-conditioning contractor. She eventually became a CPA and started her own practice specializing in small business taxes and accounting. After retiring from business, she began writing articles for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She also authored four books. Sandra makes her home in the mountains with a rescue dog that naps on her lap as she writes.