Las Vegas, NV HVAC Training Schools & Certifications

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The desert climate of Las Vegas is one of the many reasons that heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R or HVAC) workers choose to pursue a career within city limits. HVAC professionals in Sin City can take advantage of the many benefits offered by local organizations that support the industry.

For example, the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors (PHCC) of Nevada is based in Henderson, 15 miles southeast of the city. The organization provides a wide array of services for HVAC technicians, including apprenticeship opportunities, networking events, membership meetings throughout the calendar year, newsletters, discounts for members of the organization, political representation for industry professionals, and several other benefits.

Furthermore, HVAC workers have the opportunity to attend several industry-related events; in the past, Las Vegas has served as the host to some of the largest HVAC professional gatherings in the world such as the annual AHR Expo, LennoxLive, the Cooperator Expo, and more.

What types of tasks does an HVAC worker perform? While individual responsibilities may vary, HVAC professionals in Las Vegas are generally tasked with the following duties:

  • Performing system maintenance and required repairs
  • Laying wiring and piping structures for equipment
  • Testing components and circuitry
  • Making sure that all work performed complies with relevant rules
  • Educating customers on energy conservation practices
  • Soldering parts
  • Keeping service records
  • Calculating heat load and loss
  • Interpreting blueprints
  • Making sure to remain up-to-date with necessary licensure and credentials

Furthermore, all HVAC workers in Las Vegas who work with refrigerants need to maintain active EPA Section 608 Certification.

As with all skilled trades, pursuing a career as an HVAC worker demands a comprehensive knowledge of the vocation, imparted by proper education and hands-on training.

This guide offers an overview of the accredited HVAC schools in Las Vegas, including a discussion of occupational growth, salary information, and the necessary credentialing.

Demand for HVAC Techs in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2021) offers a promising outlook for HVAC workers nationwide; in fact, those working in the Las Vegas HVAC industry can expect a relatively high salary compared to the nationwide average, and will likely witness significant growth in employment opportunities between 2019 and 2029. Specifically, the BLS projected an additional 15,100 HVAC openings around the country during that decade—an increase of 4 percent. This is as fast as the average expected growth of all US occupations during the same period (4 percent).

And data offered by Projections Central (2021) is even more encouraging for HVAC workers in Nevada. It shows a potential addition of 620 industry jobs in this state alone (growth of 30.1 percent) between 2018 and 2028. Of course, many of those positions will likely be within Las Vegas, the top municipal employer of HVAC professionals in the state.

Many factors are contributing to the strong growth of the HVAC industry. For example, this equipment typically has to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. It also demands periodic maintenance and services to function properly. In addition, both laws and relevant technologies within the HVAC industry are always evolving, meaning that workers must perform constant updates and provide for the most cost- and energy-efficient systems available.

Also, Las Vegas is home to many climate-controlled buildings, and the rapid rate of construction in the area also necessitates the installation of new HVAC technology.

An examination of online job postings illustrates this booming industry. A search for HVAC jobs in Las Vegas on Monster.com (August 2021) yielded several jobs in HVAC with companies such as Jobot, Talentify, The Kroger Company, Goettl Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Mountainview Air, and Labor Systems. A separate search on Indeed.com (August 2021) returned 231 job postings, including openings at Clark County School District, Johnson Controls, Emcor, CaptiveAire Systems, Blue Apple Electric, ACLV Heating & Cooling, and Smith’s Food and Drug.

Las Vegas, NV HVAC Technician Salary Data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020), HVAC professionals earn relatively competitive salaries, particularly for positions that may require just two years of post-secondary training. BLS (May 2020) reported that there were 344,020 HVAC mechanics and installers nationwide with an average annual salary (annual mean wage) of $53,410 and 3,000 HVAC mechanics and installers in Nevada with an average annual salary (annual mean wage) of $55,820. Las Vegas had 2,430 HVAC mechanics and installers with an average annual salary of $55,190.

The table below is a comparison of national, state, and regional salaries of HVAC professionals, according to the BLS (May 2020):

United States Nevada Las Vegas
Number of HVAC Professionals Employed 344,020 3,000 2,430
Annual mean wage $53,410 $55,820 $55,190
10th Percentile $31,910 $34,600 $34,160
25th percentile $39,320 $41,840 $40,770
50th percentile (median) $50,590 $55,350 $54,170
75th percentile $64,350 $65,060 $64,330
90th percentile $80,820 $80,030 $80,310

The national figures were slightly different according to another source of data, PayScale (August 2021), which relies on self-reported salaries. Among the HVAC workers reporting their annual salaries, Payscale found these percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $33,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $49,571
  • 90th percentile: $78,000

The salaries in Las Vegas for HVAC technicians are just a bit higher than the national averages, although just a bit lower than the averages statewide. When looking at data compiled on cost-of-living by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2021), Nevada is the 36th most affordable state in the nation, with particular savings in utilities. Salaries that are slightly higher than the national average may help HVAC techs in the state to keep up with the cost of living.

Accredited HVAC Schools in Las Vegas

There are various pathways to becoming an HVAC professional in Las Vegas. Although graduation from an accredited HVAC program is not required to work, these programs are held to a standard of education that may help a graduate stand out in a candidate pool because of the predictable quality of knowledge and work.

The two major accrediting bodies for HVAC training are Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) and HVAC Excellence. Keep reading to understand more about options for accredited HVAC programs in Las Vegas.

College of Southern Nevada

The College of Southern Nevada is a rare HVAC program accredited by both HVAC Excellence and PAHRA. Offering classes out of their HVAC Center of Excellence, CSN offers four associate of applied science (AAS) programs in air conditioning technology, three certificates of achievement (CA) programs, and one skill certificate (SC) program.

The 60-credit air conditioning technology program is a generalist AAS, while the three other AAS programs are those that specialize students in critical systems (60 credits), food service refrigeration (61.5 credits), or central plant (60 credit hours).

For those who already have an AAS, or are looking to specialize without general education requirements, each of the specialized AAS programs is available as a certificate of achievement program: critical systems (40 credits), food service refrigeration (42.5 credits), or central plant (41 credits). CSN’s 18.5-credit skills certificate prepares students to become entry-level air conditioning technicians.

Coursework across the many programs includes an introduction to HVAC electrical theory and application, heat pumps, copper fundamentals, and boiler operation & maintenance, HVAC Automatic Controls, Residential Gas Heating, Commercial Refrigeration, and Equipment Cooling, among many such courses.

Emphasizing hands-on techniques with practical skills, this program prepares students to synthesize, analyze, and solve HVAC/R problems.

  • Location: Las Vegas, NV; Henderson, NV; North Las Vegas, NV
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence; PAHRA
  • Expected Time to Completion: Up to two years
  • Estimated Tuition: Lower Division ($109.75 per credit); Upper Division ($180 per credit)

Advanced Training Institute

The Advanced Training Institute (ATI) offers a diploma program in HVAC/Commercial Refrigeration technologies This training organization offers students not only a solid understanding of HVAC theory but also provides EPA Section 608 Certification, a mandatory credential for those who work with refrigerants.

Combining hands-on training in labs with knowledge in classroom lectures, the program teaches students to troubleshoot and repair residential and light commercial HVAC/R systems. Students also learn about repairing hydronic & electric heating systems and gas heating systems.

This 840 clock hour diploma program consists of courses such as applied electricity for HVAC, mechanical principles, air conditioning systems, gas-fired heating systems & boiler operation, commercial refrigeration & ice machines, heat pump systems, and troubleshooting, start-up & installation.

Students are also prepared to sit for the OSHA certification exam and the EPA 410A certification as well. They receive instruction in electrical & mechanical troubleshooting, the startup of new A/C & heating equipment, service & repair on residential & light commercial gas heating systems, and many others.

  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence; Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET)
  • Duration: 10.5 months
  • Tuition: $14,700

Truckee Meadows Community College

Not located in Las Vegas, but Truckee Meadows Community College can be a great option for students who don’t mind traveling to Reno, NV. The college offers the following degrees and certificates in HVAC/R:

  • AAS – Construction Technologies, HVAC/R (60 credits)
  • AAS – Construction Technologies, HVAC/R Critical Systems (60 credits)
  • Certificate of achievement – Air Conditioning, Critical Systems (42 credits)
  • Certificate of achievement – HVAC/R (31 credits)
  • Skills certificate – Commercial Refrigeration (24 credits)
  • Skills certificate – Critical Systems (15 credits)
  • Skills certificate – HVAC/R (24 credits)
  • Skills certificate – HVAC Installer (12 credits)

These programs provide classroom instruction along with hands-on training in labs preparing students for analyzing and troubleshooting HVAC/R systems. Students can also earn the EPA section 608 certification.

Some of the topics students will delve into include: refrigeration theory, electrical and controls for HVAC, schematic reading for HVAC/R, basic refrigeration servicing, heat pumps, sheet metal, chiller operations & maintenance, HVAC automatic controls, and general industry safety, among others.

  • Location: Reno, NV
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Expected Time to Completion: AAS (four semesters); Certificates (two to three semesters)
  • Estimated Tuition: In-state Lower-division courses ($109.75 per credit); upper-division courses ($180 per credit)

Students who live in more remote areas of Nevada who are interested in HVAC training and who can’t make their way to Las Vegas can consider pursuing online HVAC programs.

Las Vegas, NV HVAC Certification and Licensing

Before seeking employment, HVAC workers in Las Vegas are required to possess the relevant certification and licensure needed to work in this industry.

Overall, one national certification is necessary for all aspiring HVAC workers who handle environmentally sensitive refrigerants: the EPA Section 608 Certification. There are four types: type 1 (small appliances), type 2 (high-pressure appliances), type 3 (low-pressure appliances), and type 4 (universal). Virtually all HVAC programs will prepare graduates for the certification exam during their studies.

Furthermore, there are other national organizations with skill-based, employment-ready certifications. Three of these entities, along with sample certifications, are the following:

  • 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], commercial refrigeration, light commercial refrigeration, etc.
  • HVAC Excellence – Heating, Electrical, Air conditioning Technology [HEAT], HEAT Plus, residential heat load analysis, green awareness, etc.

Anyone interested in the full array of national credentials should visit the HVAC certifications page.

Additionally, all HVAC workers in Las Vegas must have all local credentialing before starting work. The Nevada State Contractors Board is the main licensing entity in this field and is required if the total cost of the work is greater than $1,000. To obtain a license from the Board, an HVAC worker must possess at least four years of experience in the industry, send a resume, submit four notarized reference certificates, and pay a processing fee ($300).

Applicants for this license also need to submit a financial statement, the specifics of which depend on the project. Once the license is approved, the HVAC worker will need to secure a necessary surety bond or cash deposit amount, as well.

Aspiring HVAC workers should also know that the Nevada State Contractors Board issues licenses in the following classifications:

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

Lastly, HVAC professionals in Las Vegas will want to ensure that they have all municipal credentials as well. The City of Las Vegas has an online permitting system for contractors or homeowners who want to change out their HVAC systems.

In sum, HVAC workers in Las Vegas and beyond are strongly encouraged to research the necessary licensure requirements before they begin work to ensure that they possess the correct credentialing, as a failure to do so could result in legal trouble.

Jocelyn Blore

Jocelyn Blore is the chief content officer of Sechel Ventures and the co-author of the Women Breaking Barriers series. She graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and traveled the world for five years. She also worked as an addiction specialist for two years in San Francisco. She’s interested in how culture shapes individuals and systems within societies—one of the many themes she writes about in her blog, Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor). She has served as managing editor for several healthcare websites since 2015.