Las Vegas, NV HVAC Training Schools – Degrees & Certification

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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 are able to 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 a number of other benefits. Furthermore, HVAC workers have the opportunity to attend several industry-related events; in the past, Las Vegas has served as the hosts 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 is in compliance 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 2020) 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 now and 2028. Specifically, the BLS projected an additional 46,300 HVAC openings around the country between 2018 and 2028, an increase of 13 percent; this is much greater than the average expected growth of all US occupations during the same period (5 percent).

And data offered by Projections Central (2019) is even more encouraging for HVAC workers in Nevada. It shows a potential addition of 610 industry jobs in this state alone, or total growth of 31.8 percent, between 2016 and 2026. Of course, many of those positions will likely be within Las Vegas, the top municipal employer of HVAC professionals in the state.

There are many factors 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 servicing 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 to provide for the most cost- and energy-efficient systems available. Furthermore, 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 (May 2020), for example, shows 32 open positions, including those with Gulfstream Strategic, Pearce Services, Millian-Aire Enterprises, Bishop Air Services, and PULS. A separate search on Indeed.com (May 2020) returned 96 job postings, including openings at 75 Degrees LLC, Infinity Air LLC, Allstate Service Group, Showcase HVAC Mechanical, AES Mechanical, Inc., NRS Team, and Jenson Refrigeration.

Las Vegas, NV HVAC Technician Salary Data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2019), here are the national, state-wide, and Las-Vegas specific average annual salaries, and salaries as calculated by earning levels.

United States Nevada Las Vegas, Henderson, Paradise, NV
Number of HVAC professionals employed 342,040 2,600 1,840
Average annual salary $51,420 $54,010 $53,220
10th percentile $30,610 $31,500 $30,890
25th percentile $37,660 $41,390 $38,910
50th percentile (median) $48,730 $54,390 $53,400
75th percentile $62,070 $62,800 $61,800
90th percentile $77,920 $76,840 $76,580

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 state-wide. When looking at data compiled on cost-of-living by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), Nevada is the 37th 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 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 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.

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 certificate of achievement (CA) programs, and one skills certificate (SC) program.

The 60-credit-hour air conditioning technology program is a generalist AAS, while the three other AAS programs are those that specialize students in critical systems (60 credit-hours), food service refrigeration (61.5 credit-hours), 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 credit-hours), food service refrigeration (42.5 credit-hours), or central plant (41 credit-hours). CSN’s 18.5-credit skills certificate prepares students to become entry level air conditioning technicians. Coursework across the many programs includes introduction to HVAC electrical theory and application, heat pumps, copper fundamentals, and boiler operation and maintenance.

  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence, PAHRA
  • Duration: Up to two years
  • Tuition: $3,127 per year (in-state); $10,317 per year (out-of-state), $4,459 per year (western undergraduate exchange)

The Advanced Training Institute (ATI) offers an 840-hour 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. Students are also prepared to sit for the OSHA certification exam and the EPA 410A certification as well Students receive instruction in electrical & mechanical troubleshooting, the startup of new A/C & heating equipment, service & repair on residential & light commercial gas heating systems, and a number of others.

  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Duration: 42 weeks
  • Tuition: $14,855 for the program (including fees)

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

Las Vegas, NV HVAC Certification and Licensing

Prior to 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 the course of study.

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], 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.

Anyone who is 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 credentialing 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.

Becca Brewer

Becca is the co-founder of Limitless: An Adventure to Build a Better Future on a Thriving Earth. Limitless exists to inspire everyday people to join the millions of people across our planet who are already taking steps to heal our earth in their everyday lives. To move people into action, Becca and her travel partner, Léandre Deryckere, share the life stories of everyday earth healers and convey what they learn as they build environmental projects within the principles of gift economy. You can follow the adventure on Instagram at @LimitlessEcoAdventure, and join the project at Limitless.Eco.