When choosing an HVAC training school in North Carolina, it is essential to determine if it is accredited and by which organization. Accreditation is a process by which an independent agency evaluates the quality of the program, including both the curriculum and the instructors.
Two organizations evaluate and approve HVAC programs: HVAC Excellence has awarded accreditation to Guilford Technical Community College (Greensboro Campus) and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) has accredited Pitt Community College. Although attending Pitt would require Greensboro students to commute, it is included in the profiles provided below due to its accreditation.
Guilford Technical Community College
The North Carolina Community College System has 59 campuses throughout the state. Guilford Technical Community College located in Greensboro is one of them. It offers various HVAC programs for North Carolina students. It must be noted that this is the only HVAC Excellence-accredited college in the state. It offers the following HVAC programs:
- Air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration technology; basic air conditioning certificate (17 credit-hours): This certificate program includes courses such as HVAC/R electricity, introduction to refrigeration, comfort cooling, refrigerant certification, and heat pump technology
- Air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration diploma (46 credit-hours): Courses in the diploma include all the courses mentioned above, with the addition of HVAC/R building code, heating technology, writing and inquiry, HVACR customer relations, HVAC/R electronics, residential system design, advanced comfort systems, introduction to computers, and HVAC controls
- Associate of applied science (AAS) in air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technology (67 credit-hours): The curriculum of the AAS program includes all courses from the certificate and the diploma program. In addition, students also have to complete coursework in hydronic heating, indoor air quality, refrigeration design, and commercial system design
All three programs offered by Guilford Technical Community College prepare students for the EPA certification examinations and train them in performing preventive maintenance on HVAC/R systems, repairing electrical controls and components in HVAC systems, applying the refrigeration principles and practices to HVAC/R systems, and demonstrating knowledge of basic hydronic heating principles.
- Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
- Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
- Expected Time to Completion: AAS (Five semesters); diploma (three semesters); certificate (two semesters)
- Estimated Tuition: In-state ($76 per credit-hour); out-of-state ($268 per credit-hour)
Pitt Community College
Pitt Community College offers the only PAHRA-accredited HVAC program in North Carolina. It offers a total of three HVAC programs: heating and refrigeration service diploma, efficiency & performance diagnostics diploma, and a heating and refrigeration service certificate. All these programs provide basic courses in HVAC technology, with the diploma programs offering more in terms of hands-on experience and general education.
The air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration services diploma is made up of 36 credit-hours. It includes courses such as introduction to refrigeration, HVACR electricity, heating technology, comfort cooling, heat pump technology, HVAC controls, HVAC servicing, refrigerant certification, and construction safety.
The efficiency and performance diagnostics diploma is made up of 44 credit-hours. The curriculum explores topics such as advanced comfort systems, residential system design, HVAC/R building code, introduction to sustainability, basic PC literacy, and energy use analysis. Students in this program will also have to complete all courses from the air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration services diploma.
The heating and refrigeration service certificate consists of 16 credit-hours. Sample some of the courses: HVAC/R electricity, introduction to refrigeration, comfort cooling, and heating technology.
Students in each of these programs receive training in the servicing and repairing of HVAC systems, troubleshooting and diagraming electrical systems, and also learn about sheet metal fabrication, energy audits, and conservation. Graduates of the program can pursue roles such as refrigeration technician, air conditioning technician, and HVAC/R control technician.
- Location: Greenville, North Carolina
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, PAHRA
- Expected Time to Completion: Two semesters
- Estimated Tuition: Resident ($76 per credit-hour); non-resident ($268 per credit-hour)
Students who are unable to attend on-campus schools may find that distance-based, or online institutions can better meet their needs. Several accredited online schools offer HVAC and HVAC/R programs, one of which is profiled below.
Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College’s online HVAC technician career diploma provides students with online HVAC training and prepares them for HVAC certification, which includes an EPA certification preparatory manual, a test voucher, and exam registration. The faculty of the program includes renowned professionals who are certified instructors, success coaches, and teaching assistants.
This online HVAC technician program consists of eight courses, helping students gain the knowledge and skills for performing HVAC/R repair jobs in a variety of settings. They can work as HVAC/R technicians in the residential and light construction field. The curriculum includes courses such as orientation to HVAC/R, math for the trades and nature of electricity, fundamentals of HVAC/R, refrigeration systems, electrical systems, residential and light commercial HVAC/R systems, HVAC/R system design and installation, and commercial refrigeration and HVAC/R maintenance.
Students will gain an understanding of the usage and composition of HVAC/R equipment, tools, and materials that are required for installing and diagnosing tasks, recognize safety procedures, understand the refrigeration cycle, understand processes and theories for installing and evaluating electrical systems and controls, and comprehend procedures to install, inspect, test, repair, and maintain HVACR systems.
- Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
- Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- Expected Time to Completion: Five months
- Estimated Tuition: $799
For more information on programs available, visit the online HVAC training page.