Accredited HVAC Schools in Philadelphia
While HVAC technicians can begin their careers as apprentices and learn the trade through hands-on training, this has become more difficult over the years. Most workers now participate in a program or attend classes. This kind of training opens up many more employment opportunities and allows workers to start with higher wages and earn more during their career.
Individuals seeking training should make sure that the institution they choose is accredited. “The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality,” according to the Department of Education. Various agencies determine whether schools have met the applicable guidelines. Two organizations, in particular, evaluate and certify HVAC programs:
- HVAC Excellence
- Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA)
As of March 2018, there are several accredited programs in cities within 100 miles of Philadelphia:
Berks Career and Technology Center (Oley, Pennsylvania)
The Berks Career and Technology Center offers an HVAC/R certificate of competency. The program is accredited by HVAC Excellence to assure that the curriculum taught meets or exceeds the national skill standards. Additionally, this BCTC program has also been accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) through the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The program is designed to provide students with defined career paths in the HVAC industry through the use of project-based methods and national performance standards.
Bucks County Technical High School (Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania)
In this HVAC Excellence-accredited program, students are taught the basics of HVAC/R, including theoretical and practical coursework for domestic, commercial, and industrial systems. The courses prepare students for employment in HVAC or higher education. Students study basic physics and mathematics and as well as the theoretical and practical solutions in domestic, commercial and industrial environmental control systems.
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (Ephrata, Pennsylvania)
The Lancaster County CTC campus offers a six-hour EPA certification course for $245. The program prepares students for the EPA certification test. The program is offered two days a week for three hours a day in the evenings, making the program accessible to full-time employees.
North Montco Technical Career Center (Lansdale, Pennsylvania)
The HVAC program at North Montco Technical Career Center (NMTCC) teaches students the basic and advanced skills to install and service residential systems. Students are trained in electrical principles, plumbing, oil and gas heating, air conditioning, heat pumps and basic refrigeration systems. This program is certified by HVAC Excellence, which will allow students to enter higher level positions with some of the country’s premier contractors.
Western Montgomery Career & Technology Center (Limerick, Pennsylvania)
This program, offered by the Western Montgomery CTC, prepares students for employment and advanced study with a combination of shop practice and HVAC theory, including HVAC safety and the installation, servicing, and troubleshooting of various heating and cooling systems. Students will also learn pipe fitting, soldering, and brazing of the different types of piping materials. HVAC Excellence and the NCCER have certified this program.
Here are three other options in Pennsylvania that are more than 100 miles away from Philadelphia:
York County School of Technology (York, Pennsylvania)
The coursework and hands-on experience of this program teaches students about all aspects of the installation, servicing, and troubleshooting of commercial and residential systems. Graduates of this program can obtain the following certifications: ESCO Student Outcome Assessment by HVAC Excellence, EPA Section 608, Osha 10, HeartSaver First Aid, and TracPipe Certification.
Pennsylvania College of Technology (Williamsport, Pennsylvania)
The Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of Pennsylvania State University and a national leader in applied technology education. The program offered at PCT is a bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology. This program requires 136 credit hours. However, the school offers additional shorter programs such as an associate’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and a plumbing certificate. Tuition is $545 per credit hour. PCT’s HVAC program is PAHRA-accredited, and the school is a certified National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) training and testing center.
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center (Altoona, Pennsylvania)
The CTC in greater Altoona provides comprehensive full-time and part-time programs designed to prepare students for employment as HVAC technicians. Classes are taught during the day and or evening hours, and completion of the program requires 900 hours of training. There are internships available to students, which can be applied to the program as an additional course. These internships are supervised field work experiences in which students gain practical experience in HVAC. The program is accredited by the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), HVAC Excellence, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).