HVAC Programs in Garland, Texas (TX) – Degrees & Licensing

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Garland, TX, is encompassed within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, also known as Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington statistical area. By any designation, Garland is a significant part of a thriving economic hub. The diverse Metroplex industries include banking, commerce, energy, healthcare, insurance, medical research, logistics, telecommunications, technology, and transportation. Garland’s economy relies on construction, healthcare, and retail trade, supplemented by mining, oil and gas extraction, and professional services.

Kraft Foods is located a manufacturing facility in Garland, and Resistol Hats makes the city their home. Numerous Fortune 500 and other major companies that contribute to Metroplex growth also stimulate the economy in Garland.

Garland’s climate is categorized as humid subtropical. That means it rains every month, with May receiving close to six inches. Slightly less rain falls during July, August, and September, and those months are the only ones in which the relative humidity is less than 60 percent, with August having the lowest at 52 percent.

Average high temperatures June through August are in the upper 80 degrees F, with average low temperatures in the upper 70s. The summer heat gives way to cooler autumns in October. Winter cold and wind start during November, although temperatures rarely drop below freezing. January is the coldest month, with average highs of 46 and average lows of 38 degrees. March ushers in springtime warmth.

The humidity, along with summer heat and winter cold, means that Garland residents depend on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) for comfort in their homes and workplaces. Manufacturing and industrial facilities, educational institutions, and healthcare complexes add refrigeration (HVAC/R) to their systems. The telecommunications and technology industries often need specialized climate-control systems and equipment to keep their crucial electronics operating correctly.

The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2021) data indicate that 9,710 HVAC and HVAC/R technicians were employed in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington statistical area. The technicians and their employers receive resources and support from national, state, and local industry associations, including:

  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Dallas Builders Association HVAC
  • Greater Fort Worth Builders Association (GFWBA)
  • Hispanic Contractors Association of Dallas
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of Texas (MCATexas)
  • National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association North Texas (PHCCA)
  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
  • Regional Black Contractors Association (RBCA)
  • Southwest Pipe Trades Association Local 146 – Fort Worth (SWPTA)
  • Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association (TACCA)
  • TEXO, The Construction Association (TEXO)

These organizations cooperate with others in the industry, regulatory agencies, and businesses to establish and maintain educational, licensing, and performance standards for the safety of technicians, the public, and the environment.

Occupational Demand for HVAC and HVAC/R Technicians in Garland, TX

The BLS (2021) projects an increase of 5 percent nationwide in the demand for trained HVAC and HVAC/R technicians between 2020 and 2030. That means an average of 38,500 new job openings each year.

Statistics from Projections Central (2022) are more optimistic for Texas specifically. They expect a statewide increase of 12.6 percent and an annual average of 42,800 new positions between 2018 and 2028.

The construction of new commercial and residential buildings drives the growth of the HVAC industry. Secondly, renovating and remodeling existing structures in older cities such as Garland contributes significantly to the industry’s continued growth. Obsolete equipment and systems must be repaired, replaced, or upgraded to meet growing or changing requirements.

On occasion, climate-control systems in newer structures require updating or replacement due to evolving regulations, technological advances, and the demands of new high-tech industries. Finally, the increasing emphasis on energy efficiency and pollution reduction is a significant factor driving industry growth.

Homeowners and businesses want “smart” buildings with sophisticated climate-control systems. New or modernized buildings are expected to incorporate the latest technology. The HVAC technicians working with those systems must be skilled troubleshooters, proficient with computers, and understand electronics and high-tech. Their training and expertise provide the best job opportunities.

Technicians who specialize in new construction may occasionally experience unemployment if construction declines. That is unlikely in the foreseeable future for all of the Metroplex. Garland remains committed to economic development. Two large manufacturing companies are expanding their facilities, a ten-acre industrial and retail development is underway, and a VA medical facility has opened in an area that will feature other modern healthcare services.

Technicians who choose to maintain, service, and repair equipment and systems can expect continuous employment regardless of the economy, as businesses and homeowners rely on year-round climate control.

HVAC and HVAC/R Salaries in Garland, TX

The BLS (May 2021) reports that HVAC mechanics and installers nationally received a median salary of $48,630. According to their reports, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington earned an annual median salary of $48,930. The wage difference is more favorable than it appears, as the cost of living in Texas is lower than in most other American states.

The table below reflects BLS (May 2021) national, state, and regional earnings of HVAC professionals:

United States Texas Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
Number of HVAC professionals employed 356,960 31,060 9,710
Average annual salary $54,690 $51,270 $54,110
10th Percentile $34,320 $33,890 $36,660
25th Percentile $38,450 $38,440 $46,910
50th percentile $48,630 $47,980 $48,930
75th Percentile $62,000 $59,980 $60,670
90th Percentile $78,210 $74,400 $76,210

HVAC Apprenticeships in Garland, TX

HVAC and HVAC/R technicians traditionally started as helpers and learned their skills through on-the-job training. Few opportunities exist now for untrained workers, and most attend classes or participate in an apprenticeship program. Formal training opens up more employment opportunities for most workers. Time invested in classes varies according to the level of expertise sought. Apprenticeships include specified hours of on-the-job training, usually 2,000 hours, and classroom work, usually 144 hours, annually for three to five years.

The Texas Workforce Commission has compiled general instructions for becoming a registered apprentice. Aspiring apprentices should first find an employer willing to train them. The employer should register with the Commission if they have not already done so. The Commission grants funding to registered programs, classroom instruction, and apprentices.

Apprenticeship.gov maintains a database of apprenticeships nationwide, including HVAC apprenticeships in or near Garland. UA Local 100 JATC offers a five-year HVAC/R apprenticeship at the Garland facility. Apprentices work for a union contractor and attend classes two nights a week.

Workers can also attend HVAC and HVAC/R apprenticeship programs from industry associations such as the following:

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

Details are available on their websites.

Accredited HVAC and HVAC/R Schools in Garland, TX

Students selecting a school are advised to choose an accredited institution. Accreditation means that an independent agency has evaluated the quality of the school’s program, including both the curriculum and the instructors. HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) accredit HVAC programs.

HVAC Excellence has accredited Laredo College, Laredo, and Lincoln College of Technology, Grand Prairie. PAHRA has accredited Vernon College, Wichita Falls. Laredo College and Vernon College are not included in the profiles below as they would require a lengthy commute for Garland students. Other reputable agencies have accredited the remaining schools.

Note: The information in this article was compiled in May 2022, when pandemic restrictions were in a state of flux. The profiled schools may have temporarily suspended classes or are offering online options. Please direct questions about timing and format to the school administration.

Dallas College Eastfield Campus and North Lake Campus

Dallas College has seven campuses, with Eastfield and North Lake being the closest to Garland. Eastfield offers two certificate programs and two degree programs. Students may earn certificates as a residential – technician I and residential – technician III level II. The degree programs are commercial HVAC/R technology and residential HVAC/R. The certificate programs are not available at the North Lake Campus. Students in all the programs receive the training needed to seek positions in their chosen specialty.

The curriculum for the residential technician I certificate includes electricity, HVAC/R control principles, residential air conditioning, gas and electric heating, and heat pumps, for a total of 24 credits. Students in the residential technician III certificate program complete the same technical curriculum with the addition of air conditioning installation and startup, air conditioning troubleshooting, and residential air conditioning systems design. They also complete two general education electives from composition, speech, or math, for a total of 48 credits.

The technical curriculum for students seeking the commercial HVAC/R technology degree includes the above coursework and adds commercial refrigeration or industrial air conditioning, commercial air conditioning, air conditioning troubleshooting, energy management, and advanced controls. They also choose either an HVAC/R technology/technician practicum or HVAC/R technology/technician cooperative education course.

Their general education requirements include composition, mathematics, humanities/fine arts, speech communication, and general psychology. The residential HVAC/R degree program has the same curriculum except that the practicum is replaced by special topics in HVAC/R mechanic and repairer. Both degree programs require a minimum of 60 credits.

  • Location: Eastfield Campus Mesquite, TX; North Lake Campus Irving, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $79 per credit for Dallas County residents
  • Program length: Certificates 12 to 18 months; degree two years

Lincoln College of Technology

The HVAC/R technology diploma program at Lincoln Tech is available during the day, afternoons, and evenings. The coursework for each program is the same and requires 44.5 credits to complete.

The curriculum includes an introduction to climate control systems, electricity, HVAC/R systems, air conditioning design and layout, commercial refrigeration controls and design, warm air heating, and energy efficiency and green technology systems. Graduates are qualified to sit for the EPA Section 608 exam and to seek entry-level positions as HVAC/R technicians.

  • Location: Grand Prairie, TX
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC); HVAC Excellence
  • Tuition: $24,030
  • Program length: 47 weeks

Lindsey-Cooper Refrigeration School

Lindsey-Cooper offers their HVAC/R training full-time and part-time. The part-time program is available either in the evenings or on Saturdays. The full-time program is taught in daytime classes only. The part-time programs are available in English and Spanish.

The coursework for all programs is divided between classroom lectures and hands-on training in the lab. Class sizes are limited to 15 students. The curriculum includes heating, refrigeration cycles, service tools and instruments, compressors, condensers, evaporators, metering devices, refrigerants, chilled water systems, and electricity. Students may take an optional program for an additional fee to prepare for the EPA Section exam.

  • Location: Irving, TX
  • Accreditation: Certificate of Approval Texas Workforce Commission
  • Tuition: Not disclosed on their website
  • Program length: Part-time 12 weeks; full-time two weeks

Remington College

Remington offers an HVAC diploma program at the Garland campus. They offer an HVAC technician degree program at the Garland and Fort Worth campuses. Students learn through classroom lectures followed by hands-on training in the lab.

The curriculum for the diploma program includes career development fundamentals and principles, refrigeration theory, HVAC maintenance, electricity, motors and controls, residential HVAC, air conditioning and components, commercial refrigeration systems, domestic appliances and cold water air conditioning, heat pumps and hydronic heating, ventilation and airflow, and hydronic systems. Students receive their diploma at the completion of 59 credits.

Degree-seeking students complete the same technical curriculum as those in the diploma program. They also complete the following business and general education coursework: business applications, small business principles and basics, recordkeeping and financial statement basics, psychology, oral communication, algebra, and English composition for a total of 95 credits.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX; Garland, TX
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Estimated Tuition: Diploma $21,520; degree $22,956
  • Program length: Diploma 12 months; degree two years

Tarrant County College – South Campus

Students at TCC – South Campus may select from an occupational skills award program, three HVAC certificate programs, and two HVAC/R degree programs, as follows:

Occupational Skills Award

  • HVAC installer- 11 credits


  • HVAC/R commercial technician – 51 credits
  • HVAC residential technician I – 23 credits
  • HVAC residential technician II – 20 credits


  • Commercial HVAC/R Technology – 60 credits
  • Residential HVAC/R Technology – 60 credits

Students may also enroll in a one-day non-credit EPA Section 608 course. They spend six hours in exam preparation and take the exam during the final two hours. The cost is $125.

The occupational skills award coursework includes technical calculations, refrigeration principles, and air conditioning installation and startup. The certificates’ curricula begin with that coursework. Additional curriculum for each is based on the certificate title and can include coursework such as electricity, air conditioning control principles, troubleshooting, heat pumps, gas and electric heating, HVAC systems design, mathematics, and HVAC controls.

Students in the degree programs complete all the technical coursework included in the certificate programs. Those seeking the commercial technician degree add commercial HVAC/R, commercial HVAC design, industrial HVAC, advanced electricity, advanced controls, and HVAC installation and startup. The additional curriculum for the residential technician degree includes HVAC installation and startup and commercial refrigeration.

Both degree programs require general education coursework that includes composition, introduction to physical fitness and wellness, federal government or Texas government, and electives from mathematics and communications.

Graduates of all programs are qualified to seek positions as HVAC and HVAC/R technicians.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $64 per credit for residents of Tarrant County; $126 per credit for residents of other Texas counties
  • Program length: Certificates vary; degree two years

HVAC and HVAC/R Certification and Licensing in Garland, TX

Federal law mandates that all HVAC and HVAC/R technicians who handle refrigerants must obtain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 certification. Four certification levels are available based on the type and size of equipment on which a technician works. Each level described below requires technicians to pass a specific exam on refrigerant safety:

  • Type I – for servicing small appliances
  • Type II – for servicing or disposing of high-pressure appliances, except small appliances and automotive air conditioning
  • Type III – for servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances
  • Universal – for servicing all types of equipment

Details of the criteria for each certification are available on the EPA website.

Technicians may obtain their Section 608 certification, as well as other certifications that can increase their employability, from industry organizations such as the following:

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

Each organization includes details of availability, scheduling, and fees on its website. There is also more information on the HVAC certifications page.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation requires HVAC and HVAC/R technicians to register. Technicians must work under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor and may not advertise their services. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, complete an application, and pay a fee of $20. Registrations are valid for one year.

Registered technicians with at least two years of experience under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor may apply for Certified Technician status. Alternatively, they may complete an approved certification training program. They must be at least 18 years old, complete an application, submit proof of employment or training, pass an exam, and pay a $50 fee. The certification is voluntary and valid for one year.

All air conditioning and refrigeration contractors must be licensed. A technician who has been certified for at least one year and has at least 36 months of practical experience in the preceding 48 months under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor is eligible to apply for a contractor license.

Otherwise, a technician must have at least 48 months of practical experience under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor during the past 72 months. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, submit an application verifying experience, pass a licensing exam, maintain insurance coverage, and pay the $115 fee.

Class A contractors may work on any size unit. Class B contractors may work only on cooling systems of 25 tons and under and heating systems of 1.5 million BTUs/hour and under. Contractor licenses may have the following endorsements:

  • Environmental air conditioning
  • Commercial refrigeration
  • Process cooling or heating

Licenses expire in one year. Renewal requires eight hours of approved continuing education units, an application, and payment of the $65 fee.

The City of Garland requires HVAC contractors to submit a copy of their state license, a valid driver’s license, and a $125 fee.

Licensing regulations are always subject to change, and HVAC professionals are encouraged to confirm that they comply with current state and local guidelines before starting a 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.