HVAC Training Schools in Irving, TX

Connect With HVAC Schools

Irving, Texas (TX) is situated between Dallas and Fort Worth, making it part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Part of the DFW International Airport lies within Irving city limits. That airport and nearby Dallas-Love Field airport, combined with major highways and rail lines, provides the transportation facilities that helped make Irving the headquarters of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies.

According to its local government, “Irving is experiencing unprecedented growth.” Part of what contributes to the city’s thriving economy is the “rich diversity” of the population and thousands of “local and multinational companies.” Businesses that provide informational, professional, scientific, and technical services make significant contributions to the economy. Banking, insurance, and hospitality services also contribute to the economic base of the region.

There is nearly five inches of rainfall during the month of May in Irving. That’s the same month the temperatures begin to soar to the summer highs. There’s less rain in June, July, and August, but it’s hot and muggy. Temperatures are in the high 90s F and occasionally spike into the 100s. Nightimes are slightly cooler, averaging about 20 degrees lower. Daytime temperatures during the winter hover in the high 50s and low 60s, dropping to the upper 30s and low 40s in the evenings. Freezing nights are a rarity. Winter precipitation is typically moderate rainfall rather than snow.

The seasonal extremes push Irving residents indoors. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are essential for comfort, whether relaxing at home or at work. Many of the commercial enterprises, especially those that depend on technology, rely on the addition of refrigeration (HVAC/R) to keep their equipment functioning properly.

According to the most recent data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2019), 7,160 HVAC mechanics and installers are employed in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX area, which includes Irving. Technicians and their employers receive training and support from industry organizations including:

  • Greater Fort Worth Builders Association
  • Hispanic Contractors Association of Dallas
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of Texas
  • National Association of Women in Construction
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association North Texas
  • Regional Black Contractors Association
  • Subcontractors Association of the Metroplex
  • Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association
  • TEXO, The Construction Association

These groups coordinate with others in the industry and with government organizations to establish educational and licensing standards. They serve all aspects of the HVAC and HVAC/R industries, including safety, performance, and promotion.

Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Irving, TX

Demand for HVAC technicians is growing nationwide. According to the BLS (2019), openings for technicians is expected to increase by 13 percent nationwide between 2018 and 2028. That is much faster than the average of 5 percent projected for all occupations in the US. Also, Projections Central predicts a 23.5 percent increase in the demand for technicians in Texas, or 6,190 new positions, between 2016 and 2026.

The primary factor driving the growth of the HVAC ndustry is new construction. Older systems often need to be replaced, retrofitted, or upgraded to meet contemporary standards for energy efficiency and pollution reduction. The increasing reliance on technology makes specialized equipment and systems necessary, especially in the newer “smart” buildings. Climate-control equipment and systems are increasingly sophisticated and require trained technicians to install, service, and maintain.

Technicians are expected to be skilled with computers and electronics. Technicians who specialize in new installations may experience seasonal unemployment if construction declines, although that is not anticipated in Irving. As noted above, the economy is growing, requiring remodeling and new construction. New businesses attract job-seekers, creating the need for the construction of new homes. Maintenance and repair work tends to be stable, as businesses and homeowners need to keep their equipment in good working order regardless of economic conditions.

HVAC Salaries in Irving, TX

The BLS (March 2019) reports that HVAC mechanics and installers nationwide earned a median salary of $47,610 as of May 2018. Technicians in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX area, including Irving, earned an annual median salary of $45,470.

Details of national, state, and regional salaries of HVAC professionals are below:

United States Texas Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
Number of HVAC Professionals Employed 324,310 25,290 7,160
Average Annual Salary $50,160 $46,070 $46,340
10th Percentile $29,460 $27,930 $24,110
25th Percentile $36,520 $35,220 $31,170
50th Percentile (Median) $47,610 $44,550 $45,470
75th Percentile $60,900 $55,630 $55,140
90th Percentile $76,230 $66,090 $64,810

HVAC Apprenticeships in Irving, TX

Although HVAC and HVAC/R technicians traditionally began their career as assistants and learned the trade through on-the-job training, it is more common these days to enroll in an apprenticeship or training program.

Apprenticeships include a specified number of hours of on-the-job training (2,000 hours) and classroom work (144 hours) annually for three to five years. The Texas Workforce Commission has compiled resources for workers and 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.

National industry associations also offer apprenticeship programs. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of America
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association

Details are available on their websites.

Accredited HVAC Schools in Irving, TX

Accreditation is a process by which an independent agency evaluates the quality of a school. Both the curriculum and the instructors are evaluated to assure students that they receive the education they expect from the institution. When choosing a school, it is essential to determine if it is accredited and which organization granted accreditation.

Two main industry organizations evaluate and accredit HVAC programs. HVAC Excellence has awarded accreditation to Laredo College in Laredo, TX and the Lincoln College of Technology in Grand Prairie. The Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) has accredited Vernon College, in Wichita Falls. Vernon College is included in the profiles below due to its accreditation, although attending would require Irving students to commute.

Two colleges in the Dallas County Community College District offer HVAC programs: Cedar Valley College in Lancaster; and Eastfield College in Mesquite.

The Cedar Valley College program focuses on residential HVAC with the following:

  • Residential Technician I certificate – 24 credit-hours
  • Residential Technician III certificate – 48 credit-hours
  • Residential HVAC degree – 60 credit-hours

The technician I certificate curriculum includes basic electricity, air conditioning controls, HVAC/R principles, gas and electric heating, and heat pumps. The technician III certificate includes the same coursework, with the addition of air conditioning installation and startup, troubleshooting, systems design, and electives in communications and math. Students in the degree program will complete the technical curriculum of the certificate programs, as well as special topics in HVAC mechanic repair or HVAC cooperative education. They also have additional general education electives in humanities, psychology, and others.

The Eastfield College programs expand to commercial as well as residential. Students may complete the same certificate and degree programs as offered at Cedar Valley, or they may enroll in the HVAC/R degree program at Eastfield. The Eastfield technical program is the same, with the addition of commercial HVAC/R coursework.

Students also complete an HVAC/R practicum or HVAC/R cooperative education experience. They complete 60 credit-hours of technical coursework and general education coursework to earn their degree.

  • Location: Lancaster, TX; Mesquite, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $59 per credit-hour
  • Program length: Certificates one year; degree two years

Lincoln College of Technology

Lincoln Tech offers an HVAC technology diploma through both day and evening programs. Coursework is divided between classroom lectures and hands-on training in a lab. The curriculum includes the following coursework: an introduction to climate control, electricity, HVAC/R systems, HVAC design and layout, commercial refrigeration design and controls, energy efficiency, and green technology. Graduates are qualified for employment in entry-level positions.

  • Location: Grand Prairie, TX
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence; Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $24,109
  • Program length: 47 weeks

Lindsey-Cooper Refrigeration School

Lindsey-Cooper offers several HVAC/R programs during the daytime and evenings. Students can choose to attend full time or part time. They may also choose English or Spanish language classes. The coursework is presented in classroom lectures followed by hands-on practice in the lab. Participants can expect to learn subjects such as HVAC/R principles, HVAC/R components and controls, electricity, HVAC/R accessories, how to read wiring diagrams, soldering, tools and diagnostic instruments, and troubleshooting. Students may also take an additional course designed to prepare them for the EPA Section 608 exam.

  • Location: Irving, TX
  • Accreditation: Licensed by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: Not disclosed on their website but varies depending on program chosen
  • Program length: Two to 12 weeks depending on program chosen

Remington College

Remington College offers an HVAC diploma program. The coursework is divided equally between classroom lectures and hands-on training in fully-equipped labs. The curriculum includes career development, introductory HVAC/R, HVAC maintenance, automated controls, motors, residential systems, commercial HVAC/R, domestic appliances, heat pumps and hydronic heating, and ducting and airflow. Graduates are qualified to seek entry-level positions as residential, commercial, or industrial HVAC technicians.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $21,120
  • Program length: 48 weeks

Tarrant County College

TCC offers seven HVAC/R technology programs:

  • EPA recovery certification preparation and exam, non-credit industry education
  • Occupational skill award as an HVAC installer, 11 credit-hours
  • HVAC residential technician I, Level 1 certificate, 20-23 credit-hours
  • HVAC residential technician II, Level 1 certificate, 20-23 credit-hours
  • HVAC commercial technician, Level 2 certificate, 51 credit-hours
  • HVAC/R technology, residential, AAS degree, 60 credit-hours
  • HVAC/R technology, commercial, AAS degree, 60 credit-hours

The EPA course takes one day to complete. Students prepare for the exam, then spend the last two hours of the class taking the exam on computers. The cost is $125.

The HVAC installer occupational skills coursework includes technical calculations, the principles of refrigeration, and air conditioning installation and startup. The residential technician I certificate program adds basic and advanced electricity, mathematics, and residential air conditioning. The residential technician II program continues the curriculum with air conditioning controls, gas and electric heating, heat pumps, systems design, and troubleshooting.

The commercial technician level 2 program builds on the coursework of the previous programs with the addition of the following: duct fabrication, commercial systems design, advanced controls, and commercial HVAC. Students complete a capstone course on commercial refrigeration, industrial air conditioning, or heat pumps to earn their certificate.

Students enrolled in the degree programs complete all the technical curriculum of the certificate programs, as well as a selection of general education courses that include communication, public speaking, federal or state government, and composition. They finish with a capstone course in air conditioning troubleshooting.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $64 per credit hour
  • Program length: Certificate one-two years; degree two years

Tech Zone HVAC/R

TechZone offers HVAC/R training with classroom lectures on theory followed by hands-on practice in the lab. Classes are available during the daytime, evenings, and Saturdays. Students may attend full or part time.

Coursework includes tools of the trade, basic HVAC/R cycles, electricity, heat pumps, wiring diagrams, gas and electric heating, and refrigerants. Graduates are prepared to take the EPA Section 608 exam.

  • Location: Irving, TX
  • Accreditation: Licensed by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: Not disclosed on the website
  • Program length: Full time two weeks; part time ten weeks

Vernon College

Vernon College offers an HVAC occupational skills award program, an HVAC level I certificate program, and an HVAC associate in applied science (AAS) degree. Students learn through a combination of classroom lectures and hands-on training in the lab.

The award program includes instruction in basic electricity, the principles of air conditioning controls, and the principles of refrigeration. The program requires 12 credit-hours to complete.

The curriculum for the certificate program continues with residential and commercial air conditioning, refrigeration, gas and electric heating, heat pumps, troubleshooting, and a technology/technician practicum. Students complete 36 credit-hours to earn their certificate.

The degree program incorporates the above coursework, with the addition of general education required classes and electives that include composition, the federal government, mathematics, and public speaking, among others. Students complete 60 credit-hours to earn their degrees.

  • Location: Wichita Falls, TX
  • Accreditation: PAHRA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Format: On-campus
  • Tuition: $100 per credit-hour for Wilbarger County residents; $145 per credit-hour for other Texas residents
  • Program length: Certificate 32 weeks; degree two years

HVAC Certification & Licensing in Irving, TX

Federal law mandates that technicians who work with refrigerants obtain Section 608 certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Certification requires passing an exam on the safe handling of refrigerants. There are four types of certifications according to the systems on which technicians work:

  • Small appliances (Type I)
  • High-pressure appliances (Type II)
  • Low-pressure appliances (Type III)
  • All types of equipment (Universal)

Further information and practice exams are available online.

Technicians may obtain additional training and certifications from industry organizations, which also offer Section 608 testing and certification. These include:

  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES): Their mission is to provide opportunities for enhanced technical competence by offering comprehensive, cutting-edge education and certification to the HVAC/R industry.
  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE): Their certification tests represent real-world working knowledge of HVAC/R systems.
  • HVAC Excellence: Their exams and certifications are intended to validate that an individual has retained knowledge in a specific area of the HVAC/R industry.

Details are available on their websites.

As a final note, HVAC technicians are required to register with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Technicians must work under a licensed HVAC contractor and may not advertise their services. Applicants must complete a form and pay a fee of $20. The registration must be renewed annually. Renewal requires a completed application form and payment of $20.

Technicians may voluntarily choose to become state-certified technicians. Applicants must submit proof of 24 months of experience under a licensed HVAC contractor, proof of 2,000 hours of an approved training program, an application form, and a $50 fee. Once documents are approved, applicants must then pass an exam based on the type of certification required.

Certification types include:

  • Environmental Air – Class A
  • Environmental Air – Class B
  • Commercial Refrigeration – Class A
  • Commercial Refrigeration – Class B
  • Certified Technician

Each exam requires a fee. Licenses are valid for one year.

Certified technicians may upgrade to a contractor’s license when the following conditions are met:

  • Have 48 months of practical experience under a licensed HVAC contractor within the past 72 months or have a technician certification license (for the past 12 months) and have at least 36 months of practical experience under a licensed HVAC contractor (within the past 48 months)
  • Submit of a completed application form
  • Pay of a $115 fee
  • Successfully pass an exam
  • Meet the minimum requirement for insurance coverage

Two classes of licenses are available: Class A permits contractors to work on any size project; or Class B, which limits projects to cooling systems of 25 tons and under and heating systems of 1.5 million BTUs/hour and under. Endorsements for environmental air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and process heating or cooling may be added.

Licenses must be renewed annually. Renewal requires eight hours of continuing education, an application form, and a $65 fee.

The City of Irving also requires HVAC contractors to register annually. Applicants must have their state license, complete an application, and pay the $125 fee.

As licensing requirements are always subject to change, HVAC technicians are encouraged to ensure they comply with the appropriate licensing agencies before working on any project.

Barry Franklin

Barry is the Editor in Chief of HVACClasses.org, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures, which he joined as partner in 2013 after almost 20 years in the financial software industry.