Accredited HVAC Schools in Vermont
Rather than becoming apprentices, other aspiring HVAC professionals in VT may choose to enroll in an academic program. When choosing a school to attend, applicants need to make sure that the institution is accredited, which means a third-party organization has evaluated either the specific program or the institution as a whole for its curriculum, faculty, and learning outcomes. A wide range of independent organizations grants accreditation to institutions of higher learning.
For HVAC programs specifically, the most prominent program accreditation entities are the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation, and HVAC Excellence, although there were no programs in VT approved by either organization as of February 2021.
Vermont Technical College
Vermont Technical College offers an HVAC course at the Randolph Center campus as part of the architectural engineering technology program. The HVAC course focuses on system design, rather than installation, maintenance, or service. Classes and labs include:
- Basic HVAC calculations
- Design conditions
- Load estimating
- Duct and piping sizing
- HVAC equipment selection
- Energy conservation
- Mechanical codes
Students are required to have completed classwork in environmental systems, the fundamentals of fluids and thermodynamics, and mechanical/electrical codes and loads as before taking the HVAC course. The cost of the course is $15.00. Students may also take online courses through the college.
Vermont Technical College offers two-degree programs at the Randolph Campus, which may be of interest to students wanting to know more about HVAC system design and engineering. The first is an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in architectural and building engineering technology that requires 65 credits and the other is a bachelor of science (BS) degree in architectural engineering technology, which requires 124 credits. Notably, both programs are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
- Location: Randolph Center, VT
- Accreditation: ABET
- Expected Time to Completion: BS (four years); AAS (two years)
- Estimated Tuition: $613 per credit
Green Mountain Technology and Career Center
Green Mountain Technology and Career Center in Hyde Park offers two separate one-year programs for high school students. Students who choose to enroll spend one year on heating systems and one year on air conditioning and refrigeration. Graduates will be eligible for the Bronze Oil Heat Technician Certificate as well as the EPA Section 608 certification. Both these certifications require students to pass a course-specific test before the certification is awarded.
Students applying for these programs should have strong science and mathematical skills. They should also be willing to work in groups and understand the importance of teamwork. Mechanical ability and tool knowledge are a plus but not a requirement. There are endless employment opportunities available in these fields. Some students might be hired by local Vermont companies and trained “in-house” while working in the industry, while others may pursue further education in technical colleges.
The program includes instruction on topics such as soldering and brazing, electricity, heating theory, oil burners, refrigeration, air conditioning, and HVAC systems.
- Location: Hyde Park, VT
- Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: One or two years
- Estimated Tuition: Contact the college for a customized tuition assessment
River Bend Career and Technical Center
River Bend Career and Technical Center in Bradford offers a construction academy and residential energy program to introduce students to the operation of HVAC systems. There are two levels of the program available to students, who are also eligible to earn college credit in these technical school courses.
The curriculum of the program provides students with technical training in all forms of residential construction emphasizing alternative energy and energy efficiency. Building design, estimating, blueprint reading, safety on the worksite, site work, building codes, stairs, foundations, insulation envelopes, timber framing, roof systems, stress skin panels, framing, and finish work are all part of the process. Knowledge gained in this program can be used by students for designing and building projects of various complexity and sizes.
- Location: Bradford, VT
- Accreditation: N/A
- Expected Time to Completion: N/A
- Estimated Tuition: N/A
These and similar programs are accredited through their respective school districts. Tuition and fees are determined by the school districts, but many are free to current high school students. Programs change from time to time to meet the needs of the various trades. Adult courses and continuing education courses are also available at some centers.