Accredited HVAC Schools in Seattle, WA
Although inexperienced workers can obtain positions as trainees, there are significantly more opportunities for those who have completed an apprenticeship program. These offer the benefit of paying students as they learn. Apprenticeships typically include at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of classroom work annually. Apprentices are paid for the hours worked, and many programs do not charge tuition for the classroom work.
Apprentices must register with and be approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC). Any workers who are not registered apprentices are regarded as journey-level workers and must be paid the prevailing journey-level wage. Registered apprentices are paid prevailing wages for apprentices, which are based on the number of accumulated hours. After registration, apprentices can then enter the program of their choice.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries offers several programs statewide for HVAC/R applicants. These programs are designed to teach a particular skill, either through coursework or hands-on experience. The time to completion varies by program.
An increasing number of aspiring HVAC workers are enrolling in accredited programs. Accreditation ensures that what is taught meets industry standards. HVAC accreditation can be granted by:
- HVAC Excellence, which has not accredited a Washington state program as of now.
- Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA), which has accredited Bates Technical College, a public post-secondary school located in Tacoma. Bates is included in the profiles below due to its accreditation status. Furthermore, there are other programs within Seattle and surrounding areas which boast other reputable forms of accreditation.
Bates Technical College
There is one training program in WA accredited by PAHRA at Bates Technical College in Tacoma. The college offers an HVAC/R associate of applied science degree program and a certificate of competency in HVAC/R. Both programs require passing grades in the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) exams to graduate. Graduates are qualified to take other industry exams that increase their employability. They also receive 1,100 hours of credit for applying toward the Washington State O6A electrical certificate.
The certificate program requires 99 credit-hours, which include HVAC/R fundamentals, science, and troubleshooting. Students also learn about specialized tools and equipment, electrical systems and components, soldering and brazing, heat pumps, drafting and blueprints, chilled water systems, hydronic heating systems, cooling towers, thermal storage, commercial refrigeration, industry math, and welding and ducting.
The AAS degree program offers two concentrations: sheet metal or welding. Coursework in these programs covers the same areas as the certificate program, with additional courses in the chosen option. It also includes additional electives such as independent projects and practical applications. The AAS degree program requires 103 credit-hours to complete.
- Location: Tacoma, WA
- Accreditation: PAHRA; Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Expected Time to Completion: Certificate (60 weeks); degree (two years)
- Estimated Tuition: Resident ($131.42 per credit-hour); non-resident ($309.66 per credit-hour)
HVAC Business & Technical Institute
The HVAC Business & Technical Institute of nearby Kent, WA provides a wealth of technical classes in various areas. The HBTI boasts an innovative technical training lab, exceptional instructors, and employment-ready certification courses. For example, it offers a comprehensive electrical circuits and controls course for $595; gas and electrical furnaces for $595; heat-pump, A/C and refrigeration for $695; duct design and airflow troubleshooting for $495; and NATE certification courses for $425 (including relevant tests), among other hands-on instruction.
Notably, the school has recognition from NATE, the ACCA, and the EPA for excellence in training.
- Location: Kent, WA
- Accreditation: NA; Recognized by NATE, the ACCA, and the EPA for excellence in training
- Expected Time to Completion: Varies (some courses take four hours, while some might even take three to four days)
- Estimated Tuition: $295 to $695
Perry Technical Institute
The HVAC/R technology program offered by the Perry Technical Institute provides students with a solid foundation and prepares them for HVAC entry-level employment. The program covers all aspects of the HVAC/R field (ranging from direct digital controls to industrial heating and cooling).
Notably, the program has been approved by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries as a 06A HVAC/R Specialty Electrical Training program. Students in this program are also prepared for several industry certifications such as the EPA 608, R-410A Safety, OSHA Safety, Green Mechanical Systems, EPA 609 Refrigerant, and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certifications. Coursework includes hands-on training in lab-related instruction and classroom lectures.
The program consists of 169 credit-hours. It includes courses such as refrigeration and electric forced air heating, refrigeration fundamentals, resident and light commercial HVAC, industrial heating and cooling systems, and commercial refrigeration, among others.
Students also have the option of graduating with an associate of applied science degree from Yakima Valley College (YVC) and certificate from Perry Technical Institute (PTI), once they earn an additional 32 credit hours from YVC.
- Location: Yakima, WA
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Expected Time to Completion: Two years
- Estimated Tuition: $38,160
Clover Park Technical College
Clover Park Technical College offers an associate of applied technology degree in HVAC/R, a basic HVAC/R service technician certificate, and a refrigeration specialist certificate. Students in these programs are prepared for beginner roles such as building maintenance technicians, service technicians, start-up light commercial and residential installers, and equipment assemblers.
The refrigeration specialist certificate is made up of 42 credit-hours. It includes courses such as basic electricity, electrical circuits, advanced controls and troubleshooting, electric motors and their applications, electric motors and troubleshooting, EPA refrigerant certification, and basic refrigeration (along with lab) I and II.
The basic HVAC/R service technician certificate consists of 87 credit-hours. It includes all courses from the refrigeration specialist certificate with additional coursework in refrigeration controls, advanced motor theory, heating (along with lab) I and II, public speaking, general psychology, college success for all, and any 100-level math class.
The AAT degree in HVAC/R has been approved as an HVAC/Refrigeration (06A) Specialty Electrical Training program by the Washington State Department of Labour and Industries. It comprises 112 credit-hours and includes all courses from the certificates mentioned above with additional courses such as commercial refrigeration, job readiness, and computer literacy requirement.
Graduates of the AAT program will be well-equipped to find solutions to HVAC/R equipment related problems, they will be able to skillfully use HVAC/R diagnostic equipment and tools, and will be able to successfully troubleshoot commercial, residential, and industrial HVAC/R systems.
- Location: Lakewood, WA
- Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Expected Time to Completion: Associate of applied technology degree (four quarters); Basic HVAC/R service technician certificate (three quarters); refrigeration specialist certificate (two quarters)
- Estimated Tuition: Resident ($111.92 per credit-hour); non-resident ($290.16 per credit-hour)