Accredited HVAC and HVAC/R Schools in Vancouver, WA
Workers who obtain their training by attending school should select an accredited institution. Accreditation is a process by which a school undergoes an evaluation of its program’s curriculum and instructors by an independent agency.
HVAC programs are accredited by HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). To date, HVAC Excellence has not accredited a Washington program. PAHRA has awarded accreditation to Bates Technical College. Although it is too far away for Vancouver students to attend unless they relocate, it is included in the profiles below due to its accreditation. Reputable agencies have accredited other schools in the profiles below.
Washington Community and Technical Colleges has 34 campuses throughout the state, including Clark College in Vancouver. Although several of the campuses offer an HVAC program, Clark College currently does not. The closest campus is Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, WA. Attending would require a two-hour commute for Vancouver students.
Bates Technical College
Bates offers an HVAC/R support technician certificate and an HVAC/R technician degree program. Both programs include classroom lectures and hands-on training in the lab. Both programs prepare students to take the Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) competency exams. Passing the exams is a condition of graduation. Students are also prepared to take the EPA 608 exam and other industry certifications, and 1,100 hours of credit can be applied toward the Washington State O6A specialty electrician certificate. Graduates are qualified to seek entry-level employment in a variety of HVAC positions.
The curriculum for the certificate program includes introduction to tools and fasteners, OSHA 30-hour training, first aid and CPR, electricity, magnetism, electrical motors and applications, motor controls and troubleshooting, theory of heat, automatic controls and troubleshooting, indoor air quality, advanced controls, electric and oil heat, gas and hydronic heat, refrigeration, oil chemistry, EPA universal, tubing piping and brazing, system charging, refrigeration system components, load calculations, duct design, air balance, operating conditions, introduction to drafting, special refrigeration systems, heat pump systems, air and geothermal, domestic appliances, commercial refrigeration systems and troubleshooting, comfort, psychometrics, energy auditing, troubleshooting, and chilled water systems.
In addition to the technical coursework, students complete general education requirements, including professional writing, English composition, math, and an elective from humanities/social sciences/natural sciences. Students complete 101 credit hours to earn their certificate.
Students seeking a degree complete all of the above coursework. They also complete additional technical curriculum that includes basic metal working, layout and patterns, fabrication practices, and welding basics. They add technical writing to the general education requirements. Their degree is awarded at the completion of 109 credits.
- Location: Tacoma, WA
- Accreditation: PAHRA; Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Estimated Tuition: $144.12 per credit
- Estimated Program Length: Six quarters
Clover Park Technical College
The college offers three HVAC programs: refrigeration specialist certificate, basic HVAC/R service technician, and an HVAC/R service degree. Coursework in all three programs is divided between classroom instruction and hands-on practice in the lab.
The refrigeration specialist certificate curriculum includes basic electricity, electrical circuits, advanced controls and troubleshooting, electric motors, basic refrigeration, and preparation for Section 608 exams. To graduate, students must pass one state-recognized certification exam and four nationally recognized certificate exams. Their certificate is awarded at the completion of 42 credit hours and passing the required exams. Graduates are qualified to seek entry-level employment as refrigeration service and maintenance technicians.
Students in the basic HVAC/R service technician certificate program complete the curriculum included in the refrigeration specialist program. They add the following coursework: refrigeration controls, advanced motor theory, and heating. They also complete general education coursework, including English composition or public speaking, math, psychology or sociology, and college success. They must also pass six nationally recognized exams. They receive their certificate at the completion of 87 credit hours. Graduates are qualified to seek entry-level employment as HVAC service and maintenance technicians.
Degree-seeking students complete all the coursework required in the certificate programs. They additionally complete the following: commercial refrigeration, advanced refrigeration, job readiness, and computer literacy, as well as pass seven nationally-recognized certification exams. They earn their degree at the completion of 112 credits. Graduates are qualified for employment as entry-level HVAC/R technicians. They may apply 960 credit hours toward the Washington State O6A specialty electrician certificate.
- Location: Lakewood, WA
- Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Estimated Tuition: Lower divisions courses $123.58 per credit; upper-division courses $240.10 per credit
- Estimated Program Length: Refrigeration specialist certificate (two quarters); basic HVAC/R service technician (three quarters); HVAC technology degree (four quarters)
Portland Community College
PCC offers an HVAC/R installation certificate program as part of the facilities maintenance technician (FMT) certificate and degree programs. The certificate program is a stand-alone program that prepares graduates for entry-level employment. Graduates may also transfer their credits to the FMT certificate or degree program.
Coursework for the HVAC/R installation certificate includes refrigeration I, II, and III, refrigeration electrical I, II, and III, and HVAC/R installation and techniques, which is an intensive two-week, hands-on practicum. Students complete 14 credit hours, and graduates are qualified to sit for industry exams. The college offers one-on-one support to help students access resources, services, and employment.
- Location: Portland, OR
- Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Estimated Tuition: $128 per credit. The Oregon residents fee schedule applies to students from states, such as Washington, that share a border with Oregon.
- Estimated Program Length: Nine weeks for coursework, plus two weeks for the practicum
Vancouver students who cannot attend any of the above schools may find that an online institution will better meet their needs. More information on accredited programs is available at online HVAC training.