HVAC Schools in Wyoming – Degrees & Certifications

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From the expansive plains to the Rocky Mountains, from Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful to the Grand Tetons, Wyoming (WY) features dramatic landscapes. It also is a land of dramatic and rapidly changing weather conditions. Seasonal extremes of hailstorms, blizzards, high winds, cold, and summer heatwaves may keep Wyomingites indoors. Heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) keeps them comfortable.

Two local organizations provide support to the HVAC industry. For one, the Wyoming Contractors Association (WCA) promotes all aspects of the construction industry. They provide training and safety programs, including those relating to HVAC, contractors, and their employees. They network with other associations and industry leaders. Additionally, Cheyenne is the home of the International Association of Professional Contractors, a trade association serving the construction trades, including HVAC. The various national organizations also provide support, marketing, networking, and training through online venues.

So what do HVAC and refrigeration (HVAC/R) technicians do? Technicians travel to commercial and residential job sites where they install, test, or repair heating and cooling systems. They must understand how to install and maintain heat pumps, water pumps, boilers, economizers, compressors, humidifiers, and other equipment. Technicians use a variety of basic and specialized tools. They may remove defective parts and reassemble the equipment. Sometimes they braze or solder leaking pipes or replace broken wires. If it is a new installation, technicians consult blueprints, lay pipes & wiring, and test the system. They adjust valves, motors, fans, belts, and other components in large and small HVAC systems.

Technicians must know how to test circuitry and calibrate controls. Additionally, the job can include performing heat load and loss calculations and ensuring that equipment installations meet relevant codes. Other responsibilities include maintaining complete service records; keeping certifications and credentials current; and explaining good energy conservation practices to customers.

This guide explores the accredited HVAC programs in Wyoming with discussions of coursework and tuition, as well as an examination of the HVAC career outlook and salary prospects in the state.

Occupational Demand for HVAC Technicians in Wyoming

The demand for HVAC technicians nationwide continues to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2020), the number of openings in HVAC is expected to grow 4 percent nationally between 2019 and 2029, which is as fast as the average for all professions.

Factors contributing to the growth of the HVAC industry include:

  • New construction requires the installation of climate control systems
  • Complicated, continually evolving systems that require fresh technical skills
  • The contemporary focus on reducing pollution and improving energy efficiency

Additionally, older systems must be retrofitted or replaced to meet current standards. HVAC and HVAC/R technicians in Wyoming can work on commercial equipment in hospitals, offices, schools, and stores, as well as residential systems. Equipment may be located outdoors, necessitating repairs in adverse weather conditions.

Indoor conditions may be equally unpleasant for technicians when heating or cooling equipment stops working. Some work sites are small, forcing technicians into small or cramped positions. Electrical shocks and injuries related to moving heavy equipment contribute to the high injury rates experienced by HVAC technicians.

According to the BLS (May 2020), 66 percent of HVAC/R technicians work for contractors. Seven percent are self-employed. The remaining workers are employed by schools or retail and wholesale organizations. Technicians usually work full time, with overtime hours during peak seasons.

To illustrate the abundance of openings in Wyoming’s HVAC industry, one need not look further than online job boards. Indeed (May 2021) posted several local listings at organizations like Johnson Controls, Long Building Technologies, and Vertiv Co, among many others.

Monster (May 2021) also has listings for mechanics and service technicians with jobs available at EMCOR Group, Advanced Thermal Solutions Inc., Absolute Electrical Heating and Air, and Union Wireless, among others.

HVAC Worker Salary in Wyoming

The BLS (May 2020) reported that nationally, HVAC/R mechanics and installers receive an annual mean wage of $53,410. Wyoming technicians receive an annual mean wage of $50,970, which is slightly lower than the national average. Notably, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2021) stated that Wyoming is the 20th most affordable state in the country. This lower cost of living means that even a lower than average salary will go quite a bit further in Wyoming than it would in costlier nearby states like Colorado and Montana.

The annual salary prospects for HVAC professionals nationally as compared to Wyoming were as follows:

United States Wyoming
Number of HVAC professionals employed 344,020 570
Annual mean wage $53,410 $50,970
10th percentile $31,910 $34,960
25th percentile $39,320 $40,100
50th percentile (median) $50,590 $50,860
75th percentile $64,350 $60,050
90th percentile $80,820 $66,110

The national figures were slightly different according to another source of data, Payscale (May 2021), which relies on self-reported salaries. Among the HVAC workers reporting their annual salaries, Payscale found these percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $32,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $48,827
  • 90th percentile: $77,000

Accredited HVAC Programs in Wyoming

Accreditation is an independent evaluation that the school meets or exceeds standards for the quality of instructors and curriculum. For institutions offering HVAC and HVAC/R training, accreditation from the following industry organizations may be important:

  • HVAC Excellence
  • Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA)

As of May 2021, there were no programs in WY that have earned accreditation from either organization.

Although individuals can sometimes enter the HVAC industry without training, not surprisingly, those who have earned certificates or degrees generally can obtain jobs much easier. They may also start at higher wages and earn more over the life of their career. HVAC equipment and systems have become so complex that coursework and hands-on training is highly recommended for job seekers.

Casper College

The Center for Training and Development at Casper College periodically offers an HVACR technician career training course providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to obtain entry-level positions in the HVAC/R industry.

This course can also be used by professionals for upgrading their skills as HVAC/R technicians. Combining practical and theoretical applications, the program provides a solid understanding of how HVAC systems work.

As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as fundamentals of HVAC/R, refrigeration systems & components, refrigeration practices, HVAC/R electrical systems & their components, air conditioning systems, heating systems, and heat pump systems, among others.

Students in this program will also be prepared to take the EPA Section 608 national certification exams. Graduates will be able to install and maintain HVAC/R systems and obtain entry-level HVAC/R positions.

  • Location: Casper, WY
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 430 hours (can be accessed for 12 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: $3,895

Regional Training Center

The Wyoming Contractors Association operates the WCA Regional Training Center in Casper. The construction curriculum includes a six-week course titled field mechanic technician level one. Much of these skills are useful in the HVAC industry.

Coursework includes units in shop safety, measuring devices, hand tool use, cooling systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, power trains, air intake & exhaust systems, lubrication systems, and basic engine principles, among others.

The goal of this training center is to provide high-intensity training that enables students to obtain entry-level jobs. The training is a Department of Labor Approved Apprenticeship Program. Graduates receive a National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) CORE Curriculum certification and WCA Field Technician Mechanic Certificate.

Students in this program will be proficient in hydraulic oil changes, oil changes, filter replacement & proper lubrication of trucks and heavy equipment. They are prepared to troubleshoot systems and make basic repairs to equipment.

  • Location: Casper, WY
  • Accreditation: NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six weeks
  • Estimated Tuition: Contact center for details

Northwest College

Northwest College offers an HVAC apprenticeship program providing students with functional knowledge about the basics of HVAC/R and preparing them to take the journeyman’s test. The faculty of the program includes industry experts who provide students with hands-on training in air conditioning theory, motors & basic electrical controls, electrical theory, installation methods, code requirements, and much more!

The program requires 6,000 to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of instruction. Some of the topics students will delve into include HVAC theory, blueprint reading, electricity, air conditioning, sheet metal, fuel gas piping & venting, and hydronics.

To be eligible for the program, students must be at least 16 years old and a high school diploma or GED is recommended.

  • Location: Powell, Wyoming
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years
  • Estimated Tuition: Contact the college for details

Laramie County Community College

Finally, Laramie County Community College based in Cheyenne offers an HVAC/R diploma and degree programs teaching students in installing, repairing, and maintaining HVAC/R systems and provides foundational knowledge about fluid dynamics, thermal dynamics, and electrical topics.

Students may start with the basic HVAC/R program. Coursework includes topics such as mechanical piping systems, heating & air conditioning principles, energy-efficient residential heating systems, residential air conditioning systems, motor controls, electric motors, and introduction to sheet metal duct and duct fabrication. The program requires 18 credits and can be completed in one semester. Graduates receive a credit diploma.

The HVAC/R Technician associate of applied science (AAS) degree program continues instruction designed to prepare students for industry employment. This program includes additional coursework in an introduction to industrial safety, AC and DC electricity, refrigeration circuit components, light commercial refrigeration systems, introduction to blueprint reading and building codes, automatic building controls, and HVAC distribution systems. The two-year program requires students to complete 65 credits of coursework.

All of the HVAC/R programs receive credit for the classroom hours required for the Wyoming Registered Apprenticeship Program. Credits may be transferable to four-year colleges.

  • Location: Cheyenne, WY
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Diploma (one semester); AAS degree (two years)
  • Estimated Tuition: In-state ($147.75 per credit); Out-of-State ($345.75 per credit)

HVAC Certification & Licensing In Wyoming

Federal law requires all technicians working with refrigerants to obtain the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Section 608 Certification. Certification requires passing exams on the safe handling of refrigerants. Four levels of certifications are available, based on the size and type of equipment. The Universal certification allows technicians to work on all equipment.

Technicians may obtain additional training and certifications from industry organizations. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) – Courses are taught by certified instructors and are available online; technicians can study basic and advanced HVAC and HVAC/R principles
  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE) – Training and certification in HVAC and HVAC/R knowledge areas
  • HVAC Excellence – Dedicated to improving HVAC technician competence through training and certification

Check out the HVAC certifications guide for more information.

As a final note, the State of Wyoming does not require HVAC or HVAC/R licensing, although municipal credentialing and permits may vary. Counties and cities are allowed to set HVAC certification and licensing requirements, and most of them do. Additionally, electrical permits may be required if HVAC technicians lay wiring for systems.

Jocelyn Blore

Jocelyn Blore is the chief content officer of Sechel Ventures and the co-author of the Women Breaking Barriers series. She graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and traveled the world for five years. She also worked as an addiction specialist for two years in San Francisco. She’s interested in how culture shapes individuals and systems within societies—one of the many themes she writes about in her blog, Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor). She has served as managing editor for several healthcare websites since 2015.

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