HVAC Schools in PA – Training & Certification Programs

Accredited HVAC Schools in Pennsylvania (PA)

In the past, HVAC professionals typically trained in apprenticeships or under the guidance of experienced workers. However, with the continuing evolution of technologies, methods, and legislation surrounding the industry, it’s becoming increasingly common for HVAC technicians, installers, and mechanics to seek training in a more formal academic environment such as a trade school, vocational school, community college, or university.

Prior to enrolling in a program, aspiring HVAC workers in PA are advised to verify the accreditation status of their programs. While there is no singular programmatic or institutional approval body for programs, there are two standout agencies in this space: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).

HVAC Excellence has been offering accreditation since 1999 and now has accredited schools in 32 states, including seven in PA as of May 2020. PAHRA’s program accreditation body is “the only one that is supported by the major industry associations” (e.g., ASHRAE, NATE, ICE) and has accredited two programs in PA as of April 2020. Please consult the individual websites to learn more about the accreditation processes.

Berks Career & Technology Center

Berks Career & Technology Center offers a 180-hour (60-class) trade prep certificate two nights per week, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm the East Campus in Oley. Berks prepares its students for certifications such as the HVAC Excellence Student Outcome Assessment; EPA Section 608; NCCER Core; Section 609 Certification for Refrigerant Recycling and Recovery; the Pennsylvania Builders Association Skills Certificate (NOCTI); the OSHA/CareerSafe 10-Hour Certification; and the OSHA 30-hour Certification. Additionally, this program has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Builders Association.

  • Location:Oley, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Duration: 180 hours
  • Tuition: $3,850

Bucks County Technical High School

Bucks County Technical High School offers two HVAC introductory courses: refrigeration / air conditioning / heating, level one program, and residential electricity, level two program. In the 15-week level one program (which is a prerequisite to the level 2 program), students learn the fundamentals required to take the mystery out of working as an HVAC tech. In the 10-week level two program, students will be introduced to light commercial HVAC systems. Both courses are offered as four-hour classes, one night per week.

  • Location:Oley, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Duration: 25 weeks
  • Tuition: $550 per level

Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center

The Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center offers a full- time HVAC program with related learning in plumbing and electrical. The 900-hour program provides in-classroom and hands-on training that prepares graduates to become HVAC technicians.

Topics in the program include air conditioning, electrical and automated controls practices, commercial refrigeration, energy management, and oil and gas boilers. Students enrolled in this program may be able to transfer units to local community colleges to earn an associate’s degree.

  • Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Duration: One year
  • Tuition: $11,060 for the program

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center

One program accredited by HVAC Excellence is available at the Brownstown campus of the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center. Working side-by-side HVAC professionals, students can take targeted short-term courses such as heating & AC systems, refrigeration, and EPA certification.

Lancaster also prepares students for certification from the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI): the Pennsylvania Builders Association Skills credential. Currently, only one course is offered for adults, which is the HVAC EPA certification course that prepares students to pass the EPA section 608 certification test.

  • Location: Brownstown, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Duration: Two Days
  • Tuition: $225

North Montco Technical Career Center

North Montco Technical Career Center offers a full-time, 300-hour day training program in HVAC, and individual courses in HVAC that adults can take as continuing education. HVAC courses offered by North Montco Technical Center include a 72-hour, 12-week residential air conditioning and heat pumps/split system technician course, a nine-hour refrigerant transition and recovery course that prepares students for the ESCO EPA exam, and a 72-hour, 12-week gas/oil furnace technician course.

  • Location: Landsale, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Duration: 300 hours
  • Tuition: $3,400 for the program

Western Montgomery Career and Technical Center

Western Montgomery Career and Technical Center offers an HVAC training program that has been accredited by HVAC Excellence since 2002. Students in the program learn a range of topics including how to filter and control humidity; read blueprints; overhaul, repair and adjust units and parts; and repair electric, electronic and pneumatic control systems. This program is also certified by the National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER).

  • Location: Limerick, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence, NCCER
  • Duration: Contact school for more information
  • Tuition: $1,890 per one-course semester

York County School of Technology

The Adult & Continuing Education Center at the York County School of Technology offers an HVAC technology diploma program designed to prepare students for entry-level HVAC positions. The program is offered in a full-time evening format spanning 900 hours over 45 weeks.

Students who graduate from York’s program learn skills including how to isolate problems in heating and cooling systems; form complete circuits; study blueprints; comply with standards, policies, and procedures for HVAC; and instal auxiliary components.

  • Location: Landsale, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Duration: 45 weeks
  • Tuition: $12,200 for the program

Pennsylvania College of Technology

The Pennsylvania College of Technology of Williamsport provides various PAHRA-accredited programs in heating, ventilation & air conditioning design technology, including a 131-credit-hour bachelor of science (BS) and a 70-credit-hour associate of applied science (AAS) degree.

In the AAS program, students focus on mechanical systems and get specialized instruction in hydronic heating, temperature and humidity control, air circulation, thermostats, ventilation practices, and duct and pipe design. Courses include HVAC/R electricity, mechanical systems design and operation, air conditioning systems, print reading and interpretation, and basic heating systems. This program has also been endorsed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

  • Location: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: PAHRA
  • Duration: BS (four years); AAS (two years)
  • Tuition: $489 per credit-hour (in state); $734 per credit-hour (out-of-state)

Somerset County Technology Center

Another PAHRA-accredited program is offered at the Somerset County Technology Center. Ideal for high school students interested in the HVAC trade, Somerset imparts the fundamentals of HVAC technologies, including commercial and domestic systems; basic principles of heating and air conditioning; blueprint reading; and more. This program takes three years and is typically completed in a student’s sophomore through senior years.

  • Location: Somerset. Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: PAHRA
  • Duration: Three years
  • Tuition: Contact the school for a customized assessment

Air Conditioning Contractors of Western Pennsylvania Apprenticeship

Finally, for those interested in a comprehensive apprenticeship, the Air Conditioning Contractors of Western Pennsylvania (ACC-WPA) provides a four-year structured training program. In addition to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, this program features units in basic math; refrigeration cycles; HVAC controls; basic electricity; AC/DC circuits, electric motors and starters; advanced refrigeration and pipe fitting, CFC testing; heat loss and gain calculations; and NATE core testing preparation. It is held seven months per year for two nights per week, and can be ideal for working HVAC professionals looking to advance their skills in a supervised environment with industry professionals.