HVAC Schools in Arizona

The state of Arizona is served by nine HVAC schools/technical institutions offering heating, ventilation, and air conditioning associate’s degree or trade HVAC training programs: Pima Community College, Cochise College, Mohave Community College, Arizona Automotive, Institute, East Valley Institute of Technology, GateWay Community College, The Refrigeration School, Eastern Arizona College, and Arizona Western College.

Of these, PIMA College boasts the highest overall college enrolment at 53,550 students; however, the downtown Tuscan campus is home to the HVAC training courses and reports just over 19,000 students. PIMA College may have large numbers but they do maintain a student to instructor ratio of 21:1. The HVAC program at Pima College is offered as a concentration emphasis for past of an associate of applied science degree in Building and Construction Technologies. The program requires 60 credits and takes approximately 2 years before you can get an HVAC licence and certification.

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Cochise College in Douglas, AZ is another institution offering an HVAC certification program.

This two-year college has an outstanding 14:1 student to instructor ratio and sits at just over 4,000 students currently enrolled. In addition to HVAC curriculum, there are courses offered that can certify a student to work as a technician Refrigeration Maintenance Technology and earn an HVACR certificate. Cochise is a small public college which offers dual credits, credits for life experience, and advanced placement credits that can be used to shorted the duration and cost of the program.

Mohave Community College out of Kingman also offers a HVAC/R technician certificate program as well as an Associate’s Degree in HVAC/R. Each certificate program is less than six months in duration and requires around 16 credit hours. Mohave community college is a community college serving more than 13,000 students each year.

Arizona Automotive Institute in Glendale offers both a certificate program for HVAC technicians as well as an Associate’s Degree in HVAC. The certificate program can be completed in as little as 40 weeks. The Arizona Automotive Institute claims a 69% retention rate for students overall and serves an annual cohort of just under 900 students.

Graduates from this program will be qualified for entry-level employment as an HVAC installer, repairer or service technician. The program also provides students with preparation for both EPA section 608 certification and Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) technician certification exams.

East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, Arizona offers only a Certification in HVAC/R technician certificate program that can be completed in 2-4 semesters. East Valley Institute of Technology operates as a trade school and high school and students are not required to obtain a GED or diploma prior to entry of the program.

In Phoenix, Arizona, Gateway Community College is a two-year public institution offering at least six HVAC relevant programs including certification in HVAC and HVAC/R technician, certificate in HVAC and HCAV/R Technology, and both HVAC and HVAC/R Associate’s Degree options. Certification programs can be completed in as little as nine months requiring only 36 credits. Associates programs require 60-64 credits and are typically completed in two years.

The Refrigeration School has been training HVAC and HVAC/R technicians since 1965. Since then there have been programs assed to include electrical and electromagnetic technologies training. Most recently The Refrigeration School developed the Associate of Occupational Studies degree program in Mechanical Maintenance Engineering. The Refrigeration School has one campus located in Pheonix, Arizona and technicians can take their state licensing exams there.

Arizona Western College in Yuma and Eastern Arizona College both offer several variations for the HVAC certificate program that range in duration from just a few months to a full Associate’s Degree. Both are two-year public institutions with just under 8,000 students and a low student instructor ratio. Eastern Arizona College also offers dual credit and life experience credits for those students who may have already begun a mentorship prior to enrollment.

About HVAC Students
The HVAC programs in Arizona reportedly graduated 514 students from the nine previously mentioned programs in the 2008-2009 school year. While the two year colleges and trade school that offer HVAC programs average between 40 and 48% male student bodies; some programs like those offered at Arizona Automotive Institute and the The Refrigeration School maintain better than 96% male student demographics.

Graduation rates are quite variable across the various programs and institutions. East Valley Institute of Technology had the highest graduation rate of 92%. The Arizona Automotive Institute is also quite high with 87% graduation rate; while Cochise College and GateWay Community College had the lowest graduation rate of 13%.

The Costs of an HVAC Training Program
The cost of tuition and fees is variable among the institutions offering HVAC degrees or technician programs. Certificate programs are generally shorter in duration and cost less than an Associate’s Degree program. Arizona residents typically get an in-state break with lower tuition and fee schedules as well. For example, at Pima college the annual cost including tuition, fees, books room and board for an Arizona resident will run $11,112 and $16,284; without the room and board $8,112 for an Arizona resident, and $13,284 for a non-resident.

Total costs for in-state students living on campus run between $6,952 and $8,483 for the HVAC or HVAC technician certificate programs. At other technical colleges like GateWay, East Valley Institute of Technology or Mohave community Collete the total cost for out-of-state students living off campus starts from $11,892 up to $13,400 for certificate program tuition, materials and fees. Total cost for in-state students living on campus run between $8,352 and $32,739 for the HVAC or HVAC Associates Degree options. Total cost for out-of-state students living off campus starts from $12,794 up to $28,275 for tuition, materials and fees.

To help with the cost of tuition and fees, financial aid is often available. On average HVAC students receive between $172 and $3,087 in financial aid across the various programs. Pell grants, worth as much as $3,000, are quite common for some HVAC technicians in training; institutions reported that 27%-77% of students in their programs took advantage of this aid. Federal and state student aid programs as well as variable institutional aid programs are also available to HVAC technicians in training programs. Federal aid can provide a student as much as $3,787 to each student.

HVAC salary information for technicians in Arizona is dependable on a number of factors, including the region where work is completed, the type of degree achieved and the years of experience in the industry.