How Much Does HVAC School Cost?

February 19, 2022

An HVAC school or training program is the first step to becoming a professional in the field. HVAC technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing refrigeration, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. The work yields one of the highest wages among the skilled trades.

So, how much does the HVAC school cost? The answer depends on the type of program you attend, where it’s located, and grant options. Though the profession requires some initial investment, receiving a formal education can introduce some significant benefits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary of HVAC mechanics and installers is $50,590. Data from the organization also shows that the employment of HVAC techs will grow by 5 percent, adding 19,000 new jobs in the next ten years.

If you want to know more about what the profession entails, be sure to read our article What is an HVAC Technician?

Once you start working in a professional environment, you can quickly make up for the cost of your education. Read on to learn more about how much HVAC school and HVAC certificate programs cost and the licenses required to help you excel in the field. 

How Much Does HVAC Training Cost?

A technician working on an HVAC system

Because HVAC training programs don’t last as long as a four-year college degree, they’re typically much less expensive. There are also a few different ways to break into the field. HVAC technicians can participate in apprenticeships, enroll in certificate programs, or get an associate’s degree after receiving their high school diploma.

That said, the most standard approach to a career as a technician involves formal HVAC training, certifications, and licensing. Below, we’ll break down how much each step will cost. 

Vocational Schools & Technical Colleges

Technical colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs and associate’s degrees. An HVAC certificate program can last anywhere between 6 to 12 months, costing about $1,200 – $15,000. On the other hand, an associate’s degree can take 18 to 24 months to complete and cost you $15,000 – $35,000.

Community College

HVAC techs can also enroll in a community college for a certificate or associate’s program. The national average cost for in-state students in public community colleges in the US is $4,864, while out-of-state students pay $8,622 on average. Private community colleges charge about $15,100 for a two-year program.


HVAC apprenticeships include on-the-job training and self-study coursework on HVAC systems. You can also earn a portion of what a skilled HVAC technician would make during your apprenticeship.

A hands-on training and apprenticeship program can last for 3 to 5 years and cost between $500 and $2,000.
A master technician training apprentices on an HVAC system


The education cost for HVAC students differs according to location. Here’s a comparison of the average cost of community college by state.

StateIn-State TuitionOut-of-State Tuition
Rhode Island$4,700$12,520
New York$5,390$9,430
New Mexico$1,720$5,480
Source: ThinkImpact

HVAC Certification Costs

Electrical Engineer team working on HVAC control panels

An HVAC certification can help enhance your career prospects and establish you as a working professional. Some certificates are essential for HVAC specialties like light commercial refrigeration, air conditioning installations, and sophisticated climate control systems.

Under Section 608 of the federal Clean Air Act,  all HVAC technicians who handle refrigeration equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere must possess a Section 608 certificate. So, the last step in your HVAC training will revolve around the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certification.

EPA 608 Certification

The EPA examination is broken up into the following sections:

  • Type 1 – For servicing small appliances
  • Type 2 – For servicing and disposing of high and very-high pressure systems
  • Type 3 – For servicing and disposing of low-pressure systems
  • Universal – For all types of equipment

You must pass the first three examinations to obtain your universal certification. All sections of the EPA examination contain fees that range from $40 to $240. Once you obtain your certification, you won’t have to retake the exam since EPA 608 certificates do not expire.

Other Certifications

The North American Technical Excellence (NATE) and HVAC Excellence also offer industry certifications that can help boost your credentials. The examination fees vary according to the certification type. 

Learn more about getting your HVAC certification today.


Earn your degree in HVAC from NEIT and begin your new career path today!


HVAC Licensure Costs

apprentice electrician wiring a large room

Many states in the US require you to obtain your air conditioning and refrigeration license to work as an HVAC/R technician. According to HVAC licensing requirements, you must retake the exam once your license expires. Total licensing cost includes both the application fee and the licensure exam fees.

Typically, most states charge a licensure fee of about $100-$300 for the initial license. Once your license expires, you’ll need to pay about $50-$150 per year for renewal.

Additional Costs

Besides tuition fees, students must also consider the cost of books, supplies, and uniforms. You should also factor in housing costs if you’re moving to a different state. Books and supplies can cost anywhere between $500-$1,000 per year, while housing and food require another $5,000-$10,000 annually. Tools and uniforms may add on an extra $600-$800.

Is the Overall Cost Worth the Investment?

Heat and Air Conditioning service technician

There are different paths you can take to pursue a career in HVAC technology, and each offers its own set of pros and cons. For instance, an apprenticeship might be the least expensive, but it will take anywhere from three to five years to complete. Within that same period of time, someone pursuing an associate’s degree might complete their education along with two years worth of work experience. 

A certificate program may take less than a year, but someone with higher qualifications may be favored for future promotions. Similarly, an individual with an associate’s degree will have an easier time negotiating higher wages.

Many employers have prerequisite educational requirements. Investing in a college degree will likely lead to more job opportunities and an easier time establishing your HVAC career. It also provides opportunities for a more well-rounded education.

Students not only graduate with extensive knowledge of HVAC technology but skills to enhance critical thinking and communication. An associate degree is ideal for individuals who eventually want to own their own business or work in high-level management.

How to Pay for HVAC School

An apprentice checking electrical circuits of an air-conditioning unit

Planning out your payments will make tuition fees much more manageable. You can also look into financial aid options if you’re worried about covering the costs of your HVAC training. 

If you’re interested in financial assistance, follow the steps below after receiving your high school diploma and before enrolling in school. 



Earn your degree in HVAC from NEIT and begin your new career path today!


HVAC training costs depend on the type of program you enroll in, how long it runs, where it’s located, and more. Each path forward offers distinct advantages. While apprenticeships are more affordable, an associate’s program offers better earning and opportunities for growth. It’s important to weigh these pros and cons along with your preferences, and your budget.  

The New England Institute of Technology offers a comprehensive Associate’s Degree in Refrigeration, Air conditioning, and Heating Technology that provides hands-on experience in modern systems. In just two years, you will achieve the technical skills and knowledge necessary to apply for entry-level jobs in HVAC.


How Long Does It Take to Complete an HVAC Program?

An HVAC certificate program takes anywhere between six months to a year, while associate’s degree programs take about two years to complete. HVAC apprenticeships take anywhere from three to five years to complete.

How Much Does an HVAC Trade School Cost?

A certificate program at an HVAC trade school can cost anywhere between $1,500-$15,000. Associate’s programs at vocational schools can run upwards of $15,000 to $35,000.

How Much Does It Cost to Get HVAC Certified?

The cost of an HVAC certification depends on the certification type (EPA, NATE, etc.) and the price of the application fee. An EPA certification consists of multiple parts, each costing around $25-$150. NATE provides multiple certifications with different prices.