Commercial Heating and Air Conditioning Schools in Florida

There are more than 50 schools within Florida that have heating and air conditioning programs. Read an overview of 10 of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition information and find out which schools is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Many of the 2- and 4-year colleges in Florida award certificates and associate's degrees in heating and air conditioning. In addition to classroom study, enrollees take part in laboratory experiences that encourage practical expertise. Students might also participate in apprenticeships or internships.

Career Requirements

In Florida, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation oversees the Construction Industry Licensing Board, which grants licenses and certification for air conditioning contractors who complete the required competency exams. In order to qualify for exams, aspiring AC contractors must have work experience or a combination of work experience and college education. Academic requirements can vary from one to three years of credits from accredited-college courses or a 4-year construction-related degree. Below are summaries of programs at ten of the largest schools in Florida, all of which can help applicants meet the education requirements for AC contractor licensure.


Brevard Community College

In Cocoa, the Career and Technical Education Department at Brevard Community College offers a Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate (PSAVC) in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology. This 32-credit hour, or 1350-clock hour program includes cooperative work experience, study of refrigeration and air conditioning components, residential HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) troubleshooting and repair, and psychometrics calculations. Each course in this program also includes a laboratory component. Students must complete the Test of Adult Basic Education as part of this program's enrollment process.

  • Programs Offered: Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $77 per credit hour (resident); $308 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

College of Central Florida

The Ocala-based College of Central Florida offers a 750-clock hour Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology Certificate. Students learn about applied electricity and troubleshooting, the theory of air conditioning and heating technology, electrical components and operations. They also complete a 90-clock hour skills lab in air conditioning and heating.

  • Programs Offered: Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certification in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,968 per year (resident); $7,848 per year (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year public; small city

Daytona State College

Daytona Beach's state college offers two options for individuals who seek careers in heating and air conditioning. The first is a Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology. The 1350-clock hour certificate program includes courses in fossil fuel heating, heat load calculations, residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration. Students learn about wiring, basic electricity and advanced service practice. Many of the courses include required laboratory sessions to gain hands-on experience.

The second option is a Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Mechanic. This certificate program is a 1,000 clock hours and includes courses in basic electricity, A/C motors and controls, physical principles and residential and commercial refrigeration. Each course has a corresponding laboratory session. For entry into either of these programs, students must be able to climb a 12-foot ladder and lift 50 pounds.

  • Programs Offered: Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology,
    Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Mechanic
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $105 per credit hour (resident); $407 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

Florida State College at Jacksonville

The Jacksonville-based Florida Coast Career Tech department of Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a Workforce Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology. As students complete this workforce certificate, they complete the requirements for two other embedded certificates: Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology I and II. Students learn about air conditioning and refrigeration theory, applied electricity and schematics, basic electricity and schematics, refrigeration controls and heating. Additionally, students can choose from a course in piping or an internship.

  • Programs Offered: Workforce Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $87 per credit hour (resident); $173 (eligible GA residents); $346 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

Indian River State College

At Fort Pierce's Indian River State College, students can explore the air conditioning and heating field through either an A.A.S. in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology, two career training programs, an apprenticeship program or an Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology Certificate. In the A.A.S program, students complete 37 credit hours in major courses and 12 credit hours in electives related to air conditioning, refrigeration and heating systems. The certificate program includes 25 credit hours covering many of the same major courses but without the electives or the general education courses. Major courses include refrigerant recovery and reclaiming, electricity for air conditioning, duct systems and components of refrigeration, among others. Elective options include acquiring work experience in refrigeration and air conditioning, learning about energy in building design and earning green awareness certification.

The first 750-clock hour career program includes training in the refrigeration trade and tools, atomic theory, Ohm's Law, voltage systems and installation skills. The second career training option is a 600-clock hour program that includes courses in solid-state electronics, testing and adjusting commercial systems as well as identifying and measuring indoor air quality. The apprenticeship is 8400 clock hours, including 640 clock hours in on-the-job training. In required courses, students learn about safe working conditions and pipe sizing, as well as fabrication and service for piping, tubing and fittings.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology,
    Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Apprenticeship,
    Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology I Certificate,
    Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology II Certificate
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $104 per credit hour (resident); $390 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Miami Dade College

Based in Miami, students at Miami Dade College have two options for training in heating, refrigeration and air conditioning: a career certificate or an associate degree. In the Associate in Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology, students learn about heating and cooling fundamentals, equipment, controls and motors, as well as methods to estimate energy loads and analyze air distribution. Graduates can apply credits towards a bachelor's degree program in HVAC or building technologies, but this degree program is primarily designed to prepare students for immediate employment.

In the career technical certificate program, students log over 8,000 hours of theoretical and practical experience in commercial heating and air conditioning, in addition to refrigeration. Coursework covers all the heating, ventilation and air conditioning subject areas, but on-the-job experience may differ depending on a student's sponsoring company.

  • Programs Offered: Career Technical Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology,
    Associate in Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $112 per credit hour (resident); $397 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

Palm Beach State College

Lake Worth's Palm Beach State College offers a vocational certificate in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R). In the two-year program, students take courses in HVAC/R installation, indoor air quality, heating system troubleshooting and two courses that offer field experience. Students can choose additional field experience or courses in technical engineering or commercial HVAC/R mechanical components.

  • Programs Offered: Post-Secondary Vocational Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $83 per credit hour + $3 per contact hour (resident); $327 per credit hour + $11 per contact hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Pensacola State College

At the state college located in Pensacola, students can pursue a Career and Technical Certificate in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. They can complete this 45-credit hour certificate program in three terms. Students learn about copper, plastic and ferrous metal piping and practices, electricity and commercial airside systems. Further study includes an introduction to hydronic systems, metering devices, water treatment and troubleshooting for oil heating and electronic controls.

  • Programs Offered: Career and Technical Certificate in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $86 per credit hour (FL resident); $87 per credit hour (AL resident); $344 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

Santa Fe College

Gainesville-based Santa Fe College offers a Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology that requires 1350 contact hours and can be finished within one year. Students learn about electrical components and controls of HVAC systems and the principles of refrigeration.

  • Programs Offered: Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $75 per credit hour (resident); $289 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize suburb

Seminole State College of Florida

At Sanford-based Seminole State College of Florida, students can pursue a Vocational Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. The certificate includes two courses in service practices and advanced service practices. Students learn about light commercial electricity and controls, the start-up of air conditioning, refrigeration and heating equipment, wiring and troubleshooting electrical motors and light commercial air conditioning systems.

  • Programs Offered: Vocational Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $85 per credit hour (resident); $337 per credit hour (non-resident)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Heating and Air Conditioning Degree Programs and Certificates Offered Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
Brevard Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology $77 per credit hour (resident); $308 per credit hour (non-resident)*
College of Central Florida 4-year public; small city Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Certification in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology $1,968 per year (resident); $7,848 per year (non-resident)*
Daytona State College 4-year, public; small city Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology,
Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Mechanic
$105 per credit hour (resident); $407 per credit hour (non-resident)*
Florida State College at Jacksonville 4-year, public; large city Workforce Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology $87 per credit hour (resident); $173 (eligible GA residents); $346 per credit hour (non-resident)*
Indian River State College 4-year, public; large suburb Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology,
Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Apprenticeship,
Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology I Certificate,
Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology II Certificate
$104 per credit hour (resident); $390 per credit hour (non-resident)*
Miami Dade College 4-year, public; large city Career Technical Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology,
Associate in Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems
$112 per credit hour (resident); $397 per credit hour (non-resident)*
Palm Beach State College 4-year, public; large suburb Post-Secondary Vocational Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration $83 per credit hour + $3 per contact hour (resident); $327 per credit hour + $11 per contact hour (non-resident)*
Pensacola State College 4-year, public; small city Career and Technical Certificate in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning $86 per credit hour (FL resident); $87 per credit hour (AL resident); $344 per credit hour (non-resident)*
Santa Fe College 4-year, public; midsize suburb Vocational Certificate in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology $75 per credit hour (resident); $289 per credit hour (non-resident)*
Seminole State College of Florida 4-year, public; large suburb Vocational Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration $85 per credit hour (resident); $337 per credit hour (non-resident)*

Source: *Schools' websites.

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Schools for Aspiring Heating and Cooling Technicians

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Boise
    Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Barranquitas
    Areas of study you may find at D'Mart Institute include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Poplarville
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Marquette
    Areas of study you may find at Northern Michigan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Anchorage
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Russellville
    Areas of study you may find at Arkansas Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Minneapolis
    Areas of study you may find at Dunwoody College of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Okmulgee
    Areas of study you may find at Oklahoma State University include:
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Leatherworking and Upholstery
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Milwaukee
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Pulaski
    Areas of study you may find at New Castle School of Trades include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance

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