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HVAC Training in Portland, OR with Course and Program Overviews

There are two schools within 50 miles of Portland, Oregon, that have heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) programs. Read an overview of two schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Portland-Area Schools for HVAC Training

Students in the Portland area have few options when it comes to HVAC/R training. This article examines two community colleges and their programs. One school is near downtown Portland, while the other is about an hour's drive from the city center. Some HVAC/R programs train students to work as technicians and make repairs, and others may focus on the installation of these systems. At the end of the article is a table of information about these two schools, such as enrollment, tuition, acceptance percentages and the on-time graduate rate. Prospective students can use this data to determine which school is best for them.

  • At Portland Community College, students can pursue installer or maintenance certificates or earn an associate's degree in facilities maintenance technology. This school is just eight miles from downtown Portland.
  • Chemeketa Community College is in Salem, about 45 miles from Portland. It offers an HVAC/R apprenticeship in the construction trades that combines academic coursework with on-the-job training. Students in this program can pursue a certificate or an associate's degree.

Portland Community College

Students at Portland Community College can pursue several career training programs that provide HVAC/R instruction. All of the HVAC/R programs include courses in refrigeration, and students are instructed in a lecture/lab format. In order to understand the installation process, students also learn about piping, sheet metal and venting.

HVAC/R Installer Certificate

The HVAC/R installer certificate requires students to complete at least 14 credits. Courses in this program introduce students to basic HVAC/R installation techniques. This program does not offer electives and requires the fewest number of courses out of all the HVAC/R programs offered at the college.

Facilities Maintenance Technology Certificate

The facilities maintenance technology certificate consists of 44 credits and requires students to complete several courses in HVAC/R systems. Of the 44 credits, three can be used for elective courses in facilities maintenance. In addition to refrigeration courses, students receive training in boilers, water treatment and distribution, and blueprint reading. The program also features a 30-hour OSHA safety training course.

Associate of Applied Science in Facilities Maintenance Technology

The Associate of Applied Science program combines general education requirements with training in HVAC/R systems. Students must complete a minimum of 90 credits to graduate from the program. The facilities maintenance technology curriculum requires students to complete courses in pneumatic controls, direct digital control, introduction to chiller systems and natural gas equipment. Students can take 15 credits of facilities maintenance technology electives. This program also requires students to complete a cooperative work experience.

Chemeketa Community College

Chemeketa Community College offers an apprenticeship trade program that culminates in an Associate of Applied Science or a Certificate of Completion. Incoming students must be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or equivalent. All HVAC/R apprenticeship programs require students to complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Certificate of Completion in Construction Trades - HVAC/R

Required general education courses for the construction trades program include algebra, English composition and psychology of human relations. The certificate requires a total of 72 credit hours. Some of the courses students can expect to take include troubleshooting, introduction to refrigeration, residential air distribution and trade math.

Associate of Applied Science in Construction Trades - HVAC/R

The Associate of Applied Science in Construction Trades - HVAC/R requires students to complete 23 credits worth of general education courses, including macroeconomics, algebra and microcomputer applications. The program includes HVAC/R courses in refrigeration, soldering and brazing, equipment and welding. Students can gain skills in wiring, environmental control systems and installing ductwork. After graduating from the program, students are eligible for Limited Energy Technician, Class B (LE/B) licensure and Brazing Industry certification.

Comparison of Schools

Students need to look at many factors when choosing a school for their training. The following table compiles pertinent information in a format that makes it easy to compare these two institutions.

Portland Community College Chemeketa Community College
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 34,632* 12,625*
Campus Setting Large city Midsize suburb
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $3,124 in-state
$7,660 out-of-state*
$3,915 in-state
$11,340 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) 52%* 75%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 60% for full-time students
45% for part-time students*
52% for full-time students
30% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 14% (22% transfer-out rate)* 15% (24% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Idaho campus 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:
    • Puerto Rico campus 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:
    • Mississippi campus 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:
    • Michigan campus 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:
    • Alaska campus 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:
    • Arkansas campus 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:
    • Minnesota campus 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:
    • Oklahoma campus 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:
    • Wisconsin campus 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

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Avg. Wages For Jobs in OR

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics