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The average annual temperature in San Diego is slightly over 64 degrees, and fluctuates only slightly--less than seven degrees warmer or cooler, on average, in any given month. For the most part, people living there can maintain a comfortable temperature in their homes by simply opening and closing their windows. Of course, the United States is made up almost entirely of people who don't live in San Diego, and nearly all of them live in a less temperate climate, subject to much greater extremes of heat and cold. This is bad news for those paying the utility bills to heat and cool their homes, but good news for those in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC) industry.

HVAC Career Options

As long as the nation continues to rely on heating and cooling systems to regulate their indoor climate (which will likely be forever), HVAC personnel will have job security. HVAC professionals install, maintain, and repair heating and cooling systems. Many also are trained to install and repair refrigeration systems, as air conditioning and refrigeration equipment operates in a similar way. Working with refrigeration and cooling systems requires specialized training in the handling of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants, which are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

With virtually all new homes and buildings being built with centralized heating and cooling systems, HVAC and refrigeration technicians can expect continued growth in demand. Demand for refrigeration systems in the food service, healthcare, and other industries also remains steady. An online degree or certification is a convenient and affordable way to start your career in this industry.

Hvac Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Refrigeration

HVAC Training Programs

You can begin training for a career as an HVAC or refrigeration technician in high school vocational programs, at technical schools or community colleges, and in the armed forces. Instruction is also available through online HVAC technician degree and certification programs. All of these options can provide you with the background you need to get your foot in the door, either as an assistant to an experienced HVAC or refrigeration technician or as an apprentice, which will give you the needed experience to become proficient in the field.

Unlike workers in many trade industries, HVAC and refrigeration technicians can earn a bachelor's degree in their field. Coursework includes mechanical systems, refrigeration, and heating and cooling systems. In some states you may need to be licensed to work as an HVAC or refrigeration technician, and EPA certification is required to work with refrigerants.

Career Outlook for HVAC Technicians

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 9 percent job growth rate in the coming decade for this industry, which is on pace with the job market as a whole. HVAC and refrigeration mechanics and installers earned an average of $40,630 in 2007. Top earners made well over $60,000 a year.

Pursue your HVAC major today…

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Gardening & Landscaping
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
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HVAC Technician
Intercoast Colleges , West Covina
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  • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
  • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
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Heating and Air Conditioning
  • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
  • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
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Heating, Ventilation, and AC
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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HVAC Technician (9-month diploma program)
UEI College , Huntington Park
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
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Degree - Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
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  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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Mayfield College , Cathedral City
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  • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
  • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
  • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
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