10 Best HVAC Schools inSouth Dakota

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The field of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning can be a good career choice if you are passionate about mechanics and you have good troubleshooting skills.

This trade can be learned during high school if shop classes or dual credit programs are available or through post-secondary training at trade schools or community colleges.

To help you make an informed decision, on this page we have compiled information about the top HVAC schools in South Dakota.

Most programs are designed to be completed in less than two years and combine classroom education with laboratory hands-on training.

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1Western Dakota Technical College

About the School

Western Dakota Technical College provides degree and diploma programs that prepare students for careers in a wide range of industries.

It is the only technical college that serves the western South Dakota region.

The programs are career-oriented and designed for students who want to start a new profession.

Students learn through hands-on learning, simulations, internships, and industry partnership.

Courses Offered

The college’s catalog includes an HVAC & Refrigeration Technology pathway.

This program combines soft skills, theory, and hands-on applications in a lab environment through simulations and real-life scenarios.

The lab is equipped with modern HVAC/R equipment, trainers, tools, and simulation software.

Among other topics, the curriculum covers commercial air conditioning, chilled water, hydronic heating, and a variety of refrigeration systems found in the industry.

Students can graduate in as few as 18 months.

For an Associate in Applied Science 61-64 credits are required.

Applicants need a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.

They also need to complete the ACCUPLACER test or have an ACT sub-score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading, or an SAT of at least 440 in Verbal and Math within the last five years.

Contact Information

  • Address: 800 Mickelson Dr. Rapid City SD 57703
  • Phone: (605) 718-2565
  • Website: https://www.wdt.edu

2Southeast Technical College

About the School

Southeast Technical College offers two-year educational programs in more than 65 pathways.

The programs are developed in collaboration with industry leaders in the area to help students prepare for real-world careers.

Southeast Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Financial aid is available for students who qualify.

Courses Offered

The college’s catalog includes an HVAC pathway.

The pathway provides a one-year diploma program that includes 35 credits and an Associate of Applied Science.

The curriculum covers topics on residential heating and cooling, commercial heating and cooling, air balancing, commercial refrigeration, and controls.

The total cost is $255 per credit hour.

The Residential Heating & Air Conditioning Technology Diploma costs $11,080 in total.

An Associate of Applied Science in HVAC/R Technology is also available and costs $21,495.

The Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration program available at Southeast Technical College is accredited through the HVAC Excellence Accreditation program.

Contact Information

3Mitchell Technical College

About the School

Mitchell Technical College offers 35 on-campus academic programs and four online programs.

Dual credit and advanced technical education programs are also included in the college’s catalog.

Admission is open to any person who is at least 16 years of age and capable of benefiting from instruction at the college, regardless of previous education.

Courses Offered

The College’s catalog includes a Heating and Cooling Technology program.

This program is designed to prepare students for employment as HVAC technicians, service technicians, environmental technicians, and commercial refrigeration technicians.

The curriculum covers topics on Electrical Fundamentals, Heating Fundamentals, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Fund, First Aid, OSHA 10, Heating Refrigeration Theory, and more.

The Associate in Applied Science degree pathway also includes a six-credit internship.

Students need 34.5 credits for a diploma and 75.5 credits for an Associate in Applied Science.

Tuition and fees sum up to $17,817 for the two-year Associate in Applied Science options and to $8,199 for the diploma.

The Heating and Cooling Technology program is accredited by HVAC Excellence.

Scholarships and financial aid are available for students who qualify.

Contact Information

4Lake Area Technical College

About the School

Lake Area Technical College offers training programs in a variety of academic areas.

In total, 31 academic programs are available in high-demand fields.

The College offers 13 e-learning degrees that blend online and on-campus learning.

The tuition rate at the college is $124 per semester credit.

Lake Area Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The college’s catalog includes courses on a variety of HVAC-related topics, such as:

  • Introduction to Heating and Air Conditioning- a course that explains the operation and the theoretical principles behind the automotive HVAC System
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Diagnostics
  • Environmental Systems- a program that equips students with the skills needed for the FAA written, oral, and practical exam for certification as FAA Airframe Mechanics; students enrolled in this program learn how to inspect, check, troubleshoot, and repair heating, cooling, air cycle machines, air conditioning, and oxygen systems
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning- a program that familiarizes students with the basic parts of air conditioning and the theory of its operation
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Testing

Contact Information

5South Dakota State University

About the School

South Dakota State University offers nearly 200 programs designed to help students prepare for new career paths.

On-campus tuition for undergraduate programs is $259.10 per credit hour for resident students.

The school’s catalog includes hands-on undergraduate programs as well as graduate programs in a wide range of areas of study.

South Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Courses Offered

The university’s catalog includes a Construction Technology program that covers topics such as:

  • College Algebra
  • Construction Graphics
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Systems
  • Industrial Safety
  • Technology, Society, and Ethics
  • And more

An Electronics Engineering Technology major is also available with courses on:

  • Introduction to Electronic Systems
  • Analog Electronics
  • Digital Electronics and Microprocessors
  • Techniques of Servicing
  • Power Systems
  • Industrial Controls and PLCs
  • And many other subjects

The Electronics Engineering Technology program available at South Dakota State University is accredited by the Engineering Technology Association Commission of ABET.

Contact Information

6South Dakota Mines

About the School

If you want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering, South Dakota Mines offers academic programs in a variety of fields.

Programs are available at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Students are given the opportunity to participate in hands-on, real-world projects.

South Dakota Mines catalog includes Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

Courses Offered

The Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science program is designed to provide students with knowledge about the fundamental principles of engineering and science.

The program covers the major areas of mechanical engineering:

  • Manufacturing
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Thermal Science/Energy

In their senior year, students choose from electives in the following areas:

  • Manufacturing- control, design, development, manufacture of equipment, and more
  • Thermal science/energy- design of power systems and heating/air conditioning systems
  • Mechanical Systems/design- subjects such as the design of machines and structures and systems design are available

The Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accrediting Commission of ABET.

Contact Information

  • Address: 501 E. Saint Joseph St. Rapid City, SD 57701
  • Phone: 605-394-2511
  • Website: https://www.sdsmt.edu

7Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association

About the School

South Dakota Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association offers education and training programs in the plumbing-heating-cooling industry.

Courses Offered

The association provides apprenticeships in plumbing, HVAC, and sheet metal fields.

Apprentices pay a one-time fee of $150 and $22.40 per month.

After enrollment, apprentices receive the curriculum book and an explanation of the program.

Trainees complete each section at their own pace.

When ready, apprentices complete the assigned tests and submit them to the South Dakota APHCC to be graded

Once the tests are ready, the apprentice receives the tests along with a letter that details their progress.

This process continues until the apprentice completes the curriculum.

A pre-apprenticeship course is also available for those who want to start a career in the plumbing or HVAC industries.

This online course costs $29 per person and provides information about these careers.

Continuing education courses approved by the South Dakota Plumbing Commission are also offered by the Association.

Contact Information

  • Address:  707 E 41st St, #220, Sioux Falls, SD 57105
  • Phone: 605-271-7255
  • Website: https://sdphcc.org

8Hot Rode Institute

About the School

If you want to learn take car restoration classes and learn about the mechanical aspects of this trade, including wiring and air conditioning installation, training programs are available at Hot Rod Institute.

The institute offers restoration classes in Rapid City.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available at the school:

  • Hot Rod Chassis
  • Hot Rod Body
  • Hot Rod Body Advanced
  • Hot Rod Upholstery
  • Hot Rod Refinishing
  • Hot Rod Performance

The Hot Rod Performance class covers the mechanical knowledge and topics on engines, transmission, wiring, air conditioning installation, brakes, and more.

Students learn through lectures and extensive hands-on training.

Topics such as engine performance, engine diagnostic, electrical systems, braking systems, plumbing techniques, and more.

Contact Information

  • Address: 2402 N Maple Ave, Rapid City, SD 57701
  • Phone: 605-593-7115
  • Website: https://hotrod.edu

9North Dakota State College of Science

About the School

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning training programs are also available in the neighboring state of North Dakota.

North Dakota State College of Science offers a wide range of programs that prepare students for careers in in-demand fields.

Tuition is $187.33 per credit for U.S. residents.

Financial Aid and scholarships are available for qualifying students.

North Dakota State College of Science is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Courses Offered

The College’s catalog includes a Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Technology program.

A Certificate or Associate Degree pathway options are available.

Students learn a variety of skills, including heating unit repair, supermarket refrigeration systems maintenance, troubleshooting electrical problems, and how to plan indoor air quality systems for hospitals.

The curriculum includes classes on topics such as Electrical, Piping, Sheet Metal Fabrication, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Design, Installation, and Service, and many more.

The following industry-related credentials are available for students enrolled in this program.

  • An Occupational Safety & Health Administration 10-Hour Safety Training Certificate
  • Environmental Protection Agency Refrigerant Handling Certificate
  • Industry Competency Exam Certificate

Contact Information

10Bismarck State College

About the School

Bismarck State College is North Dakota’s Polytechnic Institution.

Two-year and four-year degree options in a variety of fields are available.

Tuition is $313.34 for United States residents for Category 2 programs- including HVAC.

Certificate options and transfer programs are also available.

Courses Offered

This Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning program available at Bismarck State College is designed to teach students how to handle the newest technology in this field.

Students enrolled in this program spend many hours in a modern, well-equipped lab.

Here they learn hands-on how to master installation and repair procedures.

The program also covers EPA standards and safety measures set by OSHA regulations.

The curriculum can be completed in 10 and a half months.

Those who complete the program receive a Certificate after achieving 44 credits.

By completing additional coursework, students may earn a Diploma or an Associate of Applied Science after earning 60 credits.

Contact Information

Regional Salary in South Dakota

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD170$55,200$26.54$86,650$38,020
Sioux Falls, SD500$57,350$27.57$85,860$38,710
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers, OCC Code 49-9021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read our list, it’s time to continue the research and decide what program is the right path for you.

Before making this important decision, it’s important to gather information about all the relevant factors.