7 Best Online HVAC Technician Programs (Complete Guide)

The role of HVAC technicians who help heat and cool our homes, schools, offices, and public facilities In our fast-paced and electricity-powered world has become increasingly vital.

These skilled professionals are trained to diagnose, install, repair, and maintain central heating and air conditioning systems and other refrigerated systems that help us maintain a temperate indoor climate.

Aspiring HVAC techs should read this guide to learn about today’s HVAC technician role, including their primary job responsibilities, top HVAC certifications, and a comprehensive overview of some of the best online HVAC Technician programs in the U.S!

In this guide, we provide crucial information on how to become an HVAC technician online and detailed program information for students looking to enroll in an accredited online course on their route to earning HVAC certification.

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HVAC Technician Job Description

The role of today’s HVAC technician is highly complex and intricate.

Certified HVAC technicians are well-trained in the latest HVAC/R techniques and equipment.

Some responsibilities and job duties you can expect to carry out as a certified HVAC tech include the following.

  • Diagnose, Maintain, Install, Repair – Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration-Based Systems
  • Routinely Inspect HVAC Equipment
  • Clean, Lubricate, and Adust HVAC Components
  • Optimize HVAC/R Systems for Energy Efficiency and Performance
  • Use Hand Tools and Power Tools
  • Maintain Accurate Service Records
  • Maintain Measurements, Conversions, Heat Carrying Capacity, Condensation, Air Weight, Value
  • Comply with Safety Protocols and Mandates
  • Participate in Continuing Education Courses to Maintain Certification

How to Become an HVAC Technician Online

If you’re thinking about following your dreams and finally pursuing your career as an HVAC technician online, you’ll need to ensure you’ve completed the following steps before completing the final stage of becoming certified.

  1. Complete a high school diploma program or equivalent
  2. Research online HVAC programs that meet your budget, schedule, and educational requirements
  3. Talk to a program director or advisor about program specifics, costs, and financial aid
  4. Choose a program and Enroll
  5. Complete online HVAC training
  6. Apply for top HVAC Certification
  7. Begin working as a Certified HVAC Tech!

Top HVAC-R Certifications

Top HVAC certifications in the United States are awarded to new and continuing education students who have demonstrated excellence in HVAC/R installation, repair, and maintenance.

There are a variety of certifications available.

The following are the most commonly sought-after certifications issued by nationally recognized certification agencies.

North American Technician Excellence – N.A.T.E. Certification

HVAC Technicians with N.A.T.E. certification have demonstrated knowledge and excellence in refrigeration and heat pump theory, electrical theory, safety, installation, maintenance, and service.

  • HVAC Fundamentals: Entry-level certification
  • HVAC Service Technician: 2 year experience certification
  • HVAC Installation Technician: 1 year experience certification
  • HVAC Senior Technician: 5 years experience certification

E.P.A. Section 608 Certification

The United States Environmental Protection Agency issues three types of certifications for HVAC/R technicians and related professionals working with refrigerants.

EPA-certified HVAC technicians have demonstrated competency and skill in handling refrigerants for type I, II, or III certification.

  • Type I Certification: Covers small appliances, refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units.
  • Type II Certification: High-pressure appliances, commercial refrigeration systems, commercial air conditioners
  • Type III Certification: Low-pressure appliances, heat pumps, chillers

Certified HVAC Technicians are periodically required to take continuing education certification coursework and testing.

Best Online HVAC Technician Programs (Complete Guide)

Now that you understand what a day in the life of a certified HVAC technician looks like, you’re ready to move on to the next steps of learning more about the best programs online!

Our comprehensive guide includes details on accredited US-based online HVAC programs that offer complete online instruction or a hybrid mix of online education with practical offline application in the form of internships, externships, and on-the-job experience gained through job placement assistance programs.

If you’re serious about starting your career in HVAC – dive in and learn about some of the best online programs offered by top schools like Penn Foster, Austin Community College, Lincoln Tech, and the U.S.U.S. Career Institute!

#1. – University of North Dakota – Grand ForksUniversity of North Dakota - Grand Forks

About the Program

The University of North Dakota offers a 100% online HVAC certification prep course that teaches students the foundational components of installing, repairing, and maintaining heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and air conditioning systems in residential homes and commercial businesses across the U.S.

Students who enroll in this course will learn to interpret E.P.A. laws, applications, and theory for HVAC systems and related components.

Courses Offered

  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Air Conditioning – Cooling
  • All-Weather Systems
  • Domestic Appliances
  • Commercial Air Conditioning and Chilled Water Systems
  • HVAC Simulation
  • Electric Motors
  • Automatic Controls

Contact Information

Address: 221 Centennial Drive – Grand Forks, North Dakota – 58202


Phone: 701-777-0488

Program Cost: $2,895.00

#2. – San Joaquin Valley College San Joaquin Valley College 

About the Program

San Joaquin Valley College offers Certificate of Completion and Associate of Science Degree programs that teach HVAC students about the refrigeration cycle and E.P.A. topics.

Their students develop skills required for problem analysis and diagnosing HVAC issues in residential homes and commercial and light commercial industries.

Students who enroll in this program will learn essential heating and cooling principles along with the principles of heat transfer, gas laws, and pressure-temperature conversions.

Courses Offered

  • Theory & Applications of Refrigeration
  • Theory & Applications of Electricity
  • Air Distribution Systems
  • How to Diagnose Mechanical and Electrical Problems
  • Installation, Servicing, and Replacement Techniques

Contact Information

Address: 3828 West Caldwell Avenue – Visalia, California – 93277

Website: https://www.sjvc.edu/program/heating-ventilation-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration/

Phone: 866-544-7898

Program Cost: Please Contact the Program for Current Pricing.

#3. – Ashworth College – Norcross, GeorgiaAshworth College

About the Program

Ashworth College’s online HVAC program is administered through its student portal, which connects students to their coursework and related learning resources.

Students who take online HVAC training at Ashworth and complete the program will be prepared to take the E.P.A.

Section 608 Certification exam.

Ashford’s online students are fully supported by a network of fellow students and staff dedicated to their success.

Courses Offered

  • Fundamentals of HVAC/R
  • HVAC/R Systems
  • EPA 608 Certification Prep
  • HVAC/R System Design, Layout, and Commercial Applications
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Orientation

Contact Information

Address: 5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200 – Norcross, Georgia – 30092

Website: https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/career-diplomas/heating-air-conditioning/

Phone: 800-957-5412

Program Cost: Starting at $700.00

#4. – Lincoln Tech Lincoln Tech

About the Program

Lincoln Tech is among the most familiar names in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration technology.

They offer in-person and hands-on HVAC training programs and online components.

Students who complete HVAC-R training at one of Lincoln Tech’s online or offline campuses will learn the latest HVAC techniques, including energy efficiency and thermal technologies.

Contact the program administrator at your desired campus location to learn more about program details, online HVAC training, and scholarships or financial aid options for qualified students.

Courses Offered

  • Green Technology
  • Solar Thermal Technology
  • Geothermal Green Technologies
  • Energy Auditing
  • Basic Refrigeration Systems
  • Warm Air Heating
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Climate Control Systems

Contact Information

Address: 2539 Windy Hill Road – Marietta, Georgia – 30067

Website: https://www.lincolntech.edu/campus/marietta-ga/programs/hvac

Phone: 770-226-0056

Program Cost: $12,950.00 – $33,939.00

#5. – Austin Community College – Continuing EducationAustin Community College - Continuing Education

About the Program

The HVAC certificate training program at Austin Community College offers practical education with an online component for students enrolled in their program.

They teach students the basic principles required to begin an entry-level HVAC technician career quickly.

Students will learn to use mathematics, power tools, and how to interpret construction drawings as a component of this intensive hands-on program within 16-20 weeks of enrollment.

A.C.C. also instructs students on safety techniques and E.P.A. principles.

Courses Offered

  • Basic Electricity for HVAC
  • Refrigeration Principles
  • Recovery Certification
  • Electrical Circuits
  • Component Theory and Operation

Contact Information

Address: 668 Robert and Trudie Perkins Way, Tallahassee, Florida – 32310

Website: https://continue.austincc.edu/hvac

Phone: 512-223-7525

Program Cost: $2,900.00

*This program offers a 50% off discount for fast-track program participants: $1,495.00

#6. – Penn Foster Penn Foster Interior Decorator Course

About the Program

Penn Foster offers a 100% online H.V.A.C.R. Technician training program.

Their in-demand program takes 6-9 months to complete and prepares its students for the Environmental Protection Agency certification.

This accredited program is self-paced with a 9-month time frame for completion and a 6-month fast track option.

Students who enroll in Penn Foster’s online HVAC training program will earn 39 continuing education units, take 23 exams, and complete nine courses in a completely online format.

Courses Offered

  • Fundamentals of H.V.A.C.R.
  • Residential and Light Commercial HVAC/R Systems
  • Commercial Refrigeration Systems
  • Math and Electrical Basics for H.V.A.C.R.
  • Refrigeration Systems
  • Electrical Systems
  • HVAC/R System Design and Installation

Contact Information

Website: https://www.pennfoster.edu/programs/trades/hvac-technician-career-diploma/curriculum

Phone: 800-471-3232

Program Cost: $1,089.00

*This program offers discounts and monthly payment plans to help students cover costs.

#7. – US Career InstituteUS Career Institute

About the Program

U.S. Career Institute has an online HVAC Technician training program with 100% online instruction.

This distance-based trade program prepares students to sit for three E.P.A. certification exams and begin working as certified HVAC technicians.

The cost of certification exams is included with the cost of tuition.

Students who take classes with U.S.C.I. will learn the fundamentals of HVAC/R theory along with customer service skills, job site safety, and piping basics.

Courses Offered

  • HVAC/R Math
  • Fundamental HVAC/R Theory
  • Job Site Safety
  • Certification and Apprenticeship
  • Air Distribution and Air Quality
  • Copper and Plastic Pipe Basics
  • Carbon-Steel Piping Basics and Troubleshooting

Contact Information

Address: 2001 Lowe Street – Fort Collins, Colorado – 80525

Website: https://www.uscareerinstitute.edu/online-hvac-school

Phone: 866-250-6851

Program Cost: $1,239.00

*This program offers payment plans.

What Courses Are in an Online HVAC Technician Program?

While the actual course names in an online HVAC technician training program will vary between programs, the following are examples of courses offered by the accredited HVAC programs listed above.

  1. Theory & Applications of Refrigeration
  2. Theory & Applications of Electricity
  3. Energy Auditing
  4. Energy Efficiency
  5. Green Technology
  6. Solar Technology
  7. Geothermal Technology
  8. Basic Electricity for HVAC
  9. Refrigeration Principles
  10. E.P.A. Recovery Certification

Can You Earn an HVAC Technician Certification Completely Online?

Yes! While it may be tricky to find an online-only HVAC program, top U.S.U.S. colleges, universities, continuing education departments, and workforce development agencies offer these programs.

It is important to note that online programs prepare HVAC students to sit for national certification exams.

Some programs may require students to complete their offline practical training and gain on-the-job experience after completing the online portion of their education.

It is vital that you check with your program director for specifics and learn more about online education options and in-person practical requirements before committing to a program.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an HVAC Technician Certification Online?

The time it takes students to complete online HVAC certification programs will vary depending on several factors.

Many online programs are self-paced, offering students flexible beginning and ending dates to complete their HVAC-related coursework.

Most online HVAC certificate programs can be completed in 6-24 months.

How Much Does an Online HVAC Technician Certification Cost?

The costs of online HVAC training will vary depending on the educational institution you choose, associated costs, fees, and the availability of scholarships and financial aid.

Today’s online HVAC programs can cost between $800.00 – $15,000.00 to complete.

Many of the programs listed above offer tuition discounts, monthly payments, and special pricing for qualified students.

Have concerns about the costs of completing your training program online?

Talk to your program director or financial aid advisor to learn more about the costs.

A financial aid advisor can tell you if you qualify for scholarships, tuition assistance programs, or financial aid.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a new career as a certified HVAC Technician is an exciting step for prospective technicians.

The good news is that you can complete an HVAC program from an accredited institution at your own pace and entirely online with a bit of dedication and research.

If you’re ready to take the next step and choose a program, reach out to one of the online HVAC schools listed above to learn more about the virtual programs and services they offer.

Once you decide on a program that meets your learning style and budget, take the next step to enroll to bring yourself one step closer to becoming a certified HVAC tech by completing a national certification exam with a top certifying agency!

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