There are a number of HVAC training schools in Colorado. In densely populated cities, such as Denver and Colorado Springs there are multiple training schools and present the possibility to obtain an apprenticeship.
First, it's important we cover HVAC/R
- HVAC/R Technicians in CO – What do They Do?
- HVAC Training Schools in Colorado
- Becoming an HVAC/R Tech in CO
- High Demand for HVAC/R Technicians in CO
- HVAC Technician Salary in Colorado
- What Level of Education do You Need?
- HVAC Degree from an HVAC Accredited School
- How Much Does HVAC Schooling Cost?
- Selecting an HVAC Accredited School
- Finding an HVAC Training School in Colorado
- Benefits you can Expect from Earning an HVAC Degree
- What Is There to Learn at an HVAC School?
- HVAC Certification and Licensing in Colorado
HVAC/R Technicians in CO – What do They Do?
HVAC/R stands for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning / Refrigeration.
HVAC/R technicians handle a wide range of tasks focused on climate control, ventilation, and refrigeration. Projects range from residential housing to commercial buildings - managing humidity, temperature, air quality and more. When repairing or installing refrigeration systems, HVAC technicians will likely be working in a commercial setting - including grocery stores, freezer storage facilities, and other buildings that require refrigeration.
Once an individual is licensed by an HVAC accredited school the technician will have a lot of options to choose from for work.
Technicians are often hired by local and corporate businesses that specialize in either heating or cooling. They can expect to be hired to maintain HVAC systems in commercial and residential buildings. There’s a chance of working on new construction projects as well - Especially in growing cities.
An ambitious technician can gain the knowledge to start their business through continual training and after they’ve gained experience in the industry. Starting a business is a great way to utilize their knowledge to the fullest extent and offers the opportunity to educate other HVAC workers on best practices. Continuing education and specialized certificates will allow a new HVAC business owner to find a niche in the market.
HVAC Training Schools in Colorado
There are many high quality accredited HVAC schools in CO. Many are located in large metro areas like Denver and Colorado Springs, but other HVAC training schools in CO are in smaller cities, so you’re sure to find one near you.
Pro Tip: Use the Pick HVAC school locator tool on this page to find your options and the nearest HVAC schools in Colorado near to where you live.
Most of the schools offer a range of the certifications including classes that will prepare you for the highly sought after NATE certifications, Environmental Protection Agency certification, HVAC certification, Aerial Work - Platform Safety course.
If going to class in person isn’t possible because you live far from any schools or are working full time, you can still become HVAC certified. Look for an online HVAC school in Colorado. There are several, and you can get started in an HVAC career in as little as completing a 4 month online training course to become certified. Many include study material in the price of the course.
We recommend the search tool for a list of schools near you. You can narrow your search by reviewing schools to find which offer HVAC bachelor's degree, online bachelors degree in HVAC, be specific about the certification and the style of learning.
To start on your path to an HVAC career search for a list of schools, request information for the school you want to attend and wait for approval. Some factors to help you decide which school is the best fit for you is listed in the Selecting an HVAC school section below.
Becoming an HVAC/R Tech in CO
The journey to becoming an HVAC technician begins with having a high school degree or GED. Either way you’ll need one to be admitted into training school or college. After selecting a school or training center you’ll need to apply. Once accepted gather course material and prepare for classes to start.
Pro Tip: Search the internet for supplemental HVAC material to familiarize yourself with the industry. It’s a good way to get ahead in your knowledge, understanding and eventually your qualifications to be an HVAC tech in CO!
After you’ve made it through a training center or school you’ll need to take your section 608 Technician Certification exam. Certifications are covered in a later section.
High Demand for HVAC/R Technicians in CO
Colorado has experienced a huge population growth in the last ten years. With over one-million people coming into the state there is a need for new construction. The largest growth is seen in major cities like Denver and Colorado Springs.
Growth in a population is excellent for HVAC technicians, it means they will continue to have plenty of work. Demand for HVAC technicians will rise, and so will HVAC tech pay in Colorado.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Colorado the average salary for HVAC workers is near the upper level for salary throughout the nation. The BLS website also shows there is a higher concentration of HVAC/R jobs in the Northwest Nonmetropolitan area of Colorado than anywhere else in the nation. This means there will be more of an opportunity to learn from experienced and specialized technicians working in a competitive environment.
To gain a competitive advantage, furthering your education and participating in new work experiences will be essential in this field. Employers will look for technicians that are able to diagnose and solve problems quickly, without error. In other words workers need to have a firm grasp on the trade coming out of training. The reason for the high demand and exceptional salary is the job isn’t easy. For those able to train and educate themselves past the classroom it will be a worthy career.
HVAC Technician Salary in Colorado
What is the average salary for a HVAC tech in CO? HVAC worker salary depends on the level of education you have and the number of years of experience. Of course, many companies determine HVAC worker salary based on how well the professional performs the job.
Let’s start with the average salary for HVAC technicians nationwide: It is $48,730 for reference. Greeley, CO has a salary high of $94,060 which is about $20,000 higher than the state average. Colorado is a great place to earn a great salary working in HVAC.
Throughout the state of Colorado, you can expect to earn somewhere between $34,120 - $73,110. The average salary is $53,080 according to ONet. In certain areas of the state you can expect a higher salary than others. This is partially due to the fact that the cost of living in Colorado is higher than the national average in densely populated cities like Denver, Greeley, or Boulder.
You don’t need to move to earn a good HVAC worker salary, NATE certification, journeyman's certificate, and a bachelor degree are a few ways to increase your salary wherever you plan to work.
What Level of Education do You Need?
If you decide to pursue higher education than starting with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in HVAC will lead to a better understanding of the industry as a whole. In a shifting field like HVAC/R, a degree will serve as a solid foundation to help you continue building your specialized skills.
An associates is a 2 year degree that gives you the best of both worlds. Expedient route in comparison to a bachelors, and further education than a training center would provide.
College isn’t the route for everyone; to be an HVAC technician college is not a requirement. Being a licensed HVAC technician has its benefits, one being that you will enter the workforce years before a student who started studying at the same. This gives you time to find a job, gain experience and decide if there are any specialized certificates you want to pursue.
What level of education do you need, is a question only you can answer. If getting a steady job is more of a priority than spending time and money educating yourself then get certified at a school or training center and start applying to HVAC companies.
Whether you decide to pursue a degree or take the certificate route remember HVAC is a competitive market. Choose the route that will give you the best shot at landing a position you will enjoy.
HVAC Degree from an HVAC Accredited School
The two route to earning an HVAC degree from an accredited school:
Associates Degree in HVAC:
This degree plan will take two years to complete. You will learn the fundamentals of HVAC/R in residential and commercial buildings, based on installing, repairing and maintaining heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems. Included in the course work will be an introduction to energy efficient options and refrigerants.
Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC:
Like an associates degree a bachelor’s of science will provide you with knowledge of the basics to maintaining, repairing, and installing heating, cooling, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This degree plan will go more in depth about energy audits, load analysis, contracting issues, and hydronic system design. This will allow you to better understand the evolving industry.
Get Started Today: Use the Pick HVAC search tool to locate the best HVAC training in CO that is also close to where you live or where you plan to move.
How Much Does HVAC Schooling Cost?
The cost of schooling depends on what level of certification or education you’ve chosen to pursue.
At some Colorado schools, you can complete the certificate training for less than $4,000. This is enough to get started working in the industry, when applying it’s worth asking whether or not the company is willing to pay for continued education. Oftentimes they will pay for you to earn your associates or bachelors after you’ve proved that you’re a skilled and hardworking employee.
An associate is a two year degree plan - it can take less than 24 months to complete. There are quite a few HVAC trade schools in Colorado that offer an associates degree in programs averaging 16 to 22 months. These usually include some certifications as a part of the course work and costs $8,000 to $12,000.
Bachelor’s degrees are more costly than either of the routes mentioned. Depending on the school and financial aid you are offered it can cost up to $70,000, but some cost less than that. What you're gaining from the degree is a higher level of knowledge and a higher entry level salary.
Selecting an HVAC Accredited School
Two entities that accredit colleges and trades schools are HVAC Excellence and Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing an accredited school in Colorado that will help you reach your career goals
- Level of education - Choose a school or training center that matches your desired career path. If you want to manage an HVAC company then a Bachelor’s of science in HVAC would be the best route. College isn’t necessary for starting a career in HVAC, weigh the options and match your level of education with your career goals.
- Location - How far will you need to travel to get to and from school or training? Where do you want to work after training or schooling is completed? These are questions to ask yourself when deciding on the location of your accredited HVAC education in CO.
- Cost of Attendance - When you know the price, find out if any additional certifications are included with the cost of tuition or training course. This will help you understand the value of your investment.
- Educators - Make sure the people that will be training you are knowledgeable and easily understood. This will help you learn the material and look forward to going back to class. Have they worked in the industry? If they have experience there’s a good chance you could make some connections with people still working in the industry.
- Classroom - A virtual classroom has its advantages such as travel time. You may have a difficult time learning some of the hands-on skills. Similarly to a large class size where you might not get the one-on-one training that you need. In what type of classroom do you learn most efficiently?
These factors are important to think about when choosing a location to start your HVAC/R training and education.
Looking for accredited HVAC schools in CO? Try the exclusive Pick HVAC School Finder tool. Plug in your information, and the list will populate with accredited HVAC/R Schools in Colorado nearest to you!
Finding an HVAC Training School in Colorado
Use the factors listed above to narrow your search.
Enter your zip code in search bar at the top of the webpage linked below to find an HVAC school near you
Benefits you can Expect from Earning an HVAC Degree
More education will lead you to more options to choose from when it comes to selecting a career in HVAC. With an associates or bachelors degree in HVAC/R you will be in high demand for top rated companies in Colorado.
Having a bachelor's degree will allow you to be considered for management positions after graduation. After you’ve gained some experience you might realize that starting your own company is the most profitable route, with credibility gained from having your bachelors you’ll be able to do that.
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration is a competitive market because of the high paying salary and high demand for quality workers. Either an associate or a bachelors will give you an edge over others who chose the certificate route. Leaving you with more options to choose from and a better understanding of on the job tasks.
Compared to certificate holders there is no competing with the salary you’ll earn as a HVAC worker with a degree. In some locations having a bachelor's degree will lead to earning twice as much because demand for HVAC technicians with more education and abilities is higher.
What Is There to Learn at an HVAC School?
There is a wide range of topics covered at an HVAC school. Courses start with the basics of safety on the job and preparation for on-the- job training.
Examples of information included in courses:
- Construction Safety
- Electrical Safety
- Motor theory and Applications
- Heating systems
- Heat and cooling systems
- Duct work
- Maintaining a Ventilation system
The degree route will cover:
- Communication skills
- Energy Audits
Everything you need to know to prepare for your section 608 Technician Certification.
HVAC Certification and Licensing in Colorado
The point of getting a license in HVAC is to demonstrate that you're capable and proficient at performing repairs, maintenance, and installing HVAC systems.
After completing your formal training it’ll be time to take your 608 Technician Certification. There are four types of certifications:
- Type I | Allows you to work on Small Appliances
- Type II | Allows you to work on Medium, High and Very - High Pressure Appliances
- Type III | Allows you to work on Low - Pressure Appliances
- Universal certification | A person who is Type I, II, and III certified
Universal HVAC Certification and Licensing examination includes questions from type I-III plus an additional core set of questions, it’s 100 questions in all. Certifications last two years. After two years you’ll have to take sixteen continuing education hours and apply for recertification.
Demand for HVAC technicians rises as you gain skills, certifications and more.
Having a NATE HVAC Certification and licensing gives you credibility as soon as you enter the room.
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence.
NATE is the largest non-profit certification organization for HVAC/R technicians. It’s supported by the entire HVAC/R industry - participation is voluntary.
NATE has different concentrations to be certified:
- Ready to Work Certification
- HVAC Support Technician
- NATE Certification: Core and Specialty Test
- Senior Level Efficiency Analyst Certification
The certifications last five years and after that you’ll need to undergo 60 hours of continuing education or retake the exam.
HVAC Professional Organizations
In your HVAC/R career you will have the opportunity to join a professional organization.
Joining a professional organization will allow you to expand your knowledge of HVAC/R; by giving you access to the latest information on sustainability, safety, and design. You'll also gain access to a network of people who are from the same industry as you are.
Here’s a list of top HVAC organizations:
- Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA)
- American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
- Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
- Indoor Environment Energy Efficiency (ACCA)
- Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE)
- United Association (UA)
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
If you’re interested in learning more about these professional HVAC organizations, click here
A resource used to learn more about wages, concentration of a job, and access useful information on specific careers. The name of Onet is Occupational Information network. The full website has plenty of educational material on HVAC/R careers in Colorado. It’s a National site dedicated to helping you better understand the workforce.