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Online Colleges for HVAC

The development of HVAC systems -- heating, ventilation and air conditioning -- radically changed the way people were able to live and thrive throughout the last century and a half. Enhanced environments, available by running the AC in hot locales and heating homes in the winter without the need for coal or wood, allowed for more comfortable lives and settling in greater numbers in more extreme climates. The preservation of food and medicines by refrigeration and freezing and their subsequent increase in accessibility and safety was another positive change, allowing for less dependence on seasonal crops and poorer-quality storage techniques. The HVAC or HVACR (which includes refrigeration) profession is a key component to creating, installing and maintaining the systems that helps to make lives safer, more convenient and more comfortable. 

The technical aspect of this career is substantial. Technicians need to know how to work with both electrical and mechanical systems as well as the ducts and other infrastructures that make air conditioning and refrigeration systems function. Many of their responsibilities when installing and maintaining these systems require special equipment, and the use and handling of refrigerants needed for cooling systems falls under governmental regulation. For these reasons, career preparation training and ongoing training are essential. Depending on your state, you may have specific training and licensure requirements. Moreover, technicians who handle refrigerants must pass written exams established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Similar occupations to HVAC include those for boilermakers, electricians and home appliance repairers. However, none of these are predicted to experience the high type of growth as that for HVAC workers, 2008-2018.

HVAC Online Programs

Online HVAC programs offer options for individuals looking for the necessary vocational training to begin this career. Specialty programs available online include heating and air conditioning as well as electrician training. These types of programs do offer hands-on training through materials that are used in the home. Online HVAC degrees can help you to learn about all-weather system, refrigerants, systems charging, and much more. See online vocational colleges for more career options.

These technicians are also called heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers, a distinction that indicates that a technician may specialize either in the installation of these systems or their ongoing maintenance. Job prospects are good for workers entering this field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The retirement of many skilled technicians means job openings are expected. However, installers may find periods of un- or underemployment when building development in their areas slows. Overall, though, growth of 28 percent, much higher than average, is expected 2008-2018. This could result in the creation of nearly 86,800 new openings, according to the BLS.

The mean annual wages earned by mechanics and installers were $44,860, according to 2010 BLS data. You could find yourself at an advantage during hiring if you have already completed an internship.

You can find available apprenticeship programs through the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association, among others.

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