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Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Major

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Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling

2,043 Associate's Degrees Annually
0 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#17 in Popularity (Associate's)
$50,160 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 10,745
Basic Certificate 7,095
Associate’s Degree 2,045

What Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to HVACR and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for HVACR Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in HVACR should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Skills for HVACR Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to HVACR:

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  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Installation - Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities for HVACR Majors

As you progress with your HVACR degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

What Can You Do With a Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with HVACR:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers 14.7% $47,610
Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers 14.7% $47,610

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling?

2,045 Associate's Degrees Annually
3% Percent Women
32% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is one of the most frequently chosen trade school majors. It is the 17th most popular in the country with 2,043 students graduating with an associate’s in HVACR in 2019. This major attracts more men than women. About 97% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of HVACR majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 56
Black or African American 228
Hispanic or Latino 276
White 1,295
International Students 11
Other Races/Ethnicities 179

Geographic Diversity

HVACR appeals to people across the globe. About 0.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Canada

How Much Do Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to HVACR is $50,160. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Major  50,160
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with HVACR require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for HVACR careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 6.4%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 9.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 54.0%
Some College Courses 10.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 14.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 5.0%

Online Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 654 schools offered some type of heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 309 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 499 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 40 1
Associate’s Degree 236 1
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 309 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Heating, Ventilation, Air & Cooling Worth It?

The median salary for a HVACR grad is $50,160 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 26% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $205,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to HVACR.

Major Number of Grads
Vehicle Maintenance & Repair 65,998
Electronics Maintenance & Repair 9,325
Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance 8,889
Precision Systems Maintenance 1,816
Mechanic & Repair Tech (Other) 1,017
Mechanics & Repairers 505

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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