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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 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 11,102
Basic Certificate 6,896
Associate Degree 1,873

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

In an O*NET survey, HVACR majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the 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

A major in HVACR will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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?

People with a HVACR degree often go into the following careers:

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?

1,873 Associate's Degrees Annually
3% Percent Women
33% 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 52
Black or African American 221
Hispanic or Latino 261
White 1,188
International Students 10
Other Races/Ethnicities 141

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in HVACR, too. 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 the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 degrees associated with HVACR may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to HVACR have obtained the following education levels.

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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 2019-2020 academic year, 662 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 504 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 37 0
Associate’s Degree 242 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 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 61,193
Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance 8,872
Electronics Maintenance & Repair 8,056
Precision Systems Maintenance 1,310
Mechanic & Repair Tech (Other) 1,111
Mechanics & Repairers 420
Energy Systems Maintenance and Repair Technologies. 61

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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