Las Vegas is known for a lot of things, most of them being glamorous and exciting. One thing most people associate with the area is the extreme heat and cold the area experiences. Now, more than ever, qualified HVAC technicians are needed in and around Las Vegas, Nevada.
To become a certified HVAC technician, you will need to complete several steps, including choosing the right HVAC school. This article will examine local schools to help you find the best fit for your timeline and needs.
HVAC Certification Requirements in Las Vegas, Nevada
Nevada has some of the most strict and complicated license and certification requirements in the country. We can make it a little easier to understand.
If you plan to be an HVAC technician working on systems, with refrigeration and other HVAC components, you must be EPA 608 certified, Type II, Type III, or Universal. You will also need to have an HVAC technician certification. Finally, you will also need to pass and become certified with Nevada C-21 regulations. The Contractor designations (“C-x”) determine what qualifications the contractor holds with the state. You can see the full list here.
Having those three will allow you to work on most HVAC systems in the state and become employed by any HVAC contracting company. However, if you also want to work on solar powered HVAC systems, you will need to add the Nevada C-37 certification exam to that list.
Finally, if you are going to advance to the point you become a contractor or own your own HVAC business, you will need to pass the Contractor Management Survey Exam, along with plumbing, heating and circulation exams. The C-1 (F, G, others) designation is required and can also be combined with other specialty certifications, depending on the level of involvement your business will operate.
How To Become An HVAC Technician
The road to becoming an HVAC tech in Nevada is a straightforward path with clearly defined rules and guidelines. The first step is to acquire a high school diploma or GED. However, this can be obtained while working on the second step, in some instances.
The second step is to attend and graduate from an accredited HVAC school program. This can be accomplished through a trade school, community college, or university program. Many of these offer a high school student program that allows high school seniors to attend some classes before they have received their diploma.
Most HVAC schools will have the certification process built-in. However, for those that don’t, your next step is to pass the required exams. You will need to have the HVAC tech certification, Nevada contractors C-21, and EPA 608 certifications before you can begin working.
Following that, you can join an apprenticeship or internship. While this isn’t mandatory, it can help you find employment with a specific company, or hone your skills with a more practical hands-on training environment.
Once these steps are completed, you are ready for your new career as a certified HVAC technician in Nevada.
Quick Guide in Choosing Your HVAC School
Before you jump in and select just any school, there are several things to consider. Below is a list and reasons for consideration for you to go over. You should be able to further narrow your selection based on these factors.
The school location is important. Obviously, paying for a school, enrolling in classes, and buying all the needed supplies is pointless if you can’t make it to class.
Choosing a school based on location alone is not a wise idea. However, if travel is restricted, difficult, or expensive, looking closer to home is an ideal first step.
Accreditation is a process the school goes through to prove to the government that their education level and the process are high-quality, complete, and follows set guidelines. While a school doesn’t need accreditation by law, you will want to avoid a school that doesn’t have accreditation.
Diplomas, degrees, and certificates from non-accredited schools are basically worthless to employers who need to protect their licenses and insurances to stay in business. You can find a list of accredited schools (or check if your school is accredited) on the Department of Education accreditation portion of their website.
Offers Quality Education
Just because a school is accredited doesn’t mean they are the best school for you. The education guidelines are met, which is essential. However, the actual level of education and instruction should far exceed the accreditation guides.
Looking at reviews, course curriculum, and touring the campus will help determine if the fit and teaching style is right for you.
Offers Hands-on Training
Unlike some other professions, the HVAC trade is almost entirely hands-on. Attending a school without hands-on training is virtually pointless (some exceptions in online learning are made).
When reviewing your chosen school, ensure there are plenty of lab and hands-on training hours involved. If not, you may want to look for a different school.
Connects you to an Apprenticeship/Internship Program
For a better experience and learning opportunity, an apprenticeship or internship is crucial. With these programs, you will get live training, be able to work in the field, and make sure you know how to apply what you’ve learned in a real-world setting.
Not every school offers assistance in finding these programs and leaves it up to you to do all the leg work. However, many schools provide post-graduate programs that include apprenticeship and internship placement.
Offers Customer Service Skills Training
Customer service is a crucial and often overlooked aspect of HVAC training. A lot of your work will be done in the field, dealing with customers with down or broken systems. Knowing basic customer service skills will help you become a valuable team member.
Look for schools and institutions that include customer service training as a part of their standard curriculum. It will only benefit you for attending these lessons and classes.
7 Best HVAC Schools in Nevada
Now that you know what to look for, below we have a list of the 7 best HVAC schools in Nevada. Each one is reviewed and compared to help you find the perfect fit.
Las Vegas, NV
1. College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146
Best Choice For: Full certification program, including EPA 608
The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) offers one of the most hands-on programs around.
With this structured and accredited program, you will get a first-hand look at industry components, tools, and equipment. Not only is every aspect taught to complete understanding, but you also get testing help.
Unlike a lot of schools, CSN has an exam proctor so you can complete the course and walk away with your EPA 608 certification as well as the HVAC Excellence Employment Readiness Certification. One course and you are ready to enter the workforce.
2. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89154
Best Choice For: Continuing education courses.
UNLV is a status school known for its excellence in many aspects. One hidden gem, though, is their HVAC training.
With this continuing education course, you will get lectures, book work, labs, and hands-on experience. Upon completion of the course, you will have a certificate from UNLV and be prepped for all work-related and required exams to become fully certified in the HVAC industry.
While the course isn’t a part of the degree portion of the institution, it never hurts to have the UNLV stamp on your certificates.
3. Quality Technical Training Center
3139 Westwood Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Best Choice For: Short-term education and exam prep
Quality Technical Training Center has helped students become licensed HVAC technicians for over 20 years.
Their expertise in the field isn’t limited to how things used to be. Every lesson is set up ion a modern atmosphere, preparing you for the real world and the equipment you will work on when you head out tomorrow.
For short class length, you learn a lot. They also have exam preparations for EPA 608, NATE, and HVAC solar tech.
You can specialize or go broad, and their flexible schedule allows you to make it to class. QTTC also caters to veterans and has financial aid available for those that qualify.
4. Advanced Training Institute, Inc.
5150 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89118
Best Choice For: Flexible scheduling
Advanced Training Institute (ATI) is a preparation trade school for HVAC/R certification. While they don’t offer the actual HVAC certifications, you will be prepared for all exams, including EPA 608, NATE, R-410a, and others.
Once you graduate, you will be a few exams away from your new career. They offer placement opportunities for their graduates and can also help set up the exam schedules. The biggest draw is their flex scheduling.
ATI provides both day and night classes with some weekends available. You don’t have to quit your day job while training for your new career.
5. National Technical Institute HVAC Training
1870 Whitney Mesa Dr, Henderson, NV 89014
Best Choice For: Fast-track to certification
When you want to get in and get out, the process can be limited. This isn’t true with the National Technical Institute’s HVAC training program.
There are plenty of lab hours to get hands-on with all the required tools and equipment. One of the highest-rated national schools in your backyard is a great compliment.
With extensive hands-on training, you will be fully prepared for anything the real world can throw at you.
Armed with this education, you are viable and worthwhile to new employers, without the long wait for other course completion times.
6. Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC)
7000 Dandini Blvd, Reno, NV 89512
Best Choice For: Associate’s degree in HVAC
TMCC is one of the few Nevada courses that results in an actual degree. While this may not seem like a big deal, compare that to the fact that over 90% of all graduates are hired before they finish the course, and you can see how valuable this training is.
With an ideal split between classwork and lab time, you get the book learning and hands-on training needed to make you a viable addition to any HVAC contractor company.
The course is complete, thorough, and inexpensive, averaging $1,000 per 9 credits. Financial aid and job placement are available, as well.
7. Career College of Northern Nevada
1421 Pullman Dr. Sparks, NV 89434
Best Choice For: Practical application of real-world training
Northern Nevada may be out of the glittery spotlight, but the HVAC courses at Career College still shine bright.
This course is deeply devoted to hands-on training, giving you everything you need to the certification exams and allowing you to be placed in a job the moment you graduate.
For those living north of the lights and City of Sin, your choices for quality educations drop off a great deal. But in Sparks, Nevada, the diamond in the rough not only trains you for real-world application but gives you all the certifications you can handle.
HVAC Training School Costs in Las Vegas
The costs for proper HVAC training vary from state to state and within each region inside the states. On average, though, the cost for trade school certification will fall between $1,500 and $4,000.
If you plan to pursue an associate’s degree, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $10,000 on average, while bachelor’s degrees in HVAC can cost upwards of $35,000. Financial aid is something you should look for, either with scholarships, grants, or loans.
You should note that these fees don’t always include room and board, books, supplies, or tools. These may be extra costs that you will need to account for and budget for.
Is HVAC a Good Career Choice in Las Vegas?
Wages in Nevada notwithstanding, working in the HVAC industry in this region is about average as far as income potential goes. According to Indeed, the average wage in the Las Vegas area is just over $21 per hour. As you progress in your career, get more experience and education, the wages will increase.
Las Vegas Entry Level HVAC Salary
Fresh out of school or those techs with less than 2 years experience, the average wage hovers around $20 per hour. Depending on the current need and demand for techs in the area, the wage can increase.
The high end of the spectrum for entry-level HVAC technicians in the Las Vegas area is about $26 per hour.
Las Vegas HVAC Tech Salary
Experienced technicians, or those with more than 3 years working in the industry can see wages range from $26 to $40 per hour. A lot of the wage determination will fall with the size of the company, the demand for well-qualified technicians, and your performance within the industry.
The smaller the region, the less the average wage is. However, smaller areas still need high-quality technicians and tend to hire more than the larger areas where job competition is more dense.
Return of Investment
According to the Department of Labor, the HVAC industry is expected to grow 13% over the next 10 years. This is much higher than almost every other industry currently being monitored.
Because of the growth future, HVAC technicians have a high return on investment (ROI). This means that regardless of your tuition fees, tools, equipment, and material costs and other charges you may face getting into the market, you will earn enough, fast enough to make it well worth your while.
Demand for HVAC Jobs in Las Vegas
The job outlook for HVAC technicians in Las Vegas and surrounding Nevada areas is actually better than fair.
While the national average is higher, Nevada isn’t at the bottom. With an internal growth rate of about 3%, the national average of 8 – 13% makes it seem small. However, Nevada has a lot of townships and smaller regions that don’t grow as fast as the larger, more populous areas.
It is in these areas where you will find better demand for your skills, though it can be more challenging to get hired. A proper education and training will make you more viable when the jobs are open.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do I get an HVAC job in Las Vegas?
Before you can apply for a job in Las Vegas, you must meet the HVAC industry’s minimum requirements. This will include a high school diploma/GED, HVAC certification accomplished through a trade school or college, and the EPA 608 certification. It is also valuable to attend an internship or apprenticeship program to further your learning and make your resume more solid.
Can I get an HVAC certification license online?
You can train for the certification, including all book work and some lab exercises. However, to become fully certified, you must take and pass a series of exams. EPA 608, C-21, and HVAC tech certification are the minimums required by Nevada. These tests must be taken in person and cannot be completed online.
Are there HVAC apprenticeships in Las Vegas?
There are plenty of apprenticeship and internship opportunities in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Most of the trade schools and colleges will offer placement opportunities to graduates. You can also search job boards for apprenticeship opportunities if you don’t want to go through your school for assistance.
Can I get into HVAC with no experience?
It is possible to enter the HVAC career ladder without any prior experience. However, to do so without a formal HVAC education is almost impossible. You will need to apply for and complete an apprenticeship or internship with a company willing to train and educate you instead of having you go through a school. While it is possible, these opportunities are rare.
How long does it take to get a degree in HVAC?
You can get certified in HVAC in as little as a few months. An associate’s degree will take 18 to 24 months for completion, and the bachelor’s degree program (the highest HVAC degree available) can last up to 48 months.
When is online HVAC programs advisable?
Online learning is useful for those that live far from a school or cannot otherwise get to the campus regularly. While it is possible to complete the lecture and learning sections of the process, hands-on and lab work are not able to be completed online.
However, if you are studious enough, you can pass the required exams without any hands-on work. Still, you will note a lack of expertise or abilities using the tools for proper diagnosis and repair when working in the field.
Finding the right HVAC school in Las Vegas or surrounding areas in Nevada can be a difficult choice. You aren’t without options, and each one has pros and cons that may make the school a perfect or detrimental choice for you.
This article aimed to help you find out what questions to ask, considerations to make, and offered a list of local schools that work well for almost everyone. Hopefully, you were able to narrow your decision and begin taking the next steps towards your new HVAC career in Las Vegas.