When people think of Massachusetts, they think sports, history, and scenic postcard-style views. One thing most people don’t know, though, is that Massachusetts is in need of HVAC technicians just as bad as Arizona or Texas.
This article will showcase some of the best HVAC schools in Massachusetts. Combined with a need-to-know guide on selecting the right school and showing you everything you need to enter the rewarding field of heating and air conditioning.
Massachusetts has one of the strictest certification regimens in the country. While the process is more involved, obtaining your HVAC certification isn’t much more complicated than other states that require one.
The first thing, though, is the EPA 608 certification. This is required by federal law in any state, including Massachusetts. From there, things get a little more tricky.
- You must pay a $75 non-refundable application fee, along with your application.
- You must provide a current mailing address, ID, and a passport photo.
You must also provide proof of one of the following packets from your employer and school:
- Option 1:
Employer certification of less than 6000 hours worked, plus school completion certification with at least 100 hours refrigeration theory and 150 hours of lab work.
- Option 2:
Employer certification of less than 4000 hours worked, plus school certification of 500 hours (150 hours theory, 250 hours lab, and 100 hours electrical code training).
- Option 3:
Employer certification of less than 1000 hours worked and school certification of 1000 hours (750 hours lab, 150 hours theory, and 100 hours electrical code).
- Option 4:
Have an HVAC certification license from another state or region, plus proof of employment and schooling hours (matching prerequisites from above) options based on employment time.
- Option 5:
Be approved by a majority vote of the Bureau.
Once you have all the above information and certifications submitted, you must also pass a written exam.
How To Become An HVAC Technician
Becoming an HVAC tech in Massachusetts follows the same path as most other states. The first step is to obtain a high school diploma or GED and proceed to an HVAC training program.
Most students choose an HVAC trade school for faster placement. However, those more career-minded will seek out a degree from a college or university. Most schools will average between a few months to a few years before granting the degree, diploma, or certificate.
In Massachusetts, you will need more schooling time or a mix of school and employment. The best option is to attend an apprenticeship during or after school. Whether you are in Boston, Cambridge, or North Andover, you need to attend school to get the required certification.
Once the certification is obtained, you still need experience. Even in smaller communities like Somerville and Woburn, you need to have work experience. While this can seem like a catch-22, you just need some experience. As little as 6 months working in and around HVAC systems can be enough to become fully certified.
The answer is an apprenticeship. You will get the experience you need for the certification and have someone to back you up with paperwork and references when looking for permanent placement.
Once you have everything along with the EPA 608 certification, your education and job hunting path are complete.
Quick Guide in Choosing Your HVAC School
Choosing the right HVAC school in Massachusetts can be a complicated process. There are a few bad apples among the bunch, and some don’t quite offer everything you need for proper certification. Below are things to help you identify the better schooling options near you.
Proximity to your home or current place of business is one of the most important things about choosing your school. The closer the campus is to your home, the easier and more consistently you can make it to class.
If you cannot easily get tot he school, it is difficult to complete the course. Of course, location is only one factor. A school that is better suited for your type of learning or style may be further away. In these instances, online classes may be an option.
Trade school and college or university accreditation is also important. It is the first step to determining the quality of the school and the education it offers. Accreditation is the process where the school proves to the government that they offer a specific level and quality of education.
A non-accredited school’s degree means very little to the working world. You can check the accreditation status of your selected school through the Department of Education.
Offers Quality Education
More than accreditation, you can also determine the quality of the education by doing some more in-depth research on your own. Without looking at or relying on the school’s website, you can search for online reviews of current and past students.
Visiting the campus and talking to students and faculty to get a personal feel for the school and its atmosphere.
Offers Hands-on Training
One of the most critical aspects of the certification process in Massachusetts is the lab work or hands-on training. The state requires a minimum of 150 lab hours (depending on the number of hours of work experience).
The school needs to offer the lab training, which takes most online classes out of the equation. While you can use online courses for the book and lecture, you will need to find a place and time to complete the lab work.
Connects you to an Apprenticeship/Internship Program
Most schools will have post-graduate opportunities. One of the ones you should look for is apprenticeship programs. By using these programs, you can work on your experience hours while or just after school and become certified faster.
Most of these programs run for life for all graduates. It also works for current students so they can get the training and fieldwork needed.
Offers Customer Service Skills Training
Customer service is also crucial for HVAC techs. While working on HVAC systems, you will need to interact with customers. At some point, these customers may be angry or upset that their systems are not working correctly.
Some schools don’t offer a customer service section in their curriculum. If you do not have customer service training or past work experience in a customer service oriented job, you may want to look for a school that offers this as part of the course.
9 Best HVAC Schools in Massachusetts
Below, you will find the 9 best HVAC schools in Massachusetts based on region and other factors from the guide above. This list is not comprehensive but will help you narrow your search considerably when searching for the ideal HVAC school for you.
1. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT)
41 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
Bestor Choice For: Job placement opportunities
BFIT offers a 9-month, 800 hour HVAC/R course designed to get you ready for permanent certification. The 28-credit course is available for day or evening students and covers all required hours for theory and electrical core training.
With a hands-on approach, you will also get the hours you need for lab certification (except for those with less than 2000 hours on the job).
The best part is that BFIT has an on-going life-long job placement program that boasts an 85% placement rating.
2. New England Institute of HVAC
240 Smith St, Lowell, MA 01851
Best Choice For: Certification exam preparedness
New England Institute of HVAC is one of the most comprehensive short-class training courses available.
They offer a 13-week course that is heavy on hands-on training. Each course is taught by an experienced, licensed technician and will have you ready to go when you graduate.
If you are looking to fill your lab hour requirements and learn from some of the best HVAC pros in the industry, then NEI is your choice.
Upon completion, you will be ready to take the EPA 608 exam as well as the EPA R-410a and Massachusetts state HVAC certification exams.
North Andover, MA
3. New England Tractor Trailer Training School
1600 Osgood St #1570, North Andover, MA 01845
Best Choice For: Massachusetts certification requirement hours
New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) may not seem like an obvious choice for HVAC. However, this diamond in the rough is one of the most comprehensive and thorough HVAC training schools around.
Through NETTTS, you can achieve 4000 hours towards the MA HVAC certification.
There isn’t anything this school doesn’t cover for a perfect balance of hands-on training, self-study, and 3D online lab practice.
Learn in the class, practice at home, and get the tools and equipment you will need during the course, which are yours to keep after graduation.
4. The Peterson School
25 Montvale Ave, Woburn, MA 01801
Best Choice For: HVAC training course options
If you need to specialize, or you have some training but are lacking in specific areas required for state certification, then the Peterson School is for you.
Based in Woburn, they also have campuses in Westwood and Worchester. But their locations aren’t the best thing about the classes.
You get to choose from a plethora of options, including single course training (specializing in oil heating, for example) or pick from one of three full-course options.
You can choose a course that offers the electrical core training if you need it, or opt for oil heating, licensing prep or others. The choice is yours and classes start all the time.
1241 Fall River Ave, Seekonk, MA 02771
Best Choice For: Small classes for more attention to your needs
MTTI is one of the best classes designed with you in mind. It sounds cliché, but it is true here.
The class sizes are small, and the focus is hands-on. While you will get the required class hours, the hands-on training is more than sufficient to qualify for the MA certification.
Highly experienced instructors take you through every step of HVAC repair, diagnosis, and installation.
This includes theory, practice, and future expectations of the industry. The small class sizes allow more one-on-one instruction, so you get the most out of your time in the classroom.
6. Technology Learning Center
11 Buffum Dam Rd, Oxford, MA 01540
Best Choice For: Future-based industry learning
The world of HVAC is changing. From removing R-22 from service to green and solar heating and cooling solutions, the evolution is happening now.
TLC offers core training in the classroom on all theory and electrical training.
You then spend most of your time in the 8000 square foot lab, learning with your hands, on equipment now in service and green or solar equipment soon to be seen in the field.
If you want to future proof your career, this is the best place to start.
7. Springfield Technical Community College
1 Armory St, Springfield, MA 01105
Best Choice For: Continuing education in HVAC/R
Springfield Technical Community College offers a 1-year program in HVAC that includes the theory and lab work needed for your certification.
They also prep you for the EPA 608 exam and offer a certificate of completion that can be used to further your career.
Once the course is completed, you can use your credits to continue your education needs and go after an HVAC degree. This allows you to focus on your own business as a licensed contractor.
Even if you only want to become an HVAC tech, this program sets you on the right path, no matter your choice.
8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Best Choice For: Degree in HVAC through architecture or engineering
MIT offers a degree-granting course for HVAC theory through the school of architecture. You will learn installation and construction techniques as well as theories on green and solar usage in the future of the industry.
While not technically an HVAC technician certification course, you will learn how to diagnose and use the systems, as well as repair, rebuild, and expand.
Through the school, you will be able to start your own career, learn the basics for HVAC system building, and plan a path to success the way you want.
South Easton, MA
9. Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School
250 Foundry St, South Easton, MA 02375
Best Choice For: lab-based learning for diagnostics and repair
Southeastern Regional offers a comprehensive HVAC course that teaches you how to use the equipment and operate the systems. If you need troubleshooting, diagnostics, and repair training, this is your answer.
The certificate of completion allows you to take all required state and federal exams and move towards the final phases of state certification.
With hands-on, lab-based training, you learn theory and electrical core alongside some of the most trusted and experienced instructors in the area.
HVAC Training School Costs in Massachusetts
The cost of tuition will vary significantly across the state. It will also depend on where you choose to go to school. Trade schools, for example, are generally cheaper than a college or university. However, this isn’t always the case.
You also need to consider residency. Resident fees on tuition will cost less than it does for non-residents. Trade schools generally don’t have this discrepancy, though, it does happen from time to time.
According to Cost Helper, you can expect to pay up to $15,000 for a certificate or up to $35,000 for a degree.
Is HVAC a Good Career Choice in Massachusetts?
HVAC is always a good career choice. It is one of the few currently rated to exceed the national average in job demand over the next few years. In Massachusetts, the need for qualified techs means that the starting and long-term salaries are going to be higher, too.
Massachusetts Entry Level HVAC Salary
the HVAC salary in Massachusetts depends a lot on where you are employed and by whom. Across the state, though, the average starting salary for a certified technician with less than 2 years experience falls between $18 and $24 per hour.
Years in the industry and larger companies will result in higher wages.
Massachusetts HVAC Tech Salary
As a technician with more than 5 years of experience, you can expect an hourly wage exceeding $35 per hour. Many companies will reward long-term employees with higher wages, as well. It isn’t uncommon to have HVAC technicians in Massachusetts reaching $80,000 to $90,000 per year.
Return of Investment
Because of the demand and the relatively steady cost of school, HVAC technicians see a more substantial ROI than most other vocations. An average of 5 to 10 years to pay off school debt makes the return on investment a suitable return and easily maintained without default, extra loans, or a need for second jobs.
Demand for HVAC Jobs in Massachusetts
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has Massachusetts expecting a steady growth in the HVAC industry of about 11%. This is below the national average of 13% but higher than most other regions in New England, including New York.
The job outlook for HVAC technicians in Massachusetts is great. The economy keeps HVAC in demand; the increases in population mean more homes and businesses in need of HVAC services, and companies need to hire new highly-qualified HVAC technicians.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do I get an HVAC job in Massachusetts?
To become employed as an HVAC tech in Massachusetts, you must get a certification of HVAC completion through a school, pass the EPA 608 exam, and have some work experience, either through gainful employment or an apprenticeship/internship. Once you have the required school and work hours, you can send your application (and $75 fee) for the official certification.
Can I get an HVAC certification license online?
In Massachusetts, you are required to have a specific amount of lab or hands-on hours to qualify for the HVAC certification. While you can work online to get your book and lecture hours, you cannot complete the lab requirements without going to a school in person.
Are there HVAC apprenticeships in Massachusetts?
There are plenty of HVAC apprenticeships and internships in Massachusetts. You can search through any of the online job finding sites, like Indeed.com, to locate potential apprenticeships and apply to become enrolled. The state government also mandates how apprenticeships work and what is required of them, from both the trainee (you) and the sponsor.
Can I get into HVAC with no experience?
In a lot of states, getting into the HVAC industry is easy without any experience. However, Massachusetts is different. You are required to have a certain number of on-the-job training hours before you can become officially hired as an HVAC technician.
How long does it take to get a degree in HVAC?
ON average, you can complete your degree in HVAC/R through a college or university between 18 and 48 months, depending on which degree you are trying to obtain. There are two degrees in the HVAC industry, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
When is online HVAC programs advisable?
Some programs can be taken online. At the very least, you can use the online learning opportunities to study or complete the book and lecture portions of your training. However, you will not be able to become fully certified in Massachusetts without hands-on training and real-world work experience. For that reason, it isn’t advised to seek out online training unless you currently have no other choice and want to make some progress towards the certification.
What is the highest HVAC degree?
There isn’t a doctorate (Ph.D.) in HVAC, so the highest level of degree available is the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Getting the proper training, including theory, hands-on lab work, and electrical core training, is crucial to your future success as an HVAC tech. In Massachusetts, you are required to pass several exams for certification, including the federal EPA 608 exam, as well as complete a specified number of lab and classroom hours.
With the help of this article, you should now be better prepared to find the ideal school for your needs and requirements to get started in your new, rewarding HVAC career.