Connecticut offers a unique view of skilled trades and has specific requirements for using them. When it comes to the HVAC industry, there are certifications to achieve, educations to have and knowledge to hold.
This article examines these requirements and shows you the best HVAC schools in Connecticut to make your path towards becoming a certified HVAC technician simple, stress-free, and more viable.
HVAC Certification Requirements in Connecticut
The federal regulations require that all HVAC technicians hold the EPA 608 certification to work on, with, or dispose of refrigerant. Other than this certification, each state is left to determine what their HVAC techs and contractors are required.
For Connecticut, the state mandates that all HVAC technicians hold one of several certifications. You aren’t required to have all of them but must hold at least one to be fully certified. You can choose from one of the following state certifications.
- Licensed Apprenticeship
- Limited Warm Air, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration System Journeyman
- Limited Heating, Cooling, and Piping Journeyman
- Unlimited Heating, Cooling and Piping Journeyman
How To Become An HVAC Technician
With the state’s license and certification requirements, there is really only one viable path to HVAC certification in Connecticut.
First, you need to obtain your high school diploma or GED. From here, you should attend a trade school or college to learn HVAC theory, mathematics, equipment, and tools. Using certification books, lab work, and even HVAC software, you can complete the schooling ready for an apprenticeship.
Once you apply for and are approved for an apprenticeship, you can learn hands-on working in the field on real systems. During this time, you should become EPA 608 certified and get accustomed to working in the HVAC industry.
By the time your apprenticeship ends, you can take the state required exams for licensing, and when you pass, you are fully certified, ready to begin your career in HVAC.
The location of the school is important. You don’t want to pay and attempt to attend a school that is on the other side of the state. Being close allows you a better opportunity to attend class regularly and on time.
However, this shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. You may find a better fit a few extra miles up the road. You should, though, begin your search as close to home as possible.
School accreditation is also crucial. If the school isn’t accredited through one of the governing bodies, then the education and tuition fees may be wasted. Many credits and continuing education opportunities are denied if your credits come from a school that isn’t accredited.
It is also possible that potential employers will deny your application because your education wasn’t from an accredited institution.
Offers Quality Education
Quality education is the most important. How the school instructs its students, interacts with the technologies, and handles the job market all make or break your career. Everything from financial aid to post-graduate programs all work together to get you the best education possible.
You should make a point to visit the campuses on your shortlist. Talk to faculty and staff and find out how they feel about the school and education system. Find out if that campus is a good fit for you before you apply or enroll.
Offers Hands-on Training
A critical aspect of schooling is a hands-on approach. Being a skilled trade, HVAC work requires tools and knowledge of the equipment. These are things you cannot get out of a book. You need to work with the tools in your hands, know how to read them, and use them to diagnose and repair the HVAC systems accurately.
Ensure your chosen school has plenty of lab hours for hands-on training.
Connects you to an Apprenticeship/Internship Program
One other thing that is more important in Connecticut than a lot of other states is the post-graduate programs. Job placement is nice, but for Connecticut certification, you should look into applying for apprenticeships.
Most schools will have contacts in the apprenticeship and internship worlds. Being able to take advantage of these contacts is something that you should heavily invest in.
Offers Customer Service Skills Training
Customer service is an often overlooked part of the HVAC trade. If you don’t have prior customer service training, you should ensure that the school offers a portion of the course to customer service.
8 Best HVAC Schools in Connecticut
Below, you will find the best HVAC schools in Connecticut. Each one reviewed and compared to help you make a final decision. Scroll through the various regions and find the perfect school for your needs.
East Windsor, CT
1. Lincoln Technical Institute
97 Newberry Rd, East Windsor, CT 06088
Best Choice For: Complete education and exam prep
Lincoln Technical Institute is one of the nations leading trade schools, and the campus in East Windsor is one of the best. Their graduates make up over 20% of all hired HVAC techs in the state, and they accommodate students from all over the nation.
With on-campus housing, the students can participate in one of the most immersive and thorough HVAC courses available. The lab hours are tremendous, and you get one on one training from industry-leading instructors. No corners are cuts here, and you will graduate ready to take on the state certifications and begin your career.
2. Construction Education Center
35A, Robert Jackson Way, Plainville, CT 06062
Best Choice For: Direct apprenticeship training
For D2 and S2 (tech and journeymen, respectively) licensees, the CEC is where you want to be. They offer a 2-year (tech) and 4-year (journeyman) program that meets all state requirements for license hours., Each program is designed to give you the education needed to perform the duties and the hands-on hours required for certification.
This immersive program loads the students with work, experience, and real-life scenarios to get you ready for the challenges you will face in the real world. By the time you graduate, there won’t be an HVAC system made that causes you difficulty. Plus, you will have all the required hours for the state-level licenses so you can start work right away.
3. Platt Technical High School
600 Orange Ave, Milford, CT 06461
Best Choice For: High school students wanting a career in HVAC
The Platt Tech high school is designed to give 4-year high school students a leg up in the HVAC industry. Worth 3 credits each of the 4 years of high school, the program introduces HVAC theory, mathematics, and installation of systems.
The student qualifies for apprenticeship programs upon graduation and can begin their career directly out of high school. For those that know what they want when they enter 9th grade, Platt Tech is an excellent start in a career that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
4. Porter and Chester Institute
670 Lordship Blvd, Stratford, CT 06615
Best Choice For: Customer service in HVAC training
The Porter and Chester Institute has an HVAC program designed for those with no knowledge and that want to make the most out of their efforts. The 1-year program will have you prepped and ready for all required exams and licenses.
More than other schools, PCI also tailors their curriculum towards the customer. With customer service and professionalism classes, you will know how to handle yourself in the field when dealing with equipment and people.
5. Industrial Management & Training Institute (IMTI)
233 Mill St, Waterbury, CT 06706
Best Choice For: Exam prep training
IMTI offers training for S-2, D-2, and EPA 608 certification exams. Each course is a full review of all required elements in the HVAC industry for technicians and journeymen alike. If you plan to work in the HVAC industry in Connecticut and don’t want to attend a college or trade school, or if you already have experience from another state, IMTI is ideal for you.
The courses basically teach the tests. Here you should already know the HVAC industry and are not looking for the basics of a traditional course. Graduating from each course will offer you the best chance of passing the state license requirement exams as well as the EPA certification exam.
6. Entech Advanced Energy Training
10 Alcap Ridge, Cromwell, CT 06416
Best Choice For: Seamless transition from school to employment
Entech Advanced Energy Training offers an HVAC course designed to see you finish with your state S-2 license. The full time, 6-month course teaches you everything you need to know about HVAC with state of the art labs and plenty of hands-on training.
Once the course is over, you are placed in the state apprenticeship program to complete your 8,000 hours of training on the job. The end result is a fully certified and licensed technician ready for employment with any company in the country.
7. Bristol Technical Education Center
431 Minor Rd, Bristol, CT 06010
Best Choice For: Complete HVAC training
Bristol Tech brings you a 2-year intensive HVAC training course made for those that want to push themselves to become the best HVAC tech they can be. This course covers all of the HVAC industry aspects, from customer service to diagnostics, repair, or installation.
You also get training in pipefitting, sheet metal work, and HVAC installation that is rivaled by few. When you complete the course, you are ready for your state exams and full-time employment anywhere in the state.
New Britain, CT
8. E C Goodwin Technical High School
735 Slater Rd, New Britain, CT 06053
Best Choice For: High school aged certification and training
Like the Platt High School listed above, E C Goodwin also offers a 12-credit, 4-year HVAC course. This one, too, is designed to get high school students interested in an HVAC career-ready for full-time employment.
This course works towards full understanding as well as certification, where you also finish with an OSHA 30 certificate and NATE certification. All that’s left is the EPA 608 (which can be taken senior year) and the apprenticeship hours required by the state.
HVAC Training School Costs in Connecticut
Connecticut follows the national average of tuition fees when it comes to trade schools, colleges, and universities. That average will see the HVAC certification and degree programs range in cost from $4,000 to $40,000.
Trade schools will cost less as they are generally shorter and can have you completed in a few months. You will pay the tuition and book fees, of course, but most trade schools will range in price from $4,000 to $7,000.
Colleges, on the other hand, charge by the credit-hour. This means your cost per semester can vary from $3,000 to $5,000. Depending on any current credits you hold or obtained at other schools, your total cost for a degree can range from $20,000 to $40,000.
Is HVAC a Good Career Choice in Connecticut?
HVAC is an ideal career choice in any state. The projected growth of 13% nationwide is a testament to the need for qualified techs now and in the future.
In Connecticut, that need will see an average of about 45,000 new jobs in the next 8 to 10 years. Now is a great time to enter the lucrative HVAC career field.
Connecticut Entry Level HVAC Salary
Entry-level techs that are fully certified with the state and EPA requirements will see wages fall between $28 and $38 per hour. This will depend on where you are working as well as who you are working for.
Anyone with less than 2-years experience and all the required certifications can easily make a livable wage without much effort.
Connecticut HVAC Tech Salary
For experienced technicians with at least 5 years in the field can expect higher wages. The average for the state is about $51,200, with certain regions offering more or less.
The technician in these areas, though, can expect annual salaries between $50,00 and $64,000. Well experienced techs working for notable companies can even earn yearly salaries, with benefits and bonuses that exceed $78,000.
Return of Investment
The starting and experienced wages make the investment in schooling and certifications well worth it. Unlike many other industries with similar tuition costs, HVAC is poised to break out in the next few years.
With solar and green technologies leading the way, the need for qualified technicians means the wages and demand will outweigh the costs by a large margin.
Demand for HVAC Jobs in Connecticut
The HVAC demand is only going to increase. With technological advances in the green or environmentally-friendly field and solar and other renewable energies making an impact, Connecticut will see a surge in the HVAC industry.
While the nation expects a growth of 13% on average, Connecticut, much like Michigan, exceeds this percentage with growth expectations nearing 15 to 18% over the next decade.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
How do I get an HVAC job in Connecticut?
Getting an HVAC job in Connecticut requires a state license as well as full certification. The EPA 608 certification, HVAC tech certification, and at least 1 of the state licenses are needed to work in the industry. By finishing an accredited school program and entering an apprenticeship, you will get the experience, knowledge, and certifications needed to go out on your own.
Can I get an HVAC certification license online?
No. Connecticut requires certifications and licenses that must meet minimum standards. Part of those standards are classroom work (which can be completed online) along with lab and apprenticeship hours that must be done in person.
Are there HVAC apprenticeships in Connecticut?
As apprenticeships are a requirement in Connecticut, there are several programs available to you. You can check on job listing sites, or through the apprenticeship program site within the state’s database system online.
Can I get into HVAC with no experience?
In Connecticut, it is almost impossible, though not unheard of, to get into the HVAC industry with no experience. You can enter the apprenticeship programs or schooling aspects of the industry without any experience, but Connecticut will not allow you to begin working without the required licenses.
How long does it take to get a degree in HVAC?
You can attend a college or university for one of two degree programs. The associate’s degree is a 2-year degree program that can be completed between 18 and 24 months. The bachelor’s degree program will take you between 36 and 48 months to complete.
When is online HVAC programs advisable?
Online learning is ideal for those that cannot easily get to a school campus for in-person learning. You can use online courses to complete the required class and bookwork portions of the courses. However, lab, hands-on, and exams must be completed in person.
What is the highest HVAC degree?
A bachelor’s degree in HVAC/R (BAS) is the highest available HVAC degree in any state, Connecticut included.
Finding the right school in Connecticut for HVAC certification can be daunting. There are plenty of schools that teach you what you need to know, but fewer that take the required steps to see you fully certified.
With state requirements in certification and licensing, you need to find the perfect school that delivers everything you need. Hopefully, this article showed you what to look for when making your decision and helped you find a school that will work for your needs.