The 3 Inconvenient Truths About HVAC Training Online

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How 3 Inconvenient Truths Change Your Life

Deciding the best approach to HVAC training eventually boils down to cost and time. HVAC training online can save you both. It’s a great option if you’re already working in the field and want to improve your skills or get certified without quitting your job and going back to school full-time. Online training is also more flexible, so you can study at your own pace and around your work schedule. And since most online courses are self-paced, you can usually finish them faster than traditional programs.

Online training benefits from learning on-the-job skills and then finding an employer to hire you for the hands-on training conducted on live equipment. Your time is better spent, and your financial liability for training is substantially less compared to brick and mortar schools.

What kind of Training is Available?

eTech Academy has 6 levels of training available for the HVAC student or technician. They are comprised of six(6) sections.

  • Ready to Work is basic training that could qualify you to do a ride-along and begin building your skills with an experienced technician.
  • Core fundamentals provide insight into HVAC systems, basic refrigeration, and much more. This is the best place to begin if you want to proceed straight to certification.
  • Airflow and Comfort provided specific training about how air moves and behaves during the comfort cycle; heating or cooling. Remember, the first word in AIR conditioning is (well) AIR. AIR is the most overlooked aspect of air conditioning by HVAC ‘technicians.’
  • Electrical and Controls dig into the basic operation of electrical circuits, and many of the controls found in the HVAC systems.
  • System Installations is the job position where most technicians start their careers. Understand the differences between common HVAC systems, including mini-splits (inverter-variable capacity)
  • Servicing begins the discussions of performing high-level diagnostics of the typical HVAC system.
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Online Training Costs

So, how much does online HVAC training cost? It depends on the program, but online courses are generally much more affordable than brick-and-mortar schools. Some companies even offer tuition reimbursement for employees who take online courses sometimes due to the time savings. As for time commitment, most online programs can be completed in two to six months. Extended programs, of course, take longer.

If you’re interested in online HVAC training, doing some research and talking to industry experts is a great way to determine if it’s the right fit for you. Once you’ve decided online training is the way to go, the next step is finding a reputable program that meets your needs. And with so many options available, that shouldn’t be too hard. Ideally, you should see a program with Certified Master HVAC/R Educators (CMHE) on staff that you can reach when needed. Unfortunately, certain programs staff service technicians who have not been taught the nuances of teaching. To often experienced Instructors and Faculty grimace watching technicians teaching when they themselves never formally learned the subject; personal bad habits are taught.

As you research training options, you will find many out there.

  • Some choices consist of PDF sheets and a third-party textbook. This notion is ridiculous and will NOT result in a job opportunity other than a warehouse worker or delivery driver. We’re not knocking those jobs, but we are talking about building qualified service technicians and installers here.
  • There are free programs out there. How much value do you receive from free anything? Employers recognize the non-value of free programs. Try one if you are curious about some very high-level exposure to the trade. Suppose you are looking for a promotion or apprentice entry into the field. In that case, you need a bonafide program written by experienced authors and instructional designers.
  • Many inexpensive training programs are short on job-specific training and long on theories that fluff up the time needed to complete them.
  • Brick and Mortar schools never offer free training since they recognize the expense of in-depth training and job placement. These programs run from $10,000 and much more. These schools are businesses and need to earn profits to carry on.
  • Community Colleges are a much less expensive alternative to private brick and mortar schools if you have two-2 years to complete the program.
  • With both brick and mortar operations, be SURE to check out their job placement statistics in a related field (HVACR). Successful placement rates vary immensely.


Online training is not for anyone.

It takes a great deal of self-discipline to succeed. Students must be able to stay on task and complete the Work without distractions. They should also be comfortable using computers and navigating online coursework. If you’re not sure online learning is right for you, starting with a traditional program is OK with caution. Here are some more considerations.

A word of caution about signing student loan documents to pay for tuition. You might not like the program, the trade, or the people. Once you sign the student loan documents, you’re on the hook.

  • On another note, we have had a considerable amount of experience training students in the face-to-face environment and (as well) entirely online. After graduation, our face-to-face students sometimes return to the school and visit their past classrooms and instructors. We are almost always happy to have them speak with the current students. A consistent note about these visits is their common statement that they “learned more in the first month in the field than the entire time in school.” We (faculty) don’t entirely agree with that statement. Still, the concept is that once they started experiencing actual equipment mentored by an experienced technician, the knowledge learned began to ‘click.’ This makes complete sense. Although the brick-and-mortar face-to-face training includes hands-on activities, the lessons learned there (almost always on out-of-date equipment) might not be a deciding factor.
  • The benefit of online training is to learn the concepts of on-the-job skills and then find an employer that will hire you for the hands-on activities conducted on live equipment. Your time could be better spent, and your liability for training is substantially less.

If you decide that HVAC is not your thing, you will still be on the hook for a BIG loan in the brick and mortar scenario. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to HVAC training. The best training approach is the one that works for you. Whether you choose an online or offline activity, make sure you do your research before enrolling in any program. With a bit of effort, you should be able to find an HVAC training program that’s a perfect fit for you.

  • What are your thoughts about online HVAC training? Let us know in the comments below!
  • Have you ever done any online learning? How did it go for you? Do you consider yourself a cross-competent career technician? Let us know in the comment section below!
  • Do you believe that YouTube videos are considered formal training?

We offer online HVAC training courses! Visit our website to learn more about our programs and see if online learning is right for you!

eTech Academy staff has been offering online HVAC training for many years. The eTech instructional designer is a CMHE with 40+ years of trade experience. Our students come from all over the world and work in various industries, including residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

So there you have it! Online HVAC training is an excellent option to save time and money. It’s also more flexible and can be completed at your own pace. Do some research to find a reputable program that meets your needs, and you’ll be on your way to advancing your career in no time!

Commercial Ice Machine training program by eTech Academy


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