Learning air conditioning repair can be done by taking classes at a community college, trade school, or possibly even the military. The U.S. military does offer air conditioning repair as part of its vocational training program as well. The other option is to gain employment with a company specializing in repair of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and learn from a more experienced repairer. This, effectively, is an apprenticeship.
In many cases, it may take less than two years of study to learn air conditioning repair at a vocational school. These schools often have the advantage of offering job placement services. Further, they may not only offer classes in air conditioning repair, but also refrigerator repair, and auto AC repair. These systems are all quite similar in operation. Therefore, once the theory is learned, applying that theory to the different types of cooling units becomes easier.
The benefit to the classes is that, while the theory is nearly the same, the practical application of that theory may be less intuitive. Accessing certain parts in the unit, whether it is a building air conditioner, auto air conditioner or refrigerator, may be a little more difficult. The value in the class is getting practical experience by working with these different units in different situations under the supervision of a qualified teacher.
Most military units throughout the world will teach a trade to soldiers, though some soldiers may devote nearly all their training to combat techniques, and other military applications. Many young men and women actually enlist in order to specifically get an education in a specific set of skills. This is one of the benefits of the service. In addition to learning a practical skill, the military may provide additional money for continuing education after being discharged.
For those who want to enter the workforce right away, finding a company willing to hire an HVAC repairman without experience may be possible. Getting hired may be difficult, as the company will likely realize it will take some time before they realize a return on their investment. Those who attempt this should have an inclination for mechanical things and stress to a prospective employer what other kinds of mechanical repair experience they may have.
There is no best route to take for learning air conditioning repair. Each individual interested in the career will need to assess what they want, and try to find a way to make one of these choices work for them. Those who find they cannot obtain a job without some formal instruction may opt for vocational training at a later date.