Once students learn how to install and maintain heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) systems, they may find a position as a refrigeration or air conditioning repair technician. Those that are interested should look into pursuing an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in this field.
A.A. Programs in HVAC-R
Students enrolled in an HVAC-R associate degree program are taught about installing and overhauling industrial, commercial and residential cooling and heating systems. They can also expect to become adept at repairing and maintaining these systems in order to ensure their efficient operation. Other coursework topics may include the use of testing equipment, systems design and blueprint reading.
Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Completion of diploma or certificate programs in this field may also be required in some programs.
Coursework in an HVAC-R program combines classroom lectures and hands-on work in labs and covers topic areas such as:
•Commercial and industrial systems
•Air conditioning systems
Students enrolled in these programs may choose to specialize in a particular aspect, such as refrigeration or air conditioning, or they may seek occupations in all HVAC-R aspects. They may seek employment with air conditioning and heating repair shops or contractors and aspire for job titles such as:
•Electrical controls technician
•Refrigeration repair technician
•HVAC-R sales representative
•Heat pump specialist
•Air conditioning service technician
Continuing Education Choices
Licensure of HVAC-R technicians is compulsorily required by some states and local governments (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In certain instances, this may require them to complete a state-approved certificate or degree program. Applicants may be required to complete an apprenticeship program or gain significant work experience on the watch of a licensed technician. The passage of a state-issued exam by HVAC-R technicians is required in the majority of states.
Additionally, a written certification exam is required to be passed by those working with refrigerants to assure employers about their ability to handle these materials safely (BLS). Typically, organizations approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administer these exams.
Students keen on taking on managerial positions or starting their own business firms can enroll in HVAC-R bachelor’s degree programs. Students wishing to obtain additional technical skills can enroll in programs with coursework in systems retrofitting and control systems design.