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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degrees in Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration

Majors Overview August 11, 2014

Those who have graduated from a bachelor’s degree program in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration are trained in maintaining, repairing, and installing climate-control technology.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration

The Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) may be awarded to students who graduate from bachelor’s degree programs for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration. They learn about identifying and executing energy-efficient evaluations on cooling, heating and air conditioning systems.

Technical schools, universities and colleges usually offer terminal 4-year degree programs; some schools offer them online. The term ‘ventilation’ is included in the degree title by many schools, thereby offering these as bachelor’s degree programs in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R).

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an accredited associate’s degree in HVAC/R. Completion of specific math courses may be expected of candidates before they are allowed to begin core coursework.

Coursework

Associate-level courses in HVAC/R are built upon by most bachelor’s degree programs. General education are also required to be fulfilled by students. Core coursework may include such topic areas as:

•Commercial HVAC/R controls
•Environmental impacts of HVAC/R systems
•Contracting issues
•Energy audit and analysis
•Heating and cooling system configurations

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010-2020 decade, a 34% job growth rate has been predicted for HVAC/R mechanics and installers, with the growth credited to a perceived increase in demand for climate-controlled systems in residential, industrial and commercial areas (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $43,640 (BLS).

Certification Choices

Graduates from the bachelor’s degree program can seek continued education by earning certification through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which incidentally is compulsory as is licensure, though licensure norms may vary by state. However, most states require the fulfillment of experience and internship requirements. Certification can be obtained for each level of refrigerant handling through passage of an exam; certification has permanent validity.

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