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AC Certificate and Certification Program Information

Majors Overview February 21, 2013

Air conditioning (AC) technicians’ responsibilities are to maintain and install refrigeration and air conditioning units. In the air conditioning certification programs, individuals will learn how to operate and use the potentially harmful refrigerants used in AC systems. Certification programs are increasingly focused on energy-efficient and green methods.

AC Certificate

Certification program in AC teaches students to control indoor environments along with providing comfortable conditions in an energy-saving manner. Students will develop proficiency and in-depth technical knowledge in air conditioning systems. Opportunities are available to students who want to learn about the practical and scientific applications of system design that improves individuals’ capabilities in this profession.

Educational Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent qualification is expected to be held by students seeking admission to an AC certificate program. During high school, students must concentrate on courses such as reading and math.

Program Coursework

The program coursework provides an understanding of various engineering principles and fundamentals. Classroom instruction has a continual focus on the emerging issues faced by the AC industry with regard to energy efficiency and emissions. The program includes these courses:

•Refrigeration Fundamentals
•Service and Tools Techniques
•Ordinances and Codes
•Facilities Management: Technology and Systems
•Air Conditioning and Green Buildings
•Energy Management and AC Control
•AC System Design

AC Certification

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all technicians to be certified before performing service, repairs, maintenance, or installations of any appliances containing refrigerant chemicals. There are four types of certification:

•Universal – Servicing All Appliances
•Type One – Servicing Small Appliances
•Type Two – Servicing High and Extremely High-Pressure Appliances
•Type Three – Servicing Low Pressure Appliances

Individuals who want to receive certification at any of these levels, they are require to pass an examination, which focuses on Environmental Protection Agency recycling procedures and regulations along with sector-specific questions.

Educational Requirements

Individuals who are interested in obtaining air conditioning certification needs to complete a degree or certificate program and become knowledgeable in the principles of EPA requirements and AC systems. Opportunities are given to individuals through an apprenticeship program with an experienced AC technician.

Program Coursework

Those admitted to a certification program learn about a variety of AC systems and gain familiarity with AC equipment. Competency in refrigerant handling and proper safety practices and procedures related to AC systems are also taught to candidates. Certification program topics include:

•Servicing Low-Pressure Appliances
•Servicing High-Pressure Appliances
•Servicing Small Appliances
•DOT Cylinders
•Refrigerant Oils
•Leak Detection
•Environmental Protection Agency Rules and Regulations

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

During the period from 2008 to 2018, job growth of twenty-eight percent has been projected for this profession (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The optimistic projection is due to many buildings and homes that want to be more energy efficient and need to replace their AC systems unit. In 2009, an AC technician earned an average annual salary of $46,000 (source:

Continuing Education

Once students have completed a certificate program, they may select continued education by enrolling into an associate degree program in their field. Students who are enrolled in an associate degree program will gain additional training in the repair and service of AC systems. Individuals who are interested in starting their own business can take business classes that are also available within this program. Completion of the degree program may increase an individual’s earnings and improve their chances in receiving a promotion with their employer. An undergraduate degree in AC engineering provides advanced education in troubleshooting and design of AC systems. Students who are enrolled in this program will learn how to make air conditioning systems more energy efficient and effective, while implementing new technology into buildings and homes.

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