Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology

Topics of study in the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration program include refrigeration theory, heating theory, mechanical system applications, installations, service, safety, mechanical and fuel gas codes, tools and instruments, and general maintenance practices. 

What You Will Learn

Coursework emphasizes developing and improving critical thinking, articulation, and technical skills. Advanced topics include residential and light commercial system load design coupled with efficient, balanced, and effective air side designs for ductwork, ventilation, and filtration. You will explore through lectures and hands-on experience, advanced control systems for refrigeration and other mechanical equipment, and Direct Digital Controls (DDC). You will also explore how modern residential and light commercial systems improve efficiency and reliability through an integration with today’s building automation systems and wireless technologies. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • safely and efficiently, diagnose and in a cost effective manner, repair HVAC systems
  • relate theory of heat transfer and electro-mechanical component control to problem solve issues in HVAC systems allowing comfort to be maintained in all types of commercial and residential buildings
  • accurately size basic residential and commercial HVAC equipment and appropriately size ductwork to effectively heat and cool a structure

Program graduates can look forward to careers in many areas of the HVAC profession. Graduates can assist in load design, equipment selection, installation, start-up, service, and maintenance of residential and light commercial mechanical systems.

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Why Choose Central Piedmont

Our program is also approved for workplace learning opportunities while you are in school — Central Piedmont has an entire department dedicated to connecting students with applicable work based learning opportunities such as cooperative education (co-op), internships, and/or apprenticeships. Instead of attending “class” in a traditional classroom, during a workplace learning course you work with an employer in a position directly related to HVAC for a semester. You will also have the opportunity to join the HVAC/R student club. The HVAC/R club's main goal is assisting members in their pursuit of educational and professional goals. The club promotes ideals of honesty, community service, leadership, critical thinking, and technical skills development in addition to providing many opportunities for networking, skills enhancement, and life-long learning. 

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Careers and Average Salaries

In order to become proficient in HVAC and "certified" for employment, you will need to enroll in a degree (associate, diploma, or certificate) program; there is no one course you can take to prepare to change careers to enter the HVAC field. If you want to break into the HVAC field in as little time as possible, we recommend starting with completing an HVAC certificate. Certificates help prepare you for an entry level position with a residential contractor. Keep in mind that, for the best advancement opportunities within any company, the two-year associate degree is the best option. The associate degree helps you to gain the necessary skills for residential work, as well as industrial, commercial, plant facilities, and office building maintenance contractors. The associate degree also introduces you to the highly specialized field of Direct Digital Controls (DDC), opening more opportunities and making you a much more marketable employee. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration technology career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

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