Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration

AWARD OFFERED Certificate (4-5 semesters) & Associate of Applied Science - General Technology (5-6 semesters)

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems are diverse and consist of many different components. However, they all depend on the same mechanical, electrical and other scientific principles that allow these systems to perform the jobs that we depend on.

A technician may specialize in various aspects of the industry or they may regularly be exposed to many different task. In order to maximize the potential for success within the industry, a properly trained technician should be prepared to meet the needs of various employment opportunities. HVAC technicians typically work with systems that control comfort and air quality in occupied environments. While, refrigeration technicians are often employed in areas that involve food preservation, medical, and industrial processes. Many people employed in the HVAC/R industry are involved in business interactions. These careers include management, sales, marketing, and distribution. Also, the increase in technological advances and the growing demand for excellence have created careers that are focused on training and assisting others within the industry in specialized technical challenges.

Those, who are successfully employed within the HVAC/R industry, are required to have a strong technical comprehension, to practice proper working skills, and maintain high ethical standards. Furthermore, the industry has created certifications that may sometimes be mandatory, but always advantageous to become employed. Obtaining these, both, minimal and advanced certifications are highly recommended to those who aspire to become successful in the industry. These certifications along with knowledge, craft skills, soft skills, and business skills greatly increase an individual’s chance of high levels of success.

The advancements in technology and the increased need to meet ethical and trade standards have caused the industry to prefer employees that have completed a formal technical program; such as, the HVAC/R program here at Wallace State Community College. This program is designed to prepare the student for a rewarding career by providing a highly academic environment that focuses on the technical foundations of the industry along with practical demonstrations and hands-on exercises that help the student to develop their own marketable knowledge and skills. Also, this program guides the students in preparing for the available industry certifications that help them to achieve their professional goals.

The United States Department of Labor predicts a growing need for skilled technicians due to increased awareness in air quality, environmental issues, energy consumption, and the rising need to control the comfort of occupied spaces as the population expands. These demands are met by a quickly diminishing supply of skilled technicians. These circumstances present an excellent opportunity for those interested in entering the HVAC/R industry. This may be the most opportunistic time that the HVAC/R industry has ever enjoyed. Expectations of competitive wages and a rewarding career by a skilled technician or a motivated business person are considered to be very attainable. Recent statistics provided by the United States Department of Labor shows very positive data for HVAC/R industry. The median income reported at the end of 2012 is $43,640 with a median hourly wage at 20.98 per hour. These figures are very attainable and will likely be surpassed by a driven technician who focuses on their education and skills.

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Brian Hall, Department Head