HVAC, also known as HVACR, is the field of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. An HVAC technician is responsible for the installation and maintenance of systems used to maintain varying temperatures in a given structure. Such structures may include office buildings, warehouses, homes or any building that requires heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Madisonville Community College graduates will be able to fully and competently implement these systems, ensure their functionality, maintain them regularly, and properly train customers how to use and take care of the system.
Residential HVAC technicians may troubleshoot system issues as they arise; adjust system settings and conduct performance tests using specialized tools; and carry out repairs. HVAC learning can start at the apprentice level and progress all the way to a degree. In this article, we particularly highlight the HVAC apprenticeship and Certificate programs offered by Madisonville Community College.
Education & Certification
What Is the Difference between an HVAC Certificate and Technical Certificate?
The major difference between a technical certificate and certificate in HVAC comes down to credit hours, program emphasis, and skill development. The technical certificate will have a greater number of credit hours in the program with a larger range of classes than a HVAC certificate program.
The program emphasis of a technical certificate is hands-on learning coupled with transferrable skill development to a greater degree than a certificate program. Students who complete a certificate program or degree in HVAC or HVACR will be ready to launch a career in residential or light commercial systems as a service technician, installer, HVAC mechanic, refrigeration mechanic, or refrigeration technician.
Top HVAC Degrees
The degree and certificate programs available to students pursuing a career in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technology (HVAC) include a number of options to consider. We have outlined the programs below to help you better understand your options when considering earning skills in the trade from Madisonville Community College. The degree and certificate programs in HVAC include;
Certificate & Diploma Programs in HVAC
The certificate and diploma programs in HVAC is the entry-point level to the craft of HVAC. They take a shorter time to complete than an associate's degree or technical certificate. Earning a diploma or certificate in HVAC can take 6 to 12 months. Some of the classes a student may learn in this course include: introduction to HVAC, fundamentals of heating, refrigeration, indoor air quality, customer relations, heating service, comfort cooling, introduction to electricity, and electrical circuits & controls.
Technical Certificate Programs in HVAC
A technical certificate in HVAC is a program that provides students with hands-on, technical knowledge in the craft. Students can expect to complete the program in about a year for students enrolled in full-time studying mode and longer for part-time students. Students in the program will learn numerous key aspects to step into a vocation in HVAC that include technical and soft-skills.
Some of the classes taken in the technical certificate program include; communications, residential building design, heat pump technology, building code, applied mathematics, heating fundamentals, introduction to HVAC, refrigeration basics, heating service, electrical controls & circuits, heat pump systems, introduction to electricity, duct installation and duct fabrication.
Associate Degree in HVAC
An associate degree program will take 2 years to complete for full-time students and longer for part-time students in the program. Fundamental HVAC classes will seem very similar to classes in a technical certificate program. Students also get enrolled in additional liberal arts classes such as English composition, communications, physics, and psychology which will help students think differently about the world around them and equip them with critical thinking skills.
Students may go through additional science-based classes along with green energy coursework as the industry evolves along with technology.
Educational Requirements in Heating & Ventilation
A degree in HVAC shows that an individual is well prepared to install, maintain and repair those systems in a home, industrial or office setting. Most individuals will pursue a degree or certificate/diploma through a vocational school or a community college. This takes between 6 months and 2 years to complete depending on the program. Sponsored apprenticeships are also available, and individuals will be considered to be skilled technicians once they have complete the apprentice.
Programs in heating and air conditioning will combine both classroom courses and practical experience. This will allow students to gain exposure on the various systems they will have to work with and how to diagnose and repair any problems within those systems. Additionally, students learn how to read blueprints and diagrams in order to identify electrical systems and other features within the building in which they will instal such systems. At the end of this program graduates will have a strong understanding of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and will be ready to enter the workforce at entry-level positions.
An HVAC curriculum may include:
- Trade Math
- Piping and Ductwork
- Systems Design
- Control and Energy Management Systems
- Applied Physics
Salary, Job Growth and Related Trades
The average salary of an HVAC professional is forty-five thousand dollars per year. The top 10% make over seventy-three thousand dollars and bottom ten percent make over twenty-eight thousand dollars a year on average. Increases in income are based on experience and location, with areas with a larger population having a high demand for HVAC professionals, due to a higher demand for installation and repair services.
HVAC job opportunities are expected to keep growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a job growth of 14% over the coming decade adding some 39,600 jobs during that period.
Individuals interested in a career in HVAC should; build good working relations with others professionals, be patient with clients and have good customer relations, have a solid math foundation, be able to carry heavy objects, and be capable of reading and following diagrams.
Some states may require licensing in order to provide HVAC services. The requirements will vary between different states though some amount of work experience and a state issued test may be required. Also, individuals who pursue certification from a national certifying body, particularly those who train themselves with computer systems, will be at a better position to find more job opportunities than those who do not.
Biggest Employers of HVAC Mechanics & Installers
- Building Contractors (212,810)
- Direct Sellers and Retailers (9,410)
- Heating & Wholesale Suppliers (8,070)
- Commercial Machinery Manufacturers (6,170)
- Colleges and Universities (5,620)
States with the Highest Employment of HVAC technicians
- Florida (28,700)
- California (25,360)
- Texas (24,300)
- New York (15,930)
- Pennsylvania (13,160)
Top Paying States for HVAC technicians
- District of Columbia ($67,230)
- Hawaii ($66,820)
- Alaska ($63,620)
- North Dakota ($60,420)
- New Jersey ($58,420)
Individuals interested in entering an HVAC program may also consider enrolling in plumbing, electrician and refrigeration program.
In HVAC apprenticeship, you are taught on an actual job site on how to deal with various situations at work. Most learners enter the HVAC apprenticeship through a local union because they guarantee the in-house and classroom parts of study in their program. However, HVAC apprenticeship can also be studied under a non-union program. A non-union program that does not include classroom learning will send its learners to local trade schools or community colleges such as the Madisonville Community College for this part of the study. It can be done on weekends or in night lessons.
These lessons teach subjects that relate to electricity theory, refrigeration cycle and work safety measures. Your success as a learner is largely dependent on the expertise of your instructor.
For an individual to start a HVAC apprenticeship course, you must fulfill the following requirements;
- Be at least 18 yrs old
- Be a high school graduate
- Pass a drug test
- Posses a valid driving license
What you learn in your HVAC apprenticeship depends on the program specialization, regional demand and local licensing requirements.
Madisonville Community College HVAC Training Program
The HVAC training program equips graduates with the necessary skills for installment, maintain, service, and troubleshooting heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in buildings and structures as they learn basic principles and necessary technical skills for the industry. Students get training for both industrial and residential HVAC systems. At Madisonville Community College, HVAC graduates practice troubleshooting techniques, preventive maintenance, and servicing of system components.
Students get to use the laboratory equipment and trainers to sharpen skills. Actual working systems provide opportunities for students to apply troubleshooting and diagnostic procedures. Training equipment in the laboratory available include the following; gas heating equipment, heat pumps, ice machines, commercial refrigeration units, and air conditioning systems.
If you are interested in learning more about the HVAC field, enroll yourself in a training program at Madisonville Community College. Most states require that the HVAC personnel be licensed before practicing. Formal learning will advance your knowledge beyond the fundamentals of a HVAC system
Trade groups and associations can be useful in advancing your career in the field of HVAC. Associations and unions work to provide information, education, and resources for their members throughout the country. Associations also provide continuous education courses or webinars to help keep professionals up to date. Madisonville Community College will be a good place to start your career as a HVAC professional.