Bachelor of Heating Air Conditioning & Refrigeration: Degree Overview

Individuals who graduate from bachelor's degree programs in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration are trained in installing, maintaining and repairing related climate-control technology. Read on to learn about coursework, admission requirements and standards for state licensing.

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Essential Information

Students enrolled in bachelor's degree programs for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration may earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Applied Science. Most of these 4-year programs are terminal at universities, colleges and technical schools; some institutions offer the program online. Many include ventilation in the degree title, making them bachelor's degree programs in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R).

Most schools require that students already hold a 2-year associate's degree in the field, and there may be a mathematics requirement. Most programs require an internship. All states require that HVAC/R mechanics be licensed. Requirements vary, but generally include graduating from an approved training program and an internship and/or experience.

Educational Prerequisites

Most schools that offer a bachelor's degree program in HVAC/R require applicants to have an associate's degree in HVAC/R from an accredited institution. Candidates may also need to complete specific math courses prior to enrollment.

Course Topics

Most bachelor's degree programs build upon associate-level courses in HVAC/R. Students also need to fulfill general education requirements. Typical courses discuss:

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

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Bachelor's degree programs in HVAC/R equip students with a range of industry-ready mechanical and electrical skills that can be applied anywhere there is climate-control equipment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of HVAC/R mechanics and installers will likely increase 21% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). This above-average number is due to an increasing demand for climate-controlled systems in commercial, industrial and residential areas. In May 2013, the BLS reported that the annual median salary for HVAC/R installers and mechanics was $43,880.

Certification Information

The BLS reported that most states require HVAC/R installers and mechanics to be licensed as of 2012. Although requirements vary by state, most applicants must fulfill an internship or have several years of experience. Those who work with refrigerants must obtain certification through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov). Applicants must pass an exam and obtain certification for each level of refrigerant handling they desire. These certifications do not expire.

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  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Information Technology Management
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Networking and Telecommunications
      • Software and Computer Media Applications
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades

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