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.
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.
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.
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.
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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