In the air conditioning and refrigeration program, you will experience a combination of both shop and classroom learning. This will include operation, mechanical theory application and maintenance for all of the basic and advanced systems of air conditioning and refrigeration.
Additionally, the students will learn all about options for heating, oil, gas, solar, electric and heat pump systems. The graduates have the ability to find a career path as technicians in air conditioning/refrigeration, including retail, sales, or wholesale representatives, as well as installation, service and maintenance, as an operator or engineer helper. There are both day and evening courses available on a full time basis on the main campus.
The systems for air conditioning and refrigeration are very complex and operate with more than just one machine. These are sophisticated systems including interacting machines that put out cooling or heating. An air conditioning system will include fans, condensers, compressors and evaporators that will work to dehumidify and cool the air. Treated air is then distributed through the conditioned space by way of fiberglass or metal ducts or special piping. Technicians that specialize in this field have to be able to work with the whole system to install and repair the equipment for both commercial and residential air conditioning and refrigeration.
Both shop learning and classroom experiences involve commercial, residential and industrial air conditioning/refrigeration systems. Students will also be learning all about the various heating systems like electric, oil and gas furnaces.
Technicians may have to work outside through all kinds weather, as well as the extreme heat or cold, on roof tops or in attics, and in dark, wet crawl spaces. Technicians may also have to be in cramped, awkward positions and sometimes required to go into higher places. The hazards will include burns, electric shock, muscle strains, and various injuries that come from dealing with heavy equipment. It is necessary to use the right safety equipment when dealing with refrigerants because it can lead to frostbite, blindness, or skin damage. If you are in a tight space that is unventilated, refrigerant inhalation can lead to potential hazard.
The earnings as reported through the US Department of Labor in the 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook state: The median hourly wages for air conditioning, heating and refrigeration installers and mechanics are around $19.08. The 50% in the middle earn between $14.94 to $24.84 per hour. The 10% at the lower end earned less than $12.19 er hour and the top come in at earning more than $30.59 per hour.