Learn about the different classes you'll take in a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) training program. While every program will vary slightly and emphasize different components, the foundational skills HVAC students learn remain the same. Read on for a brief overview of the different classes you can expect to encounter in a standard HVAC training program.
Technology and evolving software are a daily part of an HVAC technician's job. It is likely you will need to take at least one computer class with a strong emphasis on any leading HVAC software. You may review specialized systems and control monitoring, field service and record keeping programs, and specific troubleshooting methods to help you quickly and accurately identify problems and resolve them.
Technical writing is an important component of an HVAC technician's skill set. On the job, technicians find themselves needing to prepare reports and documents daily. A good technical writer is also a good communicator, and these classes can strengthen your skills in the professional world. Basic technical writing skills covered in classes will include reporting, letter and memo writing, and technical documentation.
You'll most likely learn electrical theory principles such as wiring, motor controls, industry load levels, and characteristics of electrical functions. Electrical theory will also require an understanding of mathematical equations, trigonometry, calculus, algebra, etc. You will learn how to use electrical theory to troubleshoot problems as they arise using an electrical meter. An understanding of electrical theory will be central to much of your work.
In addition to electrical theory, your program may also contain a course on refrigeration theory. In a refrigeration theory class, the basics behind refrigeration are covered. Topics range from thermodynamics, pressure, temperature, refrigeration, and more. Along with certain scientific concepts, you'll review basic repair techniques from electric work to piping.
Before you can dive into HVAC systems, you must be familiar with safety rules and regulations regarding safety. From OSHA training, to instruction in power tools and industry-specific hand tools, you will learn how to operate equipment in a safe, hands-on environment. Understanding the responsible operation of equipment and OSHA regulations are fundamental to HVAC professionals.
In classes focused on heating systems, you'll explore the aspects of both commercial and residential heating. You'll dive into gas and oil furnaces, heat pumps, electrical resistance heating, gas-fired heating systems, and more. Heating systems courses also typically involve hands-on training where you will likely cover the diagnostics, installation, service, and repair.
HVAC also includes understanding air flow and how it relates to different HVAC systems. Proper air flow is necessary when it comes to the longevity of HVAC equipment; issues with air flow tend to occur in internal structures and duct work. Classes studying air flow will teach you its basics including duct-work, fans, and how to best diagnose problems that occur.
AC & Refrigeration Systems
HVAC programs also cover approaches to troubleshooting, maintenance, and repairing air conditioning and refrigeration systems. With a focus on service and repair of systems in commercial and residential settings, these classes provide the foundational knowledge necessary for HVAC students. It is likely AC and refrigeration system courses will involve hands-on experience in addition to classroom learning.
Outstanding Training to Prepare You for Your Career
The variety of coursework involved in a typical HVAC training program extends beyond what most people realize. If you are someone who has always held a passion for troubleshooting, technology, and hands-on work, it is likely you will get more than knowledge out of an HVAC program.
Another notable aspect of HVAC programs is knowing that you can be completed with training in as few as 6 months!
The more knowledge you have of systems and procedures, the more jobs you can take on with confidence after training. Skilled technicians also tend to see great pay. In 2021, HVAC technicians made an average annual pay of $54,690, and the top 10% earned $78,210 (bls.gov).
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