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Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning – Refrigeration (HVAC/R)

Program Description

The HVAC-R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning – Refrigeration) industry is one of the faster growing, high-paying career paths an individual could choose. Every building today has some type of climate control system and over 95% of residential homes being built have central air conditioning system and electronic/computerized appliance equipment installed. Commercial buildings (hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and high-rise buildings) all use modern EMS (Energy Management Systems) to efficiently operate their facilities.

There are a variety of career paths a graduate of this area can pursue, which include but are not limited to: Licensed Refrigeration Technician, HVAC-R Service Technician. Electrical Control Wiring Technician, Oil Burner and /or Gas Heating Technician or a combination of all the aspects the HVAC career has to offer. Upon further education, options include a career as a mechanical engineer, building superintendent or self-employment. Opportunities are endless in this exciting and rewarding career, and lucrative employment is available worldwide. Upon enrollment, students are taught trade and safety basics and the use of specialty trade related equipment and analyzers. Their study continues on into trade related theory that covers electricity and control wiring, refrigeration, air conditioning, gas and oil fired heating equipment and appliance technology.

Junior and senior year students’ curriculum includes commercial systems and being involved in the school’s off-campus construction program, where students get involved in community projects related to their trade. The state of Massachusetts requires a refrigeration technician license to work on and to operate machines that are rated at 120,000 BTUs or larger. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires persons who handle refrigerants to be certified. Students majoring in the program at GNB Voc Tech are able to achieve this certification before graduation. Related classes and shop/lab hours can be applied to trade licensure requirements.

Course of Study


HVAC Trade Basics
Copper Piping, Flaring, Soldering and Bending
Electrical Safety and Wiring Projects
Sheet Metal HVAC shop basics
Perform Basic Sheet Metal Fabrication
Develop and Fabricate Perpendicular Line and Parallel Line Development Fittings


Sheet Metal Fabrication
Fabrication of architectural sheet metal components and sheet metal components for HVAC/R.
Perpendicular Line Development
Parallel Line Development
Triangulation Development
OSHA Construction 10 Hour Certification
Plasma Arc Cutting
Gas Metal Arc Welding


Commercial Refrigeration
Ductless Split Systems
Electrical Projects 24, 120, 240 volt system
Advanced Copper Projects
Digital & Mechanical Controls
Troubleshooting Mechanical Systems
E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) Recovery Certification


Residential & Commercial Air Conditioning
Electric, Gas, and Oil Heating
Hydronic Heating Systems
Automatic Control Wiring
Sheet Metal Fabrication and Installation
Off Campus Construction Projects
Facilities Management
Energy Management Systems
Central Heating and Air Conditioning Installation and Service
Commercial Restaurant Equipment Service
R-410a High Pressure Refrigerant Certification
Intro Solar Thermal

Career Opportunities

HVAC-R Technician
Control Wiring Specialist
Oil/Gas Burner Technician
Sheet Metal Worker

Specification Writer
Working Foreman
Institutional HVAC Management