In AC technician certificate programs, students learn the components of air-conditioning, heating and ventilation systems and how to install, maintain and repair them. Some programs also include refrigeration knowledge in the curricula. Programs generally require students to have a high school diploma for admission.
Certificate Program in AC Technology
Students in AC technician certificate programs receive classroom instruction and laboratory training where they receive hands-on experience. Academic topics covered include applied mathematics, physics, blueprint reading and drafting. Other common classes may include:
- Air-conditioning troubleshooting
- Heating systems
- Commercial AC systems
- Computer applications
- HVAC electricity
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), AC technician jobs are expected to grow faster than average with a 14% increase during 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). As residential and commercial construction continues, old units are replaced and current units continue to need maintenance, keeping AC technicians in demand. New energy-efficient technology also helps keep AC technicians employed.
In May 2015, AC, heating and refrigeration mechanics and installers earned an annual mean income of $47,380, reported the BLS. Some AC technicians belong to unions, such as the United Association of Journeyman and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
The BLS stated that AC technicians can receive certifications that relate to their experience and education levels from various schools. Other credentialing agencies also offer voluntary certifications that can help AC technicians acquire advanced positions. AC technicians who handle refrigerants must acquire certification from organizations approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Individuals can pursue their studies further by earning an undergraduate degree. Several postsecondary schools offer associate's degrees in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, and a few offer bachelor's degrees.
Both classroom instruction and hands-on lab training are important components of AC technician certificate programs. Certifications and additional training are available for AC technicians interested in advanced positions.