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.

Essential Information

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).

  • Prerequisites: 2 year associate's degree in the field, mathematics requirement
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Other Requirements: Internship

Bachelor's Degree in Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Most bachelor's degree programs in HVAC/R 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 ( This above-average number is due to an increasing demand for climate-controlled systems in commercial, industrial and residential areas. In May 2014, the BLS reported that the annual median salary for HVAC/R installers and mechanics was $44,630.

Certification Information

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 ( 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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