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Energy Systems Technology - HVACR

Industry Description
Technicians apply technical training in electrical, electronics, environmental, and mechanical to operate, maintain and service these types of HVACR systems:

Heating and air conditioning (HAC) equipment are climate control systems installed in buildings. In addition to providing thermal comfort they are meant to provide acceptable indoor air quality and the ability to regulate and maintain the systems. An HAC system typically consists of central forced air heating, and air conditioning equipment. Central heating equipment generally consists of a type of furnace or heat pump used to heat water, steam or air in a central location, and them distributes the heat through piping or ductwork.

Ventilation (V) systems, a forced or displacement ventilation system can also be used to control humidity or odors through heat recovery ventilators (using heat exchangers to bring the fresh air temperature to room temperature) or displacement ventilation systems (introducing air into a room at low velocities). Air conditioning equipment provides heating as well as cooling and humidity control to a building with increased energy efficiencies.

Refrigeration (R) is the process of controlling temperature and humidity to process or preserve products such as food, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, artifacts, and medical supplies.

Department Overview
The WWCC Energy Systems Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration is a nationally accredited program that provides the students with an entry level understanding of construction workplace safety, basic DC & AC electrical theory, basics of physics and refrigeration theory, tools, mechanical components, environmental green technology, AC electrical application, controls, electrical motors and maintenance, programmable logic controls, direct digital controls, electronics, national electrical code and mechanical code, heating systems, commercial and industrial refrigeration for the residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Courses are offered in lecture, demonstration, lab, internship and web enhanced formats.

Students may earn an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree in the following area: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. One-year certificate is also available for the above listed AAAS degree.

Career Opportunities

  • HVAC Installer
  • Environmental Control Technician
  • Energy Auditor
  • TAB Technician
  • Refrigeration Mechanic
  • Millwright
  • HVAC Maintenance Technician
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Industrial Mechanic
  • Furnace Installer/Mechanic
  • Service Manager
  • IAQ Technician
  • Boiler Operator
  • HVAC Service Technician
  • Refrigeration Mobil Service Technician (Railroad, Transport, Sea)
  • Marine Service HVACR Technician
  • Alternative Energy Plant Operator

Don Patterson Memorial Scholarship in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology

This scholarship is available for full-time students enrolled in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology. Students must demonstrate academic progress toward completion of their degree, exemplify a high standard of dedication, hard work, and responsible lifestyle. This scholarship is based on available funds with a maximum of $750.

Entrance Requirements
Students contemplating entering the HVACRE training course should apply online, complete financial aid and placement testing offered by Walla Walla Community College, and meet with a program advisor in the HVACRE training area. A high school diploma or GED® is recommended for entry into this program and is required if students pursue an AAAS degree. Students entering the program are required to obtain Washington State LNI Electrical trainee card the first quarter of enrollment (this may be waived if out of state). Students may enter the program fall, winter or spring quarter, however, due to course sequencing it is recommended to begin in the fall.

It is recommended that the student contact the lead instructor regarding appropriate program placement and paying a priority list fee to hold placement in the program.

Other Information
Technicians for the HVACRE Industry should:

  • Have a valid driver's license.
  • Have an acceptable driving record, this typically will be checked by employer.
  • Be able to pass a drug test if asked by an employer.
  • Be able to work in adverse weather conditions.
  • Be able to lift 75 lbs.
  • Be able to work in confined spaces.
  • Be able to work long hours - during peak season 12 hour days are possible.
  • Be able to follow exact instructions.
  • Be able to work in and promote a safe environment.
  • Be able to work under minimal supervision.
  • Be able to work with others and communicate effectively.
  • Be prepared to work around potential electrical and mechanical hazards.
  • Be able to use critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Have an aptitude for mechanical and electrical troubleshooting.
  • Be prepared for possible relocation.

For additional information including regional employment data, completion rates, student characteristics, and employment see