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Energy - 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 HVACR Technician installs, maintains, and repairs heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems in residential, commercial, and industrial sites. WWCC's HVACR training program is nationally accredited offering a two-year degree and a one-year certificate. Students exit the program with related certifications in entry-level positions covering safety, electrical theory, refrigeration basics and components, applied wiring, air conditioning systems, controls, electric motors, duct design and installation, heating systems, industrial refrigeration, electronics, national electrical code, programmable logic controllers and direct digital controls, and commercial refrigeration. The HVACR curriculum is reviewed by an advisory committee composed of local and regional industry members and adheres to national and state skill standards.

An Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in Heating Ventilating Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration is available upon completion of the two-year program of study. Also, the HVACR Certificate is available upon completion of the one-year program of study.

Career Opportunities

  • Test and Balance (TAB) Technician
  • HVAC Installer, Service, Maintenance Technician
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Technician
  • Environmental Control Technician, Energy Auditor
  • DDC Control Technician
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Specialty Electrician
  • Boiler Operator & Refrigeration Mechanic
  • Refrigeration Mobile Service Technician (Railroad, Transport, Sea)
  • Marine Service HVACR Technician

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.
Scholarship Application

Entrance Requirements
Students contemplating entering the Energy - HVACR training program should complete an online application, complete financial aid forms, and take a placement test offered by Walla Walla Community College, and then meet with a program advisor in the HVACR training area. A high school diploma or GED® is recommended for entry into this program and is required if students are pursuing an AAAS degree.

WWCC Energy - HVACR is an approved electrical training program through the State of Washington (WAC 296-46B-971) and to comply with Washington Law students entering the program that will be working in Washington State are required to obtain Washington State LNI Electrical trainee card within the first two weeks of the quarter enrolled (this may be waived if out of state, and will be covered during program orientation). Students completing an AAAS degree will receive 1419 electrical hours on the 06A.

Students may enter the program fall, winter or spring quarter, however, due to course sequencing it is recommended the students begin in the fall quarter.

NOTE: It is recommended that the student contact the lead instructor and discuss program interest and to determine appropriate program placement; paying a priority list fee will hold placement in the program, and this fee will be applied to your tuition.

Other Information
Technicians entering the HVACR Industry should:

  • Have a valid driver's license.
  • Have an acceptable driving record; this typically will be checked by employer.
  • Be able to write reports and subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure.
  • Be able to use personal computer or notebook with basic computer skills.
  • Be able to pass a drug test if required by an employer.
  • Be able to work in adverse weather and ambient 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 and perform service and installation outlined in manuals.
  • Be able to read and interpret technical manuals, schematics, blueprints, and code regulations.
  • Be able to work in and promote a safe environment.
  • Be able to take initiative and work without direct supervision.
  • Be able to work with others and effectively communicate orally and written.
  • Be prepared to work around electrical and mechanical potential hazards.
  • Be able to use critical thinking and problem solving skills with 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