The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC and R) industry designs, builds, maintains and repairs essential indoor comfort and cooling systems including heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Refrigeration equipment is used in supermarkets, and food processing and cold storage facilities, and sports facilities such as hockey and curling rinks which are also a vital part of the industry. As a result of the expanding markets for refrigeration and air conditioning and changing technology, a dramatic need exists for qualified personnel both at home and abroad. A Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic journeyperson fabricates, installs, alters, repairs/services any system used for cooling and/or heating (eg heat pumps) in closed systems that contain a refrigerant or a brine and thermoelectric cooling. This includes piping, controls and electrical work. These workers also connect rooftop units to gas and test and balance systems.
The HVAC and R Technician certificate is a non co-op program which provides a foundation in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration system design, installation and service. The program is 40 weeks in duration combining classroom and shop instruction. After learning direct refrigeration systems, a broad range of topics focused on HVAC systems design, operation and controls are learned. Emphasis will be placed on diagnosis, service requirements and procedures. Graduates of this program who enter the trade within one year of graduation can expect to receive credit for three levels of technical training for the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic apprenticeship.
Students are encouraged to return to Level 4 apprentice training (8 weeks) when appropriate to receive the Class B Gas training and prepare for the Interprovincial Red Seal certification exam.
Applicants should apply early and ensure their application is complete with all required documentation in order to be considered. Students are accepted on a competitive basis with preference given to applicants with previous post-secondary, work experience and a high score on BCIT’s Mechanical Reasoning Test.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician program will produce competent entry-level tradespersons who are knowledgeable in all aspects of the HVAC and R industry. Graduates of this program will be prepared to enter and complete a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprenticeship with employers such as commercial/industrial refrigeration contractors, air conditioning commercial contractors, HVAC and R controls, or they may find positions in building maintenance. HVAC and Refrigeration is a compulsory certification trade. Workers in this trade must be apprentices or journeypersons.
Job opportunities in this field are broad and far reaching. The largest employer classifications are wholesaler and contracting firms. Other employers could be government agencies and large hotel and resort chains. Opportunities for employment come as a result of an expanding market, as well as a turnover of skilled technicians who may be retiring or moving up to supervisory positions.
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