What is HVAC? 

HVAC is commonly used in the heating and cooling industry. It stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, three functions often combined into one system in today’s modern homes and buildings.

What does an HVAC technician do? 

HVAC technicians work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the air quality in many types of buildings. They mostly work in residential homes, schools, hospitals, office buildings, or factories.

How long does it take to become an HVAC technician?

Full time students can complete SFSC’s HVAC program and go to work in one year.

What are the class times?

A typical class schedule is Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m, but we are very flexible. We can build a custom schedule* for you such as: weekdays, 8-11 a.m. or noon-3 p.m.

* Alternate schedules extend the time to complete the program to two or more years.

What kind of skills will I learn?

  • Refrigerant charging
  • Soldering and brazing
  • Electrical principles
  • HVAC system troubleshooting
  • How to read wiring diagrams
  • EPA section 608 standards
  • Air flow and indoor air quality

Plus many more …

What kind of skills make a good technician?

Mechanical aptitude, communication skills, and organizational ability are important. Basic math and the ability to think critically are also key.

What kind of jobs are available? 

  • Residential HVAC technician
  • Service dispatchers and managers
  • HVAC installation mechanic
  • Ice machine and refrigeration technician
  • Factory service rep
  • Supply house counter sales associate

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for HVAC technicians will grow by 14% through 2024, much faster than average for all occupations. For this technically demanding work, HVAC employers give preference to applicants who have completed an occupational certificate training program or apprenticeship.

Is job placement available? 

After completing 50% of the program, we arrange internships for eligible students* at local companies. These internships give the student the opportunity to see the real world application of what they’ve been learning in class. It gives the employer a chance to see your work ethic and skills, and gives the intern an equal chance to check out the employer. In many cases, internships have transitioned to full-time work. 

*Eligible students are those with a good driving record, reasonably clean background check, good attendance, and a B average in class.

How much can I earn? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 the median annual wage for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $47,610, and the highest 10% earned more than $75,330. Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 15% through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Important facts about SFSC’s HVAC program;

  • The maximum class size is 20. 
  • Hands-on training is 50% of class time. 
  • There is real equipment in our lab to train on, which includes 20 HVAC systems, two ice machines, a walk-in cooler, and two gas furnaces. 
  • Our equipment is from Carrier, Trane, Rheem, Comfortmaker, Bosch, Manitowoc, Hoshizaki, and Frigidaire. 
  • The EPA Section 608 Certification exam is included. 

For more information about SFSC’s HVAC program, contact:
Tom Bush
Chair, Technical-Industrial Education
Professor, HVAC/R