Air Conditioning Technology

Nature of Work

Heating and air conditioning systems control the temperature, humidity, and the total air quality in residential, commercial, industrial, and other buildings. By providing a climate-controlled environment, refrigeration systems make it possible to store and transport food, medicine, and other perishable items. Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers install, maintain, and repair such systems.

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems consist of many mechanical, electrical, and electronic components such as motors, compressors, pumps, fans, ducts, pipes, thermostats, and switches. In central-forced air heating systems, for example, a furnace heats air, which is then distributed through a system of metal or fiberglass ducts. Technicians maintain, diagnose, and correct problems throughout the entire system. To do this, they adjust system controls to recommended settings and test the performance of the system using special tools and test equipment.

Technicians follow blueprints or other specifications to install oil, gas, electric, solid-fuel, and multiple-fuel heating systems and air conditioning systems. After putting the equipment in place, they install fuel and water supply lines, air ducts and vents, pumps, and other components. They may connect electrical wiring and controls and check the unit for proper operation. To ensure the proper functioning of the system, furnace installers often use combustion test equipment, such as carbon dioxide testers, carbon monoxide testers, combustion analyzers, and oxygen testers. These tests ensure that the system will operate safely and at peak efficiency.

High school students interested in some initial training for this industry should take courses in shop math, mechanical drawing, applied physics and chemistry, electronics, blueprint reading, and computer applications. Some knowledge of plumbing or electrical work and a basic understanding of electronics are beneficial for a heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technician.

Career Outlook

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers work for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors, as well as in a variety of industries throughout the country, reflecting a widespread dependence on climate-control systems. Some work for refrigeration and air conditioning service and repair shops, schools, and stores that sell heating and air conditioning systems. Local governments, the federal government, hospitals, office buildings, and other organizations that operate large air conditioning, refrigeration, or heating systems also employ these workers. Many technicians are self-employed. Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to increase 21 percent nationally from 2012 through 2022.

Learn more about our Air Conditioning Technology program College Catalog

Credentials You Can Earn

Air Conditioning Technology

Air Conditioning Electrical Technician

Air Conditioning System Maintenance Technician

Program Expenses

Admissions Fees

  • Nonrefundable application fee ($25)

Outside Vendor Fees Prior To Beginning AIRC Courses

  • Tools (Approximately $800 for the diploma program, $350 for the Air Conditioning Electrical Technician program, and $800 for the Air Conditioning Systems Maintenance Technician program)

Semester Fees

  • Tuition ($89 per credit hour)
  • Accident Insurance Fee ($4 per term)
  • Campus Supply Fee ($40 per term)
  • Instruction Fee ($55 per term)
  • Parking Fee ($20 per term)
  • Campus Safety Fee ($25 per term)
  • Registration Fee ($50 per term)
  • Student Activity Fee ($30 per term)
  • Technology Fee ($105 per term)

Throughout the Program

  • Textbooks (Approximately $450)
  • Supply Fees (Varies — See course descriptions for exact amount)

These expenses are based on costs in effect at the time this catalog was published. Prices are subject to change.

discover ATC
Discover your future
Are you ready to apply?
 Apply Now


No image available.
Coleman Simmons, Program Chair
Office Location: J-108
Phone: (706) 355-5099
Send Email