BTC’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program will prepare you for a career as an HVAC & Refrigeration technician. In BTC's HVAC-R program, you’ll learn new, higher-efficiency technologies and practices, with the valuable hands-on training that top HVAC employers are looking for. In two years, you can be well-positioned for high-wage employment as an HVAC-R technician with heating and air conditioning contractors, refrigeration contractors, hotels, school systems, or industrial processing plants.

Student Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

For more details on industry growth and job opportunities, check out the trade’s Bridging the Skills Gap presentation.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

87% BTC graduate placement rate1

$47,133 starting annual wage2
$60,008 average annual wage2
$75,296 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program starts in Fall Quarter on a space available basis.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 103

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • HVACR 101Fundamentals of Refrigeration8 CR
  • HVACR 102Basic Electricity for HVACR8 CR
  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • HVACR 121Commercial Self-Contained Systems7 CR
  • HVACR 122Commercial Ice Systems7 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • HVACR 131Furnace Technology7 CR
  • HVACR 132Boilers and Hydronic Heat7 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • HVACR 201A/C & Airflow8 CR
  • HVACR 202Applied Heat Pump Systems5 CR
  • Five Credits from the AAS-T Acceptable Transferable Courses list5 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • HVACR 221Commercial Refrigeration8 CR
  • HVACR 222Industrial Refrigeration7 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • HVACR 231Control Theory for HVAC/R8 CR
  • HVACR 232Commercial & Industrial Boilers2 CR
  • HVACR 233Employment Preparation1 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communication5 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing the AAS-T degree, students will be able to:

  • Safely and properly install and service systems adhering to environmental laws and regulations as they apply to the HVAC/R industry.
  • Demonstrate positive work traits and good customer service skills as a member of a technical team.
  • Diagnose and repair common electrical and mechanical problems in HVAC/R residential, commercial and industrial systems.
  • Communicate effectively in writing and verbally with customers, managers, and co-workers.
  • Identify and use appropriate technical literature to install, maintain and service HVAC/R systems.

Employment Outlook

About 75% of BTC HVAC & Refrigeration students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $53,685, with an earning potential of about $64,355 per year.*

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Most program graduates work as technicians for private heating, air conditioning, or refrigeration service companies. Opportunities may also exist to work for heating and air conditioning dealers, manufacturing companies, food processors and in self-employment.

Potential positions include heating and air conditioning technician, heating and air conditioning service person, heating and air conditioning installer, contractor, estimator, food industry mechanic, or gasfitter.

Faculty & Support

  • Degrees and Credentials

    AAS, C/I Refrigeration, Bellingham Technical College

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email outreach@btc.edu.

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email IndustrialTradesNav@btc.edu