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BTC’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program will prepare you for a career as an HVAC & Refrigeration Technician. You’ll learn new, higher-efficiency technologies and practices, with the valuable hands-on training that employers are looking for. In two years, you can be well-positioned for high-wage employment 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.

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you’re interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you’re interested in, email for more information.

Employment Information

75% BTC graduate placement rate

$41,600 starting annual wage
$53,685 average annual wage
$64,355 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

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 for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 98

  • Quarter 1

  • HVACR 101Fundamentals of Refrigeration8 CR
  • HVACR 102Basic Electricity for HVACR8 CR
  • AMATH 100Applied Occupational Math5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • HVACR 121Commercial Self-Contained Systems7 CR
  • HVACR 122Commercial Ice Systems7 CR
  • AENGL 100Applied English5 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
  • 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 Communications5 CR

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, 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

Photo of Robert Edwards
Robert Edwards

Photo of Marty Vande Kamp
Marty Vande Kamp

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Refrigeration Service Engineers Society Certification in Proper Refrigerant Usage

    WA Professional Technical Certification