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Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Accredited by the HVAC Excellence Accreditation Review Committee, El Camino’s air conditioning and refrigeration programs get you ready for an in-demand career. Our accessible, affordable paths to the workforce also have options to upgrade your current skills for job advancement.

$2,208
Approximate cost for an El Camino College air conditioning and refrigeration degree
$53K
Careers associated with this program have a salary range from $32,000 to $90,000 with an average salary of $53,000.
14.7%
Career opportunities for this program are expected to grow 14.7% nationwide from 2016 to 2026.

Our Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate of Science (AS) degree typically takes two years. Or complete a certificate in less than six months.

Hands-on air conditioning and refrigeration education at El Camino will prepare you for career advancement or an entry-level job in the field. We’re here to help you succeed.

Choose a Degree Designed to Prepare You for a Job

Most El Camino air conditioning and refrigeration students want to start their careers as soon as possible after graduation. Others are looking to improve skills and advance in their existing career. We provide the training and skills you need to be successful.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration: Degrees & Certificates

This degree prepares you for employment in residential or commercial settings. It’s a great pathway to join the industry at the entry level.

  • Practice skills in service, troubleshooting, installation, and energy-efficient operation of heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, and control systems.
  • Prepare to work in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
  • Learn to read wiring diagrams, diagnose control circuits, and operate test equipment.
  • Discover fundamentals in pneumatic, electric, and electronic controls.
  • Prepare for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification.

Prepare for an entry-level job in residential, industrial, or commercial air conditioning repair and maintenance.  

  • Gain an introduction to air conditioning system operation and components.
  • Learn basic skills in brazing and electrical applications.
  • Practice using service tools and equipment on various types of air conditioning test equipment.
  • Discover energy-efficient green technology used in high-efficiency residential, commercial, and industrial air conditioning.
  • Train to solve and troubleshoot electrical and mechanical problems.
  • Perform indoor air quality and system efficiency tests.
  • Prepare for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification.

Prepare for employment in installing, servicing, troubleshooting, and operating electrical control systems for air conditioning and refrigeration.

  • Gain an introduction to electrical control systems for air conditioning and refrigeration operation.
  • Learn to read electrical diagrams.
  • Study electrical and electronic components, motors, and circuitry for air conditioning and refrigeration controls.
  • Discover single-phase and three-phase electrical power for air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
  • Diagnose electrical and electronic problems and safely make necessary repairs.
  • Prepare for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification.

Prepare for employment in installing, servicing, troubleshooting, and operating automated air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

  • Learn the basics of automation, commissioning, re-commissioning, retro-commissioning, and installation of heating and air conditioning systems.
  • Practice servicing and troubleshooting issues with mechanical, electrical, and direct digital control (DDC) systems.
  • Review automation system communication protocols and programming.
  • Study direct digital controls, programmable controls, configurable controllers, multi-zone systems, communication protocols, control system commissioning, logic circuits, object and property program structure, and interoperability.

Prepare for employment in installing, servicing, troubleshooting, and operating air conditioning and refrigeration systems that run on energy-efficient technology.

  • Study energy-efficient green technology (high efficiency), along with advanced residential, commercial, and industrial air conditioning systems.
  • Practice using air conditioning test equipment, in addition to the installation, repair and maintenance of various types of air conditioning systems.
  • Learn troubleshooting techniques to solve electrical and mechanical problems.
  • Discover equipment efficiencies and building envelope condition.
  • Perform indoor air quality and system efficiency testing and system airflow and operational efficiencies.

Prepare for employment in maintenance, repair, and service techniques of heating systems.

  • Learn the principles of gas, electric, radiant, and boiler operated heating systems.
  • Practice maintenance, repair and service techniques for furnaces, steam, and hot water boilers.
  • Work with test instruments and safety controls.
  • Discover basic skills in brazing and electrical applications.

Prepare for employment in installing, servicing, troubleshooting, and operating electrical control systems for air conditioning and refrigeration.

  • Practice basic electrical theory and control system theory.
  • Learn about electrical components and complex control systems with emphasis on supervisory control systems that employ direct digital, proportional and integral control modes, and theoretical faults.
  • Train in installing, servicing, troubleshooting, and operating electrical control systems for air conditioning and refrigeration technology with the use of electrical diagrams.
  • Discover single-phase and three-phase electrical power for air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
  • Work with test instruments and safety controls.

Prepare for entry-level employment the industry.

  • Learn air conditioning and refrigeration theory fundamentals.
  • Review the skills needed for employment in the industry.
  • Explore topics such as safety, air conditioning system operation and components, brazing, electrical applications, service tools, and equipment.
  • Practice skills in customer service, including communication techniques, problem solving, refrigerant recovery and recycling, laws, regulations, and energy efficiency.
  • Prepare for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certifications.

Prepare for entry-level employment in air conditioning and refrigeration.

  • Explore refrigeration theory, characteristics of refrigerants, temperature, and pressure, soldering, brazing, and tools and equipment used in the industry.
  • Learn about commercial refrigeration systems, system components, compressors, evaporators, and metering devices.
  • Practice charging commercial systems with new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refrigerants.
  • Evaluate systems operations.
  • Troubleshoot and service commercial refrigeration ice machines, coolers, walk-ins, refrigerators, and freezers.

Prepare for employment in refrigeration.

  • Practice skills in service, troubleshooting, installation, and energy-efficient operation of refrigeration and air conditioning control systems.
  • Explore refrigeration theory, characteristics of refrigerants, temperature and pressure, tools and equipment, soldering, brazing, commercial refrigeration systems, system components, compressors, evaporators, and metering devices.
  • Prepare to work in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
  • Prepare for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certifications.

Choose a Degree Designed for Careers in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

As an El Camino air conditioning and refrigeration graduate, you’ll be ready to start work immediately. We can help you find career options and decide on the best step after graduation.

  • Graduates can expect to enter the industry as an advanced apprentice or as an entry-level heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technician.
  • Access cutting-edge education in a new campus facility with modern diagnostic tools and equipment, representing many contemporary technologies.
  • Prepare for industry certifications.
  • Learn in a comprehensive program accredited by the HVAC Excellence Accreditation Review Committee.
  • Careers associated with this program have a salary range from $32,000 to $90,000 with an average salary of $53,000.

Participate in Academic and Career Opportunities

Take your education outside of the classroom. El Camino has apprenticeship opportunities and connections with industries that translate into valuable real-world experience.

  • Gain access to resources and mentors from various professional organizations.
  • Attend industry conferences and workshops.
  • Receive assistance with networking and job searches.
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Academic Details

Learn about course requirements and more for the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration AS and certificates in El Camino’s online catalog.

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Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program Maps

Find semester-by-semester plans that chart your path to an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program AS degree and certificates on El Camino’s Guided Pathways site.

Contact Info

El Camino College Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Department