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Basic Air Conditioning Tech
Curriculum code 1453

Course Requirements Gainful Employment Information

In Moraine Valley Community College’s Air Conditioning Program, the student will learn how to install, adjust and maintain air conditioning systems in homes and buildings.

This certificate program requires fewer credit hours to complete than an associate’s degree. The program is intended to lead to employment. If you are considering transferring to a four-year college or university to obtain a bachelor’s degree using the courses from this program, make an appointment with an academic advisor to review your options.

Nature of Work—Given the proper equipment, material and specifications, graduates of the program will be able to install, repair, service, modify, or adjust commercial or residential air conditioning units, appliances, and refrigeration units. Graduates employed as service representatives will work with the public in sales.

Related Job Titles—Air conditioning installer, service representative, refrigeration technician, and furnace installer

Employment Outlook—Job prospects for heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers are expected to be excellent, particularly for those with training from an accredited technical school or with formal apprenticeship training, and especially in the fastest growing areas of the country. A growing number of retirements of highly skilled technicians are expected to generate many job openings. In addition, employment of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to increase faster than average for all occupations through the year 2018.

Concern for the environment has prompted the development of new energy-saving heating and air-conditioning systems. An emphasis on better energy management should lead to the replacement of older systems and the installation of newer, more efficient systems in existing homes and buildings. Also, demand for maintenance and service work should increase as businesses and homeowners strive to keep increasingly complex systems operating at peak efficiency. Regulations prohibiting the discharge and production of CFC and HCFC refrigerants should continue to result in the need to replace many existing air conditioning systems or modify them to use new environmentally safe refrigerants. The pace of replacement in the commercial and industrial sectors will quicken if Congress or individual states cut the time needed to fully depreciate the cost of new HVACR systems, which is being considered.

A growing focus on improving indoor air quality, as well as the increasing use of refrigerated equipment by a growing number of stores and gasoline stations that sell food, also should contribute to the creation of more jobs for heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration technicians.

Median annual earnings of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers were $42,530 in May 2010. The middle 50 percent earned between $40,630 and $46,940 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,490, and the top 10 percent earned more than $66,930. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers in May 2010 were:
Local government ...................................................$46,940
Hardware and plumbing and heating equipment and
supplies merchant wholesalers ...............................$46,540
Commercial and industrial machinery and
equipment (except automotive and electronic)
repair and maintenance...........................................$43,460
Direct selling establishments ..................................$44,210
Building equipment contractors ..............................$40,630

Apprentices usually begin at about 50 percent of the wage rate paid to experienced workers. As they gain experience and improve their skills, they receive periodic increases until they reach the wage rate of experienced workers.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011. www.bls.gov/oco (HVAC mechanic)

The median salary in Chicago for HVAC mechanic I is $43,140. Salaries range between $30,941 to $55,856.
Source: Salary.com

For job listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center in the Student Services Center, S202, (708) 974-5737, www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.

Gainful Employment Information—The college provides information about the number of semesters and expected costs to complete this program, as well as the current job outlook. Visit www.morainevalley.edu/programs/employment.htm.

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