Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration - Learn More

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration

Associate of Applied Science

Credits Required for Graduation: 64.00


Learn More About This Program

Air Cond, Heat, & Refrig Tech

The Air conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology program will prepare you for entry-level positions in the field of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration - HVACR for short.


Is HVACR right for you?

Do you like to:

  • Work with your hands
  • Be part of a team
  • Be appreciated
  • Do varied tasks
  • Protect the environment
  • Take on a challenge
  • Work with computers
  • Solve problems

Then a career in HVACR might be right for you!

  • Repair equipment
  • Make equipment run more efficiently
  • Maintain a safe, healthy, and comfortable indoor living and working environment
  • Prepare for entry into "Green Jobs"


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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of jobs would be available for me upon graduation?

Graduates are employed as laboratory test technician, temperature controls application engineer, computer aided design draftsman, service technician, energy auditor, and mechanical system designer.


Will I be able to find a job in HVACR when I graduate?

Based on the 2007 six-month Graduate Follow-Up Survey, 71% of graduates found a job in HVACR.

Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. Therefore it is essential that heating and cooling equipment be installed and repaired correctly for comfort and health reasons. It is not likely that the need for HVACR jobs will be reduced or moved overseas.


How much will I earn?

Based on the 2007 six-month Graduate Follow-Up Survey the hourly rate was from $13.25 - $15.52 per hour. The median hourly rate was $14.75


Are there scholarships available?

Scholarships are available for the HVACR student through the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as well as the Western Foundation. General scholarships are also available.


Can I continue my education beyond Western?

Yes, Western has an articulation agreement with Ferris State University that will allow you to transfer all of your credits towards a bachelors program. In two years you can graduate with a HVACR Engineering degree.


What will my classes be like?

The class sizes are small, typically six to twelve students and never more than 24 students. Courses have both a lecture and a laboratory component. Most of the courses are based on the "hands-on" approach to learning. During the first year you will spend 60% of your time working on equipment in the shop and 40% will be in classroom. Much of the classroom time is spend on team projects and working on tasks.

Where and when do classes meet?

Most of the core classes meet at the La Crosse campus. Some courses are offered online.

Classes start in late August each year. Plan to be at Western from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday. Some semesters you will have to attend classes four days a week instead of five.


How is the Air conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology program different from the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heating Service Technician program?

The Air conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology program is an associate of applied science degree that is 4 semesters (64 credits) in length. In addition to servicing and installation which are covered in the first year, the second year focuses more on computerized controls, energy use, HVACR system design, and environmental issues. The Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heating Service Technician program is a technical diploma that is 2 semesters long (30 credits) and is primarily a hands-on-servicing and installation program.


What if I'm still am trying to decide between these two programs?

It may be helpful to talk directly to an instructor to learn more about the program and the profession. Contact John Flanagan 608.789.6295. Ask about stopping by for a visit to see the shop area and see what the classes are like.

One of the following Enrollment Services Advisors at Western is also available to discuss career planning with you:
Shirley Heffner
608.785.9884

Barb Fitzsimmons
608.785.9439

Sue Kirscher
608.785.9801


I think I am ready to enroll in this program. What should I do next?

You can either go to the Welcome Center on the La Crosse campus or go online and complete the application form. You will need to decide if you want to print it off and mail in with the application, or do it completely online with your credit card. A one-time nonrefundable application fee will need be paid.