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Building Systems Technician (HVAC&R)

Building Systems Technician (HVAC&R)

Develop your skills and knowledge of heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration systems.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years
$3,515 (Domestic) • $11,350 (International)
Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.
+Locations & Availability

September 2020
Campus/Location DeliveryIn-class – Complete your program through courses that are held at a campus.

Online – All program courses are delivered online.

Blended – Complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at a campus.

Collaborative – program is delivered virtually on campus
Ivany Campus • Dartmouth Full time • In-class Waitlist


Heating and cooling systems are vital to the comfort and operation of homes and buildings. And they maintain the quality of critical-temperature products, such as food and medical supplies.

This program reflects the technological changes that are affecting the industry – indoor air quality, refrigerant conversion and recovery and energy conservation and management. It also provides you with the broad technical knowledge and skills that employers require.

Throughout this program, you develop skills in many aspects of the trade, including electrical and control systems, installation, maintenance, repair and servicing of basic heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems for residential and commercial application.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including Academic Grade 11 Physics.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic & Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • Standard First Aid, CPR Level A

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end, or throughout the duration, of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • This program is eligible for an optional co-operative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
  • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time work placements that last 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Career options

  • Service technicians, building maintenance staff of large institutions or tradespersons in the construction industry.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Other info

  • Certification with a Red Seal – Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam, receive their certification and Red Seal. The Red Seal allows certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.
  • You require a Certificate of Qualification issued by the NSAA to legally work in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade in Nova Scotia.
  • Additional skills and abilities, including math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades and Technology programs. See the Trades and Technology Preparation Checklist (PDF 23KB).
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

Courses may include

Course descriptions
Code Course
CADD 1001   Computer Aided Drafting
COMM 1227   Communications I
COMM 1228   Communications II
HVAC 1030   Tools and Safety
HVAC 1031   Hydronic Piping Applications
HVAC 1032   Refrigeration Piping Applications
HVAC 1033   Basic Electrical Fundamentals
HVAC 1034   Physics I - Fluids and Pumps
HVAC 1036   Ventilation System Design and Application
HVAC 1037   Hydronic System Design and Applications
HVAC 1038   The Basic Refrigeration Cycle
HVAC 1039   Residential Comfort System
HVAC 1040   Physics II - Fundamentals of Refrigeration
HVAC 1041   Physics III - Heating and Cooling Load Calculations
HVAC 1042   HVAC/R Evaporators and Metering Devices
HVAC 1043   HVAC/R Condensers
HVAC 1044   HVAC/R Compressors
HVAC 1045   Refrigerants and the Environment
HVAC 1046   Customer Relations
HVAC 1047   Physics IV - Indoor Environments & IAQ
HVAC 1048   HVAC/R Motors and Drives
HVAC 1049   Building Environmental Systems
HVAC 1050   Commercial and Industrial HVAC/R Applications
HVAC 1051   HVAC/R Integrated Control Circuits and Wiring
HVAC 1087   HVAC/R Blueprint Reading
HVAC 1100   Work Experience
HVAC 4100   Work Experience II
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act
SAFE 1020   Introduction to Confined Space
SAFE 1021   Introduction to Hazard Identification
SAFE 1023   Introduction to Lock Out/Tag Out
SAFE 1024   Introduction to Respiratory Protection
SAFE 1025   Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
WORK 1100   Workplace Mentoring I

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3

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