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Building Systems Technician (HVAC&R)

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

Program Image
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

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.

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

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.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus Dartmouth Full time In-class Waitlist

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

Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,515
Tuition (International):
$11,350

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.

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.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

CADD 1001 - Computer Aided Drafting
In this introduction to Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software, learners gain knowledge in the use and principles of Computer Aided Drafting. The primary emphasis is the application of AutoCAD®, an industry-standard Computer Aided Drafting software program. Specific hardware used in the CAD environment is introduced and utilized.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

HVAC 1030 - Tools and Safety
The emphasis of this course is to introduce the learner to the tools and equipment used in the HVAC/R trade. Emphasis will be given to commercial and industrial safety practices when using these tools and equipment on the job site. Electrical safety practices such as lock out/tag out, ladder safety, refrigerant safety and safety documentation will also be covered.

HVAC 1031 - Hydronic Piping Applications
The emphasis of this course is to introduce the learner to piping practices used in heating applications within the HVAC industry. Emphasis will be given to commercial and industrial piping practices. Installation, layout and system design criteria will be covered in detail.

HVAC 1032 - Refrigeration Piping Applications
The emphasis of this course is to introduce the learner to piping practices used in air conditioning and refrigeration applications within the HVAC industry. Emphasis will be given to commercial and industrial piping practices. Installation, layout and system design criteria will be covered in detail.

HVAC 1033 - Basic Electrical Fundamentals
The emphasis of this course is to introduce the learner to electrical installation and troubleshooting practices used within the HVAC industry. Emphasis will be given to commercial and industrial HVAC control systems. Electrical theory, and its’ practical applications in HVAC control systems will be covered in detail.

HVAC 1034 - Physics I - Fluids and Pumps
This course introduces learners to the theory of fluids. Topics include pressure, the continuity equation, Bernoulli’s equation and pumps. Learners who successfully complete Fluid Dynamics & Pumps will describe fluid theory and will apply formulas to solve basic fluid problems.

HVAC 1036 - Ventilation System Design and Application
The primary focus of this course is residential systems with an emphasis on ventilation and air exchange systems. Installation, service and maintenance procedures will be covered in detail.

HVAC 1037 - Hydronic System Design and Applications
The primary focus of this course is residential systems with an emphasis on hydronic systems. Installation, service and maintenance procedures will be covered in detail.

HVAC 1038 - The Basic Refrigeration Cycle
This course is designed to give an individual a basic understanding of the major components of various types of refrigeration systems. Emphasis on electrical circuits applied to basic refrigeration applications will also be covered.

HVAC 1039 - Residential Comfort System
This course focuses on residential systems with an emphasis on electrical control and building efficiency. Residential HVAC systems such as air conditioning, geothermal, water and air source heat pumps and other applications typical to the Nova Scotia housing market will be covered.

HVAC 1040 - Physics II - Fundamentals of Refrigeration
Learners will examine fuel oil characteristics and its components used in the oil heating industry.

HVAC 1041 - Physics III - Heating and Cooling Load Calculations
This is a one semester course that is based on the CSA Standard F-280 Determining the Required Capacity of Residential Space Heating and Cooling Appliances. Learners who successfully complete Physics 3 – Residential Heating & Cooling Load Calculations will apply industry standards for properly calculating residential heating and cooling loads.

HVAC 1042 - HVAC/R Evaporators and Metering Devices
This course is designed to give the learner an understanding of the evaporators and metering devices used in various types of refrigeration and air conditioning applications. Emphasis will be placed on the installation, operation and maintenance of various types of evaporators and their related metering devices.

HVAC 1043 - HVAC/R Condensers
This course is designed to give the learner an understanding of the air and water cooled condensers used in various types of refrigeration and air conditioning applications. Emphasis will be placed on the installation, operation and maintenance of various types of condensers and their related controls and safety devices.

HVAC 1044 - HVAC/R Compressors
This course is designed to give the learner a basic understanding of the compressors and auxiliary components used in various types of refrigeration systems. Emphasis will be placed on the operation, efficiency and maintenance of various compressors.

HVAC 1045 - Refrigerants and the Environment
This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of refrigerants and oils used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Emphasis will be placed on the safe procedures for handling refrigerants, environmental regulations and the specialized equipment associated with the handling, transport and storage of refrigerants.

HVAC 1046 - Customer Relations
This course introduces learners to organizational structures, customer relations, business practices and procedures of the service industry. The learner will learn to apply essential skills to interact effectively with external and internal customers.

HVAC 1047 - Physics IV - Indoor Environments & IAQ
This one semester course is designed to give broad and current coverage of indoor environmental air conditions. Learners who successfully complete Physics 4 – Psychrometry and IAQ will analyze and evaluate psychrometric processes and explore the elements that influence IAQ.

HVAC 1048 - HVAC/R Motors and Drives
The course covers the application of various types of electric motors and motor controls used in HVAC/R systems and equipment. Participants will install, service and maintain HVAC/R motors applications and their respective controls.

HVAC 1049 - Building Environmental Systems
The course covers the application of building automation controls (BAS) used in commercial HVAC/R systems. Participants will inspect, troubleshoot and analyze direct digital controls used to control and monitor HVAC/R equipment within a built environment application.

HVAC 1050 - Commercial and Industrial HVAC/R Applications
This course introduces learners to large scale applications for air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Lessons and exercises will demonstrate the wide range of applications and concentrate.

HVAC 1051 - HVAC/R Integrated Control Circuits and Wiring
The course covers the application of operational and safety controls and controllers used in commercial HVAC/R systems. Participants will install, service and maintain HVAC/R controls used to control and monitor HVAC/R systems.

HVAC 1087 - HVAC/R Blueprint Reading
This course is designed to provide the learner an overview of print reading as it applies to their trade area.

HVAC 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply skills and concepts appropriate for entry level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

HVAC 4100 - Work Experience II
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply skills and concepts appropriate for entry level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock Out/Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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