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Refrigeration and Air Conditioning - Geothermal

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning - Geothermal

Learn a variety of skills in mechanical systems, electronics and basic welding to start as an apprentice with a company that specializes in heating, air conditioning and geothermal energy.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year
$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
Cumberland Campus • Springhill Full time • In-class Seats available


As a clean energy source with immense potential for development, geothermal energy represents a strong area of growth. There is high demand for skilled professionals who have knowledge and experience related to geothermal use and best practices.

Working in this field requires a variety of skills in mechanical systems, electronics and basic soldering. You learn to repair and maintain residential and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems. You also learn to install gas lines, liquid lines and other kinds of piping. Basic skills in oxy-acetylene brazing and welding are covered as well as the installation of electrical circuits and controls.

Learning in a geothermal environment, you build on your refrigeration and air conditioning training with hands-on experience and courses which are certified through the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC). Graduates who complete this program will have taken the first steps towards achieving their requirements for CGC national certification.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

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.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Career options

  • The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Geothermal program broadens the skills you will bring to working in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade and the opportunities you have to work with companies that specialize in heating, air conditioning and energy.
  • Learn more about Refrigeration and Air Conditioning labour market information – Career Options.

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC's Cumberland Campus provides an ideal setting to learn about this technology. With access to some of the world's deepest abandoned coal mines, companies located in Springhill have been some of the early pioneers – tapping into the benefits of geothermal technology since the late 1980s. This experience, along with the opportunity to learn in a geothermal well-drilling environment, provides you with the ultimate learning lab and resources.
  • This program is a first step towards certification in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade. To become certified, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program towards your apprenticeship.
  • CGC National Certification – Graduates who complete this program will have taken the first steps towards achieving their requirements for CGC national certification.
  • Faculty have industry experience and are motivated to see you succeed in your chosen field.
  • Graduates are employable in many occupations, including maintenance and sales of heating and cooling systems and the installation of geothermal systems.
  • Learn to install three types of geothermal systems: Vertical Ground Source, Horizontal Closed Loop and Vertical Closed Loop.

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
COMM 1227   Communications I
COMM 1228   Communications II
ENVI 3200   Geothermal - Energy Exchange Installation
ENVI 3400   Geothermal - Energy Exchange Residential Design
RFAC 1000   Introduction to Safety and Rigging
RFAC 1001   Introduction to Refrigeration I
RFAC 1002   Blueprint Reading
RFAC 1004   Mathematics for Trades
RFAC 1006   Basic Electricity I
RFAC 1007   Metering Devices
RFAC 1008   Compressors
RFAC 1011   Evaporators and Condensers
RFAC 1012   Basic Electricity II
RFAC 1013   Introduction to Refrigeration II
RFAC 1101   Work Experience I
RFAC 1102   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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