Knowledgeable HVAC/R Technicians are in high demand. Businesses are “going green.” Homeowners want to shrink their heating and cooling bills, and new technology is rapidly making any HVAC/R system from a few years ago just too expensive to keep. The U.S. Department of Labor expects this explosion of cost-effective HVAC/R systems for homes and businesses to create over 90,000 new HVAC/R Technician jobs by 2020.

Program Coordinator, Paul Flor: 908-526-1200 x8617 or paul.flor@raritanval.edu

HVAC/R Technician

Master the skills and design theory of today’s cutting-edge heating and refrigeration industry and launch your career as an HVAC/R Technician. Someone has to design climate controlled systems, and/or install, repair or maintain thousands of units soon. It might as well be you.

 Pursue one of these two HVAC/R Career Tracks at RVCC:

  • 1-year Certificate Track (31 credits) – Residential Systems ONLY. Prepare for an entry-level technician position. All classes college credit worthy.

  • 2-year AAS Degree Track (62 credits) – Residential AND Commercial training.  Prepare for any level HVAC/R position.  If you choose to pursue further education in this field, all credits in this program are fully transferable towards a B.S. in Applied HVAC Engineering at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

 Once you are trained, we’ll help you find the job that works for you. The program is eligible for federal and state student financial aid.

To enroll in either program you must have a high school diploma or equivalency. 

HVAC/R technician and installer

This 2-semester program prepares you for an entry-level position as an HVAC/R technician and installer of residential equipment in the air conditioning, refrigeration and heating industries.  You’ll be trained to work for an established company or even start your own HVAC/R business. The program combines academic classwork in thermodynamic theory, system design, mechanical, and control training with practical labs that focus on real-world troubleshooting. As a student you’ll:

  • Work with the latest tools and diagnostic equipment
  • Read cooling and refrigeration wiring diagrams, schematics, and mechanical drawings
  • Learn standard operating sequence for residential equipment

CURRICULUM

First Semester

ECTC 101
Refrigeration I 6 Credits

This is an entry-level course for students in the Environmental Control Technology field. Its purpose is to provide the student with a practical blend of technical theory and laboratory skill-building activities. The course content aims at developing in the student a solid foundation in the basics of thermodynamic theory as applicable to refrigeration, and in the operation of the most modern tools, instruments and equipment in current use by field service professionals during installation, troubleshooting, maintenance and service procedures on present day refrigeration and air- conditioning systems.  An emphasis is given to developing the necessary skills for efficient troubleshooting, maintenance and service procedures that would optimize system performance with the objective of maximizing energy efficiency as per equipment manufacturer recommendations.

ECTC 103
Electricity for Environmental Control Technology I 2 Credits

An entry-level course designed to provide the student with the essentials of DC and AC electricity, as well as the necessary electrical background to pursue the more advanced instrumentation and control courses. Instruction will also include instructor-directed bench work and hands-on work on trainers using the latest in electrical instrumentation to introduce the student to basic electrical testing and troubleshooting procedures.

ECTC 202
Heating Systems Design 5 Credits

This is a course which deals primarily with the application of the fundamental facts of engineering to the practical design of central heating systems. Previous knowledge of heat transfer processes as applicable to air conditioning design is desirable.  Classroom instruction consists of engineering design and analysis of hot air (ducted), hot water (baseboards), steam (radiators), radiant (warm floors) and geothermal heating systems. Throughout the semester the student is also trained in the selection of equipment and peripheral components, and in the use of engineering-design and computer aided drafting software.  Particular attention is given to understanding the inherent system inefficiencies that occur due to either over-or under-sizing air conditioning system components and their negative impact on energy consumption and equipment life expectancy.  Students are trained throughout the semester in proper sizing techniques for system performance optimization and energy conservation. 

ECTC 206
Residential HVAC/R Controls and Instrumentation 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ECTC 104- Electricity for Environmental Control Technology II. This is a prerequisite for A.A.S. students only; not a prerequisite for Certificate students.

This is an advanced course in electrical control systems for residential and light commercial HVAC, requiring that students have had either previous training or field experience in the areas of control and instrumentation for HVAC.  This course focuses on residential applications beginning with concepts of automation and feedback for control loops, continuing with a presentation of operating principles of gas, oil and electric heating/cooling control systems and associated equipment, and finally exploring indoor air quality (I.A.Q.) issues. Training is provided in the operation, troubleshooting, diagnosis and repair procedures of mechanical and electrical malfunctions on boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, central cooling systems, humidifying & dehumidifying equipment and peripheral devices, and in the operation, calibration and testing of such systems.  A particular focus throughout this course is towards optimization of control logic for the purpose of energy conservation, via techniques such as thermostat programming, outdoor setback, staging and modulation of equipment components.

Second Semester

ENGL 111
English Composition I 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Grade of A in ENGL 050 Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or Introduction to College Reading and Composition II, grade of B in ENGL 050 or ENGL 060 with co-requisite of ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop or appropriate score on placement test. English Composition I is the first in a two-course composition sequence.

The central purposes of English Composition I are to develop critical reading and thinking skills and to write thesis-driven, text-based essays. The course takes a process-oriented approach to writing that incorporates prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and revising. Students in English Composition I learn basic research skills and apply them to at least one text-based research essay.

ENVI 103
Energy & the Environment 3 Credits

General Education Course: Science (non-lab)

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 Elementary Algebra with a satisfactory score on the placement test.

This course provides a broad introduction to energy and energy issues as they relate to generation options, utilization and environmental impacts. Topics include overviews of traditional carbon based energy sources, nuclear options and alternative energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels and hydrogen. The crucial link between energy and climate change will be examined. The environmental consequences of energy choices on local and global scales will be discussed and integrated throughout the course. Topics will be evaluated by applying basic scientific principles to real world problems. Policy options and understanding energy in a societal context will also be explored.

ECTC 102
Air Conditioning Systems Design 6 Credits

This course deals primarily with the application of the fundamentals of engineering to the practical design of air conditioning systems. The course begins with the concepts of human comfort and their dependence on the proper conditioning of air, continues with cooling load estimating, psychometric analysis, indoor air quality issues, the design of the air distribution system, and the selection of the air conditioning unit and peripheral components. Throughout the semester the student is also trained in the use of engineering design software and computer-aided drafting software.  Particular attention is given to understanding the inherent system inefficiencies that occur due to either over-or under-sizing air conditioning system components and their negative impact on energy consumption and equipment life expectancy.  Students are trained throughout the semester in proper sizing techniques for system performance optimization and energy conservation.

ECTC 104
Electricity for Environmental Control Technology II 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ECTC 103 - Electricity for Environmental Control Technology I

This course exposes the student to a variety of controls which are part of refrigeration and air-conditioning schematics and wiring diagrams, (cooling) units, and aims at integrating such controls into fully-operational electrical circuits. This course develops a working knowledge of refrigeration and air-conditioning circuits by assembling groups of controls in simulators and actual equipment. The student will get to see first-hand the actual operation of motor starters, refrigerating equipment and air conditioning equipment ranging in size from the small window mounted unit to the more complex home and office central air conditioning system.

Total Credits 31

The A.A.S. degree program in Environmental Control Technology builds on the skills learned in the certificate program to prepare you for a more comprehensive and advanced understanding of the HVAC/R field, strong emphasis being placed in commercial systems training.  You are prepared for any number of roles including: technician, installer, designer, salesperson, supervisor, and contractor in both residential AND commercial air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating.

CURRICULUM

First Semester

ECTC 101
Refrigeration I 6 Credits

This is an entry-level course for students in the Environmental Control Technology field. Its purpose is to provide the student with a practical blend of technical theory and laboratory skill-building activities. The course content aims at developing in the student a solid foundation in the basics of thermodynamic theory as applicable to refrigeration, and in the operation of the most modern tools, instruments and equipment in current use by field service professionals during installation, troubleshooting, maintenance and service procedures on present day refrigeration and air- conditioning systems.  An emphasis is given to developing the necessary skills for efficient troubleshooting, maintenance and service procedures that would optimize system performance with the objective of maximizing energy efficiency as per equipment manufacturer recommendations.

ECTC 103
Electricity for Environmental Control Technology I 2 Credits

An entry-level course designed to provide the student with the essentials of DC and AC electricity, as well as the necessary electrical background to pursue the more advanced instrumentation and control courses. Instruction will also include instructor-directed bench work and hands-on work on trainers using the latest in electrical instrumentation to introduce the student to basic electrical testing and troubleshooting procedures.

ENGLISH 111
English Composition I 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Grade of A in ENGL 050 Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or Introduction to College Reading and Composition 2, grade of B in ENGL 050 or ENGL 060 with co-requisite of ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop or appropriate score on placement test. English Composition I is the first in a two-course composition sequence.

The central purposes of English Composition I are to develop critical reading and thinking skills and to write thesis-driven, text-based essays. The course takes a process-oriented approach to writing that incorporates prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and revising. Students in English Composition I learn basic research skills and apply them to at least one text-based research essay.

MATH 106
Technical Math 3 Credits

General Education Course: Mathematics (AAS Only)

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 Elementary Algebra, MATH 020W Elementary Algebra with Workshop or appropriate score on placement test.
This course serves as General Education Mathematics course for A.A.S degrees only.  Intended for students in technology programs who have elementary algebra proficiency and need to apply mathematical concepts in a technical program. Topics including ratios and proportions, metric measures, geometry, practical algebra, and elementary trigonometry are covered with emphasis upon their application to technology.

Second Semester

ECTC 102
Air Conditioning Systems Design 6 Credits

This course deals primarily with the application of the fundamentals of engineering to the practical design of air conditioning systems. The course begins with the concepts of human comfort and their dependence on the proper conditioning of air, continues with cooling load estimating, psychometric analysis, indoor air quality issues, the design of the air distribution system, and the selection of the air conditioning unit and peripheral components. Throughout the semester the student is also trained in the use of engineering design software and computer-aided drafting software.  Particular attention is given to understanding the inherent system inefficiencies that occur due to either over-or under-sizing air conditioning system components and their negative impact on energy consumption and equipment life expectancy.  Students are trained throughout the semester in proper sizing techniques for system performance optimization and energy conservation.

ECTC 104
Electricity for Environmental Control Technology II 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s):  ECTC 103 – Electricity for Environmental Control Technology I. 

This course exposes the student to a variety of controls which are part of refrigeration and air-conditioning schematics and wiring diagrams, (cooling) units, and aims at integrating such controls into fully-operational electrical circuits. This course develops a working knowledge of refrigeration and air-conditioning circuits by assembling groups of controls in simulators and actual equipment. The student will get to see first-hand the actual operation of motor starters, refrigerating equipment and air conditioning equipment ranging in size from the small window mounted unit to the more complex home and office central air conditioning system.

ECTC 110
Computer Aided Drafting for Environmental Control 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to basic CAD (computer aided drafting) techniques using AutoCAD® software. Fundamentals of drawing and editing are presented and practiced.

ENGL 112
English Composition II 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 – English Composition I

English Composition II is the second in a two-course composition sequence that continues to expand and refine analytical writing and critical reading skills. Students produce a series of documented essays based on a range of fiction and non-fiction sources, focusing on the challenges posed by writing longer essays and using advanced research techniques. 

COMM 110
Interpersonal Communications 3 Credits

This course is a survey of concepts, principles, theories, and practices of Interpersonal Communication. Students will participate in small-group and large-group experimental learning simulations that reinforce theory and practice of effective Interpersonal Communication. Emphasis is on self- awareness as the key to awareness of others. Topics covered include listening, self-esteem, self-disclosure, interpersonal dynamics, and assertiveness training. Students who complete this course will become more effective and confident in their relationships with family, friends, colleagues, significant others, and strangers.

COMM 115
Organizational & Technical Communication 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 English Composition I

Organizational and Technical Communication is an introduction to writing and oral communication in business, professional, and technical settings. Students will produce and analyze common communication genres including written emails, letters, resumes, memos, proposals, reports, technical definitions, and technical manuals, and, oral phone calls, meetings, and presentations.

ENVI 103
Energy & the Environment 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 Elementary Algebra or satisfactory score on the placement test.

This course provides a broad introduction to energy and energy issues as they relate to generation options, utilization and environmental impacts. Topics include overviews of traditional carbon based energy sources, nuclear options and alternative energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels and hydrogen. The crucial link between energy and climate change will be examined. The environmental consequences of energy choices on local and global scales will be discussed and integrated throughout the course. Topics will be evaluated by applying basic scientific principles to real world problems. Policy options and understanding energy in a societal context will also be explored.

Third Semester

ECTC 202
Heating Systems Design 5 Credits

This is a course which deals primarily with the application of the fundamental facts of engineering to the practical design of central heating systems. Previous knowledge of heat transfer processes as applicable to air conditioning design is desirable.  Classroom instruction consists of engineering design and analysis of hot air (ducted), hot water (baseboards), steam (radiators), radiant (warm floors) and geothermal heating systems. Throughout the semester the student is also trained in the selection of equipment and peripheral components, and in the use of engineering-design and computer aided drafting software.  Particular attention is given to understanding the inherent system inefficiencies that occur due to either over-or under-sizing air conditioning system components and their negative impact on energy consumption and equipment life expectancy.  Students are trained throughout the semester in proper sizing techniques for system performance optimization and energy conservation

ECTC 206
Residential HVAC/R Controls and Instrumentation 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ECTC 104 Electricity for Environmental Control Technology II. This is a prerequisite for A.A.S. students only; not a prerequisite for Certificate students.

This is an advanced course in electrical control systems for residential and light commercial HVAC, requiring that students have had either previous training or field experience in the areas of control and instrumentation for HVAC.  This course focuses on residential applications beginning with concepts of automation and feedback for control loops, continuing with a presentation of operating principles of gas, oil and electric heating/cooling control systems and associated equipment, and finally exploring indoor air quality (I.A.Q.) issues. Training is provided in the operation, troubleshooting, diagnosis and repair procedures of mechanical and electrical malfunctions on boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, central cooling systems, humidifying & dehumidifying equipment and peripheral devices, and in the operation, calibration and testing of such systems.  A particular focus throughout this course is towards optimization of control logic for the purpose of energy conservation, via techniques such as thermostat programming, outdoor setback, staging and modulation of equipment components.

PHYS - 112
Concepts of Physics 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s):  MATH 030 – Intermediate  Algebra or MATH 106 Technical Math.

This course is an introduction to the concepts of physics and their application to real-world phenomena.  Emphasis is on understanding the phenomena through demonstrations, experience, and experiments in physics and not through mathematical manipulations.  This course may be used as a science elective for non-science majors and is required for students majoring in many of the medical and technology programs.  It is also recommended for those taking General Physics without a strong high school science background.  Topics include classical mechanics, properties of matter, heat and the laws of thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, vibration and waves, sound, and optics.  Credit towards graduation will not be given for both Concepts of Physics and General or Engineering Physics.

Fourth Semester

ECTC 201
Refrigeration II 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ECTC 101 – Refrigeration I

Co-requisite (s): ECTC 207 – Commercial HVAC Controls and Instrumentation

Refrigeration II is an advanced refrigeration course, requiring a basic knowledge of refrigeration systems and components. The student is introduced to operation, maintenance and design procedures for large commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment and associated instrumentation and control systems. Classroom training is enhanced by means of field trips to commercial buildings, when possible, for the purpose of viewing actual equipment at work and receiving additional on-site training through the sponsorship of plant engineering personnel.  The course gives emphasis to understanding the operation of commercial equipment in the context of its performance under varying heating/cooling loads.  Modulation is explained as a means to achieve higher efficiencies.  The concept of the economizer cycle is introduced as an energy conservation technique.

ECTC 207
Commercial HVAC/R Controls and Instrumentation 4 credits

Prerequisite(s): ECTC 206 – Residential HVAC Controls and Instrumentation

Co-requisite(s): ECTC 201 – Refrigeration II

This is an advanced course in instrumentation and controls for Commercial HVAC. The student is introduced to pneumatic control systems and components commonly used in buildings to operate heating and air conditioning equipment. An introduction to electronic and to microprocessor-based controllers currently in use in commercial buildings, often known as DDC (Direct Digital Controllers), is provided. The student is expected to have had previous education (or training) in heating and air conditioning design, be familiar with basic conceptual knowledge of air conditioning processes and with electricity for Environmental Control Technology.  A particular focus throughout this course is towards optimization of control logic for the purpose of energy conservation, via techniques such as thermostat programming, outdoor setback, staging and modulation of equipment components.

ECTC 290
Environmental Control Technology Cooperation Education 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ECTC 101 – Refrigeration, ECTC 102 – Air Conditioning Systems Design, ECTC 103 – Electricity for Environmental Control Technology 1, ECTC – Electricity for Environmental Control Technology II, ECTC 202 – Heating Systems Design and EXTC 206 – Residential HVAC Controls and Instrumentation.

Students gain practical experience working in the environmental control technology industry.  Specific, personalized objectives are created by the student and approved by the coordinator and worksite.  Students train and work in real life situations to achieve these goals.

Total Credits 62