Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician

Fanshawe's Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (HRAC) Technician program helps students to develop employable skills in this in-demand career field. You'll learn how to view a building as a system and how to design, test, install and service mechanical, heating and cooling equipment. You’ll also explore hands-on lab work and theory.


In this program, you'll develop skills in:

  • welding;
  • sheet metal;
  • electrical;
  • plumbing;
  • heating, refrigeration and air conditioning.
HRAC student working on refrigeration unit

You'll learn from industry-experienced faculty in a small class setting with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. A career in HRAC offers a wide range of job options and opportunities for professional advancement in service and sales, estimating, supporting large buildings, design, installation and more.

Graduates are eligible to write the Gas Technician II and Gas Technician III certificate exams. This program features a graduate hiring rate of 100%.

Career Information

Fanshawe’s Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician program has a well-established reputation throughout the industry for producing high-quality graduates who continue to find a wide range of opportunities for interesting and challenging employment. Graduates are employed in:

  • development and testing laboratories
  • estimating
  • sales and service departments of heating, refrigeration and air conditioning companies 
  • equipment manufacturers and distributors
  • construction companies 
  • technical support of large buildings

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician program:

HVAC Maintenance Technician
Responsible for completing all maintenance work and assist in other areas of an operations department when needed.

HVAC Sales Representative
Responsible for expanding sales, analyzing customer needs and providing products to fit those needs.

HVAC Installer
Assist in the installation of plumbing and/or sheet metal.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Relate effectively to heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning supervisors, coworkers, and customers;
  2. Work safely and in accordance with all applicable acts, regulations, legislation, and codes to ensure personal and public safety;
  3. Select and use a variety of heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning tools and equipment safely and properly;
  4. Solve math and applied science problems required to effectively install and maintain heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning systems, and associated components;
  5. Prepare and interpret electrical, mechanical, and piping drawings;
  6. Install, service, and troubleshoot heating, refrigeration, air conditioning systems, and associated components;
  7. Develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development, that will lead to enhanced work performance and career opportunities, and keep pace with industry changes.


Program Details

Program Code

Program Coordinator:

Mike Kapin

Day Time
Ontario College Diploma
60 weeks

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 Mathematics* (C) or (U)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Pre-Technology Ontario College Certificate
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) AND:
- Any Grade 12 Mathematics* (C) or (U)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required course stated above

  • *Applicants who lack the required Mathematics may be admitted to the program subject to appropriate prior upgrading.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Physics (C) or (U)
  • Grade 12 English (C) OR Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O) 
  • It is recommended that students in the Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) program take a Technical or Apprenticeship Mathematics course within the ACE program.
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Training or experience in any one of the following areas would be helpful preparation for this program: Physics, Chemistry, Electricity, Electronics, Refrigeration/Air Conditioning, Blueprint Reading, Environmental Science, Computer Programming.
Advanced Standing

Advanced Standing

  • Credit for any course in the program will be given to students who can demonstrate that they have the required skills to meet the objectives of the course.
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  • Admission to the Fanshawe College Pre-Technology program does not guarantee admission in a subsequent year to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician program. Successful completion of the Fanshawe College Pre-Technology program, however, does enable the student to be given additional consideration when applying to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician program. The Pre-Technology program is the preferred designated preparatory program for admission to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician program.

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.



Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
This introductory course provides for electrical troubleshooting techniques. Electrical troubleshooting techniques allow technicians to correctly diagnose electrical problems associated with heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning equipment. Combining theoretical and practical work, this course explores basic electrical theory and concepts, electrical hazards and applicable codes. It also introduces electrical testing equipment and safe working practices and procedures.
MACH-1175Basic Gas Technician6
Students will learn hazards and safety procedures that relate to working conditions, and the safe handling and procedures for materials they will be using. Students will be introduced to common fasteners, hand and power tools used in the HRAC field. Students will study the origin and properties of natural gas and propane, identify the characteristics of complete and incomplete combustion, upper and lower explosive limits, potential sources of ignition, carbon monoxide and other by-products of incomplete combustion. In addition, students will examine the natural gas and propane installation codes and code adoption documents, Ontario regulations, and standards associated with the manufacturing, testing, installation, and servicing of natural gas and propane appliances, components, and equipment.
MACH-1019Introduction to Gas Appliances2
This course trains student HRAC technicians to interpret information from appliance manufacturer's installation and service manuals, service bulletins, and safety directives. It also familiarizes students with important sections of a gas appliance manufacturer's installation and service manual and explores the association between the manufacturer's installation instructions and the Natural Gas and Propane Installation codes. In addition, students will be introduced to electrical drawings, mechanical drawings and the purpose of various charts, graphs and tables. This course examines the operating characteristics, features, and methods of heat transfer in natural gas and propane appliances, as well as explaining the purpose of venting and the different types of venting materials used on gas appliances. Customer relations are also studied.
MACH-1020Propane & Natural Gas Piping Systems3
Piping, tubing, hose, and fittings used with natural gas and propane must be installed and tested in accordance with Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code. This course includes the interpretation of the gas code as it pertains to piping and tubing systems. Through a combination of theory and hands-on shop classes, students learn to identify piping, tubing, and fittings, pressure-testing requirements, and purging requirements. Students will also learn how to size pipe systems and the requirements for the installation of polyethylene pipe and fittings, for water, vent, and underground gas service.
WELD-1013Welding Technology/Fabricating Skills2
This course trains students to operate oxy-acetylene equipment to perform various cutting and welding operations. Basic M.I.G. welding skills are taught as well as metal fabricating techniques.
PSYC-1025Human Relations 13
This course is designed to assist the student in developing a greater understanding of the basic social and psychological principles of human behaviour. Emphasis will be on the cultural elements of interpersonal behaviour, socialization and personality development, the self-concept, perception, verbal, nonverbal and listening skills. As a result, the successful student will acquire practical life skills, essential for both personal and career development.
WRIT-1039Reason & Writing 1-Technology3
This course will introduce technology students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
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