The pathway to becoming a journeyman electrician.


The HVAC trade requires electrical, plumbing, carpentry, welding and some insulation/sheet metal work. HVAC technicians are able to install, maintain, diagnose and correct problems in heating and cooling systems. This involves tasks working with many mechanical, electrical and electronic components. Technicians are expected to continue formal training to be current in advanced HVAC technology.


"I knew college and a desk job weren't for me. I decided on coming to trade school and have had nothing but great instructors and classmates since coming to SEMCA."

Patrick P.



192.5 Hours Standardized

03101 Introduction to HVAC (7.5 Hours)
Covers the basic principles of heating, ventilating and air conditioning, career opportunities in HVAC and apprenticeship programs.

03102 Trade Mathematics (10 Hours)
Explains how to solve problems involving the measurement of lines, area, volume, weights, angles, pressure, vacuum and temperature. Also introduces scientific notation, powers, roots and basic algebra and geometry.

03106 Basic Electricity (12.5 Hours)
Teaches power generating and distribution, electrical components, AC/DC circuits, and electrical safety.

03108 Introduction to Heating (15 Hours)
Covers heating fundamentals, types and designs of furnaces and their components and basic procedures for installing and servicing furnaces.

03107 Introduction to Cooling (30 Hours)
Covers the basic principles of heat transfer, refrigeration and pressure-temperature relationships and describes the components and accessories used in air conditioning systems.

03109 Introduction to Air Distribution Systems (15 Hours)
Describes the factors related to air movement and its measurements in common air distribution systems. Presents the required mechanical equipment and materials used to create air distribution systems. Introduces basic system design principles for both hot and cold climates. 

03103 Basic Copper and Plastic Piping Practices (10 Hours)
Explains how to identify types of copper tubing and fitting used in the HVAC/R industry and how they are mechanically joined. Also presents the identification and application of various types of plastic piping, along with their common assembly and installation practices. 

03104 Soldering and Brazing (7.5 Hours)
Covers tools, materials, and safety precautions and depicts step-by-step procedures for soldering and brazing piping.

03105 Basic Carbon Steel Piping Practices (10 Hours)
Covers various types of iron and steel pipe and fittings, and provides step-by-step instructions for cutting, threading, and joining ferrous piping.


170 Hours Standardized

03206 Alternating Current (10 Hours)
Covers transformers, single-phase and three-phase power distribution, capacitors, the theory and operation of induction motors and the instruments and techniques used in testing AC circuits and components. Also, reviews electrical safety.  

03302 Compressors (12.5 Hours)
Explains operating principals of compressors used in comfort air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Includes installation, service and repair procedures.

03301 Refrigerants and Oils (12.5 Hours)
Covers characteristics and applications of pure and blended refrigerants and provides extensive coverage of lubricating oils used in refrigeration systems. 

03205 Leak Detection, Evacuation, Recovery and Charging (30 Hours)
Covers refrigerant handling and equipment serving procedures for HVAC systems in an environmentally safe manner. 

03303 Meter Devices (12.5 Hours)
Covers the operating principals, applications, installation and adjustment of fixed and adjustable expansion devices used in air conditioning equipment. 

03211 Heat Pumps (20 Hours)
Covers the principles of reverse cycle heating. Describes the operation of heat pumps and explains hot to analyze heat pump control circuits. Includes heat pump installation and service procedures. 

03215 Basic Maintenance (20 Hours)
Covers information related to maintenance-oriented materials, as well as guidelines for the inspection and periodic maintenance of various systems and accessories. Also covers the application of gaskets, seals and the adjustment of different types of belt requirements for selected equipment. 

03202 Chimneys, Vents, and Flues (5 Hours)
Covers the principles of venting fossil-fuel furnaces and the proper methods for selecting and installing vent systems for gas-fired heating equipment.

03213 Sheet Metal Duct Systems (10 Hours)
Covers layout, fabrication, installation and insulating sheet metal ductwork. Also includes selection and installation of registers, diffusers, dampers and other duct accessories.

03214 Fiberglass and Flexible Duct Systems (7.5 Hours)
Covers the layout, fabrication, installation and joining of fiberglass ductwork and fittings. Describes the proper methods for attaching and supporting flex duct.

03201 Commercial Airside Systems (12.5 Hours)
Describes the systems, equipment and operating sequences commercials airside systems configurations such as constant volume single-zone and multi-zone, VVT, VAV and dual-duct VAV.

03204 Air Quality Equipment (5 Hours)
Covers principles, processes and device used to control humidity and air cleanliness, as well as devices used to conserve energy in HVAC systems. 

03203 Introduction to Hydronic Systems (12.5 Hours)
Introduces hot water heating systems, focusing on the safe operation of the low-pressure boiled and piping systems in residential applications. 


162.5 Hours Standardized

03313 Fasteners, Hardware and Wiring Terminations (10 Hours)
Covers a variety of fasteners, hardware and wiring terminations used in HVAC systems including the installation of these components. 

03314 Control Circuit and Motor Troubleshooting (30 Hours)
Provides information and skills to troubleshoot control circuits and electric motor found in heating and cooling equipment. 

03310 Troubleshooting Cooling (20 Hours)
Provides guidance related to troubleshooting cooling systems. 

03210 Troubleshooting Heat Pumps (12.5 Hours)
Provides a thorough review of the heat pump operating cycle and presents troubleshooting procedures for components. 

03209-Troubleshooting Gas Heating (12.5 Hours)
Covers information and skills needed to troubleshoot gas-fired furnaces and boilers. 

03310 Troubleshooting Oil Heating (12.5 Hours)
Describes the construction and operation of oil-fired heating systems and their components. Includes servicing and testing of oil furnaces and procedures for isolation and correcting oil furnace malfunctions. 

03312 Troubleshooting Accessories (7.5 Hours)
Delivers information and skills needed to troubleshoot various air treatment accessories used with heating and cooling equipment. 

03315 Zoning, Ductless and Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems (12.5 Hours)
Introduces the information and skills needed to troubleshoot and repair zones, ductless and variable refrigerant flow systems. 

03305 Commercial Hydronic Systems (10 Hours)
Review basic properties of water and describes how water pressure its related to the movement of water through piping systems. Describes various types and components of commercial hot-water heating and chilled-water cooling systems and examines how those systems function. 

03306 Steam Systems (10 Hours)
Focuses on the use of steam for storing and moving energy in HVAC systems. Reviews the fundamentals of water that relate to steam and describes the basic steam system cycle. Discusses a steam system’s operational components – steam boilers and their accessories and controls; steam system loads, including heat exchanges/converters; and terminal devices. Steam system valves and piping are covered in detail, including common types of piping arrangements; the components of a condensate return/feedwater system; steam and condensate pipe sizing; and pressure-reducing valves and thermostatic valves. 

03304 Retail Refrigeration System (15 Hours)
Covers the applications, principles and troubleshooting of retail refrigeration systems. 

03316 Customer Relations (5 Hours)
Presents the importance of establishing good relations with customers and provides guidance on how to achieve that goal. Focuses on ways for a technician to make a good first impression and describes how to communicate in a positive manner with customers. The elements of a service call and dealing with different types of problem customers are also covered. 


155 Hours Standardized

03308 Water Treatment (10 Hours)
Explains water problems encountered in heating and cooling systems and identifies water treatment methods and equipment. Covers basic water testing procedures and chemistry. 

03402 Indoor Air Quality (12.5 Hours)
Introduces indoor air quality and its effect on the health and comfort of building occupants. Provides guidelines for performing a building IAQ survey and identifies equipment and methods used to test for and achieve good indoor air quality.

03403 Energy Conservation Equipment (7.5 Hours)
Introduces the trainees to various heat recovery/reclaim devices and other energy reduction and recovery apparatus.

03405 Building Management Systems (12.5 Hours)
Explains how computers and microprocessor controls are used to manage zoned HVAC systems in residential and commercial buildings.

03402 System Air Balancing (15 Hours)
Covers air properties and gas laws as well as the use of psychometric charts. Describes the tools, instruments and procedures used to balance an air distribution system. 

03406 System Startup and Shutdown (15 Hours)
Covers procedures for the startup of hot water and steam heating systems, chilled water systems and forced air distribution systems. Emphasis is on startup after initial equipment installation or after an extended period of shutdown. Includes procedures to prepare the same kinds of systems for extended periods of shutdown.

03401 Construction Drawing and Specifications (12.5 Hours)
Teaches how to interpret drawings used in commercial construction, including mechanical drawings, specifications, shop drawings and as-built. Explains how to perform takeoff procedures for equipment, fittings, ductwork and other components. 

03407 Heating and Cooling System Design (22.5 Hours)
Explains the factors that affect the heating and cooling loads of a building, describes the process by which the heating and cooling loads are calculated and shows how to load information is used to select heating and cooling equipment. Covers types of duct systems and their selection, sizing and installation.

03408 Commercial/Industrial Refrigeration Systems (20 Hours)
Expands on the study of product and process refrigeration equipment by describing systems as well as transportation refrigeration. Various types of defrost systems are covered in detail. 

03409 Alternative and Specialized Heating and Cooling Systems (10 Hours)
Describes alternative devices used to reduce energy consumption, including wood, coal and pellet-fired systems, waste-oil heaters, geothermal heat pumps, solar heating, in-floor radiant heating and direct-fired makeup units. Also, introduces application-specific computer room environmental and air turnover systems. 

046101 Fundamentals of Crew Leadership (20 Hours)
Along with the principles of project planning, scheduling, estimating, and management introduces the basic skills required for supervising personnel. Several case studies are included.