Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Technician

Algonquin College’s Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician program prepares graduates to install and service residential light commercial natural gas, propane and oil equipment.

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at http://algonquincollege.com/byod

(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Ontario College Diploma
45 Week(s)

Program Code: 0590X04FWO
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program, delivered in a compressed format over 45 weeks, prepares students for employment in the heating, refrigeration and air conditioning industry. The goal of the program is to provide students with a foundation of knowledge and skills upon which they can build a lifelong career including the potential for a head start on an apprenticeship.

The Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE) facility is fully outfitted with up-to-date equipment and tools allowing Algonquin to teach both traditional, as well as advanced technology used in today`s heating, refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

This program is delivered over three consecutive levels. After successful completion of the provincial practical requirements at the end of the second 15 week term, successful students may apply to write for their Oil Burner Technician 3 (OBT3) and Gas Technician 3 (G3) certificates of qualification. After successful completion of the provincial practical requirements at the end of the final 15-week term successful students may apply to write for their OBT2 and G2 certificates of qualification.

In Level 01, students learn electrical and heating system fundamentals. Courses have a significant hands-on component and are supplemented with training in the essential skills that employers are looking for from their employees in the areas of communications, mathematics, related sciences and computer applications as they relate to the industry.

In the next two levels, students continue their learning in controls, forced air gas/oil heating systems, hydronics, as well as refrigeration concepts while continuing to work on essential skills in communications, ethics, mathematics and related sciences.

Algonquin College is an accredited provider as approved by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). This program incorporates the TSSA approved curriculum for Gas Technician 3 (G3), 2 (G2) and Oil Burner Technician 3 (OBT3), 2 (OBT2).

Students who successfully complete the TSSA examinations are able to install, service, maintain and troubleshoot residential heating systems. Graduates have the potential to enter an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning through employment with a qualified contractor/employer.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at http://algonquincollege.com/byod. Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates.


This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Enjoy a hands-on approach to learning about the heating, refrigeration and air conditioning industry.
  • Are team-oriented and enjoy working with others.
  • Are self-reliant and enjoy challenges.

Your Career

Graduates may find employment as service technicians, installers, or in parts or equipment sales with a variety of employers, such as residential and commercial heating, air conditioning and refrigeration contractors, wholesalers, public utilities, oil distribution companies and different levels of government.

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.
  8. Identify and apply discipline specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
DAT2004 Computer Applications Students examine the essentials of the computer operating system and use current software packages to perform practical workplace tasks. Tasks incorporate file management, file sharing, email and electronic calendars, documents with graphical illustrations, spreadsheets and presentations. Assignments are linked to vocationally-specific problems and projects. 45.0
ELE8131 Electrical Fundamentals Students are provided with both theoretical and practical concepts of basic electricity and electrical circuits that are related to heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems and applications. Students also cover use and application of basic electrical test meters. Lab exercises reinforce both basic circuit design and meter usage.

Co-requisites: HRA8141
ENL1813T Communications I Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practice writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. 45.0
GED2012 Achieving Success in the 21st Century Rapid changes in technology have created new employment and business opportunities that challenge each of us to find our place as citizens in the emerging society. Life in the 21st century presents significant opportunities, creates potential hazards, and demands that we face new responsibilities in ethical ways. Students explore the possibilities ahead, assess their own aptitudes and strengths, and apply critical thinking and decision making tools to help resolve some of the important issues present in our complex society with its competing interests. 45.0
HRA8141 Heating System Fundamentals A theoretical and practical introduction to the fundamental principles of natural gas, propane and fuel oil heating systems is provided. Students are introduced to government codes and regulations regarding the industry and to the principles of combustion. Safety requirements, use and selection of various tools, instruments and fasteners are also studied in both theory and lab environments. The fundamental principles required to plan and install different types of piping for a variety of heating appliances are also covered.

Co-requisites: ELE8131
SCI8510 Math and HRAC Science The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning industry has a long and rich history based on many scientific principles from thermodynamics and the law of conservation of energy to the expansion of solids due to temperature changes. Students first develop the skills to efficiently add, subtract, multiply and divide, as well as calculate distances, areas and volumes in both metric and U.S. Customary units. Students explore exponents and algebra to assist them in solving equations desired unknowns. They study the properties of matter, in particular the Gas laws. 30.0
Level: 02 Hours
ELE8132 Control Fundamentals An overview of building electrical service and basic circuits is provided. Students learn principles and applications of electromechanical and electronic controls and control circuits that are used in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Skills in interpreting, designing, and applying different types of wiring diagrams are practiced and developed throughout the course.

Prerequisites: ELE8131

Co-requisites: HRA8142 and HRA8143
HRA8140 Climate Control and the Environment The heating and cooling systems that we use to stay comfortable affect our environment. Students examine the alternatives to fossil fuels and refrigerants, as well as historical, contemporary and future technologies. Students focus on the human contribution to global warming and climate change, and learn about the effects of, and alternatives to, current climate control technologies. 45.0
HRA8142 Gas Heating Systems Students are introduced to gas and propane fired water heaters, forced warm air heating systems, and other gas appliances in both classroom and lab environments. Theoretical and practical application of cylinders, tanks, gas meters and regulators are also covered along with code requirements. Students learn how to determine venting and combustion air requirements for propane and natural gas fired heating systems, and the installation and application of conversion burners.

Prerequisites: HRA8141

Co-requisites: ELE8132 and HRA8143
HRA8143 Oil Heating Systems Theoretical and hands-on activities in relation to familiarization, installation, wiring, start-up, and troubleshooting of oil fired furnaces and water heaters are provided. Students also perform annual maintenance and combustion efficiency testing on oil fired equipment along with sizing venting systems and applying proper venting practices. The concept of the building as a system is also studied.

Prerequisites: HRA8141

Co-requisites: ELE8132 and HRA8142
SCI8511 Advanced HRAC Science The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning industry has a long and rich history based on many scientific principles from thermodynamics and the law of conservation of energy to the expansion of solids due to temperature changes. Students first develop the skills to appropriately explain the concepts of heat, temperature, freezing and boiling, as well as convert between the temperature scales. Students determine the changes in length, area or volume of objects when undergoing a temperature change. They investigate heat transfer methods and calculate the rate of heat transfer through walls. Students use Ohm's law to solve for current, voltage and resistance in parallel, series and mixed circuits. The relationship between magnetism and electricity is used to create a simple electric motor and to describe transformers.

Prerequisites: SCI8510
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED0590 General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or GED6022 or GED5005 or GED5002 or GED5006 or GED1896 or GED5009 or PSI0003 or GED5003
Level: 03 Hours
ELE8133 Advanced Controls This course is a continuation of the interpretation and use of various wiring diagrams along with developing an understanding of control terms and concepts. Learners add to their troubleshooting skills and increase their knowledge in motors and motor applications.

Prerequisites: ELE8132

Co-requisites: HRA8139 and HRA8144
ENL2003 Communications II for Technicians Communicating effectively in the workplace is a key component of career advancement and essential skills development. The ability to read, understand, reframe and deliver technical information to varied audiences is critical in a competitive marketplace. Students are exposed to a variety of common communication challenges related to working in their field of study. To meet these challenges students are required to do basic research and data gathering, to summarize and reframe written, oral and visual information and to present their findings to a defined audience in an appropriate medium or media.

Prerequisites: ENL1813T
HRA8130 Refrigeration Concepts Students are introduced to heat transfer and thermodynamics related to air conditioning and refrigeration. The basic refrigeration cycle and its components are also covered along with installation, service and troubleshooting skills for basic refrigeration systems. Lab exercises are used to reinforce the theoretical aspects along with teaching basic hand tool usage, soldering, brazing and other piping and tubing practices. Installation and use of manifold gauges, vacuum pumps and other specialty tools are also taught in the class along with hands-on practice in the lab. 75.0
HRA8139 Forced Air Systems Students acquire the theoretical and practical background required to install, maintain and service air handling systems including high efficiency gas furnaces. Students also learn about add-on devices, such as humidifiers, filters, electronic air cleaners and the installation of add-on air conditioning systems.

Prerequisites: HRA8142 and HRA8143

Co-requisites: ELE8133 and HRA8144
HRA8144 Hydronics and Space Heating Students acquire the theoretical and practical background for the service, installation, and maintenance of water heaters, combination systems and hydronic heating systems. Installation, maintenance, and service of a variety of vented and non-vented appliances are also covered in theory and lab classes.

Prerequisites: HRA8142 and HRA8143

Co-requisites: ELE8133 and HRA8139

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $9,289.98. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $22,641.02. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/ro/pay/tuition-and-expenses

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit

Books, supplies, and Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) certification exam fees total approximately $3700 for the entire program, this includes all gas and oil text book packages ($2700) which are required in Level 01. Books and supplies can be purchased at the campus store.

Students are responsible for parking and locker fees, if applicable.

All students are responsible to supply and use their own personal protective equipment (such as CSA approved safety footwear, non-tinted protective eyewear, hearing protection, gloves, hard hat) as required in each lab environment.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MCT4C is recommended).
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:
    • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. OR
    • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with the minimum of 20 in each
      component: Reading 20; Listening: 20 Speaking: 20, Writing: 20

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

Application Information


Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:

60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at ontariocolleges.ca

Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at
https://algonquincollege.force.com/myACint/ or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632
Email: AskUs@algonquincollege.com

Additional Information

Electrical test meters are provided by the College within the incidental fee and become the property of the student.

Students who have successfully met the practical requirements set out by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority may apply to write the external certification exams to become certified as a Gas Technician 3 (G3), 2 (G2) and Oil Burner Technician 3 (OBT3), 2 (OBT2).

For more information, please contact Kevin Lintner, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 6187 or Kevin.Lintner@algonquincollege.com.
Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time