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NCCER HVAC Courses


The increasing development of HVAC (heating and air-conditioning systems) technology causes employers to recognize the importance of continuous education and keeping up to speed with the latest equipment and skills. Hence, technical school training or apprenticeship programs often provide an advantage and a higher qualification for employment. NCCER's program has been designed by highly qualified subject matter experts with this in mind. Our four levels, North American Technician Excellence (NATE) recognized, present theoretical and practical skills essential to your success as an HVAC installer or technician.

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HVAC Level 1

Module One: Introduction to HVAC

This module provides a broad introduction to the world of the HVAC technician. The most basic operating principles of HVAC systems are presented along with a review of technician licensing and trade-governing regulations. The final portion of the module describes potential career paths for the well-trained HVAC technician. (Module ID 03101-13; 7.5 hours)

Module Two: Trade Math

This module reinforces and extends the math skills reviewed in the Core Curriculum. Common skills practiced include calculations for units of measurement in both the inch-pound and metric systems. Basic algebraic equations are practiced along with the identifying characteristics of various geometric figures. (Module ID 03102-13; 10 hours)

Module Three: Basic Electricity

This module introduces the concepts of power generation and distribution, common electrical components, AC and DC circuits, and electrical safety as it relates to the HVAC field. The basic concepts of reading and interpreting wiring diagrams are also introduced. (Module ID 03106-13; 12.5 hours)

Module Four: Introduction to Heating

This module provides HVAC technicians with an overview of common residential heating systems. Fundamental concepts of heating and combustion systems are described with an emphasis on gas forced-air heating systems. Hydronic heating systems and different types of electric forced-air heating systems are also described.. (Module ID 03108-13; 15 hours)

Module Five: Introduction to Cooling

This module introduces the fundamental concepts of the mechanical refrigeration cycle and examples of the primary components required to make it work. Some common refrigerants and their characteristics are also introduced. Upon completion, trainees will be able to identify typical pressure and temperature measuring instruments and some of the most common primary and secondary controls used to manage the refrigeration cycle. (Module ID 03107-13; 30 hours)

Module Six: Air Distribution Systems

This module introduces the fundamental concepts of air movement and explains how these concepts form the basis for air distribution system design. With an understanding of these fundamentals, trainees are introduced to air measurement devices and the mechanical equipment used to initiate and maintain air movement. The module concludes with a review of air distribution system components and design strategies for different climates. Trainees will also practice using various air measurement devices and interpret charts related to air distribution system sizing. (Module ID 03109-13; 15 hours)

Module Seven: Basic Copper and Plastic Piping Practices

This module introduces the trainees to the various types of copper tubing and plastic piping and the various fittings that are used with them in the HVAC industry. This module focuses on handling, cutting, bending, and mechanically joining copper tubing and plastic piping. (Module ID 03103-13; 10 hours)

Module Eight: Soldering and Brazing

This module explains soldering and brazing as the two methods used for joining copper tubing and fittings. It describes the safety equipment, tools, and materials needed for soldering and brazing copper tubing in various applications. It also explains the preparations required and the processes involved in soldering and brazing copper tubing. (Module ID 03104-13; 10 hours)

Module Nine: Basic Carbon Steel Piping Practices

This module provides the basic knowledge and skills needed to thread and install carbon steel piping systems. In addition, the concepts of assembling and installing grooved piping systems are also presented. The module provides coverage of basic piping system installation considerations and coverage of piping system hangers and supports. (Module ID 03105-13; 10 hours)

HVAC Level 2

Module One: Alternating Current

This module presents the basic concepts of alternating current generation and use. It also discusses how single- and three-phase alternating current is used to power resistive and inductive circuits in HVAC/R equipment. Various types of transformers used in HVAC systems are identified. The basic operation of single and three-phase motors is explained. In addition, the process of safely testing AC-powered devices is covered. (Module ID 03206-13; 10 hours)

Module Two: Compressors

This module presents refrigerant compressors. Since the compressor is considered the heart of any HVAC system, its good health and well-being are crucial to overall system performance and reliability. Compressors can take many forms, but they all perform the same basic function. They create the pressure differential in the system that allows refrigerant to move through the metering device and through the condenser and evaporator coils where heat is exchanged. Because the compressor is the most expensive component in most HVAC systems, it is important that technicians be able to correctly diagnose and correct problems that can affect compressor operation to avoid a costly compressor replacement. (Module ID 03302-13; 12.5 hours)

Module Three: Refrigerants and Oils

This module discusses the refrigerants and oils used in modern refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Today, new technologies and stringent environmental laws are driving changes in the HVAC industry. Older refrigerants that damage the environment are being phased out and replaced with more environmentally-friendly refrigerants. These new refrigerants often require new compressor lubricating oils. These modern refrigerants and oils also have new handling and service requirements with which technicians must be familiar. (Module ID 03301-13; 12.5 hours)

Module Four: Leak Detection, Evacuation, Recovery, and Charging

This module provides trainees with guidance related to servicing the refrigerant circuit of HVAC systems. The four essential service tasks - leak detection, evacuation, recovery, and charging - are covered in detail. In addition, information related to the US EPA's requirements for providing these services in an environmentally sound manner are also provided. Developing the necessary skills to provide these services are vital to the future success of trainees in the HVAC/R trade. To that end, a significant amount of this module is devoted to hands-on practice and the successful completion of its required performance tasks. (Module ID 03205-13; 30 hours)

Module Five: Metering Devices

This module introduces metering devices used in the mechanical refrigeration cycle. The primary function of metering devices is presented, along with related components such as the distributor. The operation of capillary tube, fixed-orifice, and expansion-type metering devices is explored in detail. In addition, the process of selecting and installing thermal expansion valves specifically is covered. (Module ID 03303-13; 12.5 hours)

Module Six: Heat Pumps

This module introduces heat pumps, a very efficient form of electric heat. Compared to straight electric heat, heat pumps can consistently operate at higher energy efficiency. This module presents the operation of heat pump systems in detail with additional emphasis on the most common form of supplemental heat, electric resistance heating elements. The installation considerations of both split and packaged heat pumps systems are also reviewed. (Module ID 03211-13; 20 hours)

Module Seven: Basic Maintenance

This module introduces trainees to the common tasks associated with basic maintenance activities. Specific tasks, such as lubrication and belt installation, are reviewed in detail. In addition, the module provides detailed coverage of the tasks required to complete thorough maintenance inspections of gas furnaces and common cooling/heat pump systems. (Module ID 03215-13; 20 hours)

Module Eight: Chimneys, Vents, and Flues

This module covers the chimneys, vents, and flues that are used with fuel-burning furnaces and boilers. All fuel-burning appliances must have adequate air for complete combustion and must have a means to safely remove the products of combustion. Different types of fuel-fired furnaces and boilers have different and unique requirements for venting the products of combustion. (Module ID 03202-13; 5 hours)

Module Nine: Sheet Metal Duct Systems

This module covers sheet metal duct systems. While other materials can be used to fabricate air ducts, sheet metal has been and continues to be one of the most popular materials for this purpose. Major advantages of sheet metal ducts systems include low resistance to airflow, strength, and durability. In addition to using time-tested assembly methods, modern sheet metal duct systems need to be sealed to prevent leakage of conditioned air, and insulated to prevent heat loss or heat gain through the walls of the duct. (Module ID 03213-13; 10 hours)

Module Ten: Fiberglass and Fabric Duct Systems

This module reviews the application and methods of fabricating fiberglass duct systems. In addition, the installation guidelines for installing a fiberglass system are presented, along with the methods to repair damaged components. The module concludes with coverage of fabric-based duct systems, which have become increasingly popular in a variety of applications. (Module ID 03214-13; 7.5 hours)

Module Eleven: Commercial Airside Systems

This module introduces the air distribution systems used in commercial structures such as schools and office buildings that are divided into comfort heating and cooling zones. The module covers the various types of systems, as well as the air terminals and air source equipment used in these systems. Accessories commonly used with commercial systems are also covered. (Module ID 03201-13; 12.5 hours)

Module Twelve: Air Quality Equipment

This module introduces the factors related to indoor air quality and human comfort. Since humidity is a common comfort factor for all types of buildings, the equipment used to control humidity is presented in detail. The module also covers the air filtration materials and the introduction of outside air into the indoor environment. (Module ID 03204-13; 5 hours)

Module Thirteen: Introduction to Hydronic Systems

This module introduces hydronic heating systems. In hydronic heating systems, fluids (typically water) are used to transfer heat. Fuels such as gas or oil are used to heat the water in a boiler. Pumps then circulate that heated water throughout the structure where terminal devices such as radiators release the heat into different areas. (Module ID 03203-13; 12.5 hours)