What Do You Learn During an HVAC Technician Program?

Interested in becoming an HVAC technician but want to know more about the curriculum of an HVAC diploma program? One of the best ways to prepare for a career as an HVAC technician is to complete an HVACR Technician program at MIAT College of Technology. We are ready to prepare you with an HVACR technician program that can be completed in as little as 9 months, attending full-time. So, what do you learn during an HVAC technician program?

What Do You Learn During an HVAC Technician Program?

There are many subjects covered throughout the duration of an HVAC program. Each one builds upon the next, and you\’ll gain a variety of skills throughout each course that prepares you to apply what you\’ve learned on the job.

Schematics Use and Interpretation

HVAC schematics tell technicians how a system works, what parts they contain, where they are located, and what they are used for. Interpreting schematics is vital to understanding how a system operates from a visual perspective. The schematic framework of an HVAC system offers a diagram of an entire unit\’s structure, which can be helpful for both installation jobs and diagnostics.

Tool Introduction and Application

What tools do HVAC technicians use? You will learn about all the various types of tools and equipment real HVAC technicians work with on a daily basis. Beyond wrenches and screwdrivers, you will come to understand how to distinguish the best tool for every job. There are many ways to apply a single tool to HVAC repair, but knowing the best one can make all the difference. MIAT gives its HVACR students their own kit with commonly-used HVAC tools and gauges to help prepare them for their HVAC careers.

Piping and Fitting Basics

Piping delivers water, air, and refrigerant throughout various parts of an HVAC system. Fitting pipes to systems of different scales requires a comprehensive understanding of the various interactive components. The efficiency of an HVAC system is influenced by the materials used to make it, so an HVAC technician must know how to make the right decisions for each client.

Sheet Metal and Fiberglass Ductwork

Ducts are responsible for pushing hot and cool air in and out of a system. Ducts and vents draw hot and cool air out of a room and move it outside through exhaust vents. Sheet metal and fiberglass are two of the most common materials used to construct ducts, and each one has its pros and cons. Through your education, you will learn how to install and maintain both types of duct materials. You will also learn how their makeup influences a system\’s performance.

Air Handling and Hydronics

Air handling is the process of circulating and ventilating air throughout an air conditioning system. Hydronic air handling uses liquid to transfer heat and coolness through a unit. You will learn how the process works from a scientific standpoint and how to work with different models of air handling in a variety of HVAC systems.

AC and DC Circuits and Components

Electrical theory explains how alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) electricity works. In HVAC, AC and DC circuits create a charge and power the unit as well as its components. You will learn the difference between AC and DC currents, how they are used in HVAC, and how to work with various electrical parts.

Heating Fundamentals

An introduction to heating fundamentals will teach you how a heating system works. You will learn all about central heating, which is the primary form of heating in a central HVAC system. You will also learn how to diagnose and repair various types of heating problems customers are likely to experience.

Vent System Selection and Installation

Vent systems must be carefully chosen to ensure they are able to properly function in any given space. Choosing the wrong vent size or material can result in poor performance or breakdowns. A skilled HVAC technician knows how to analyze and assess an area, calculate its load requirements, and recommend the right system for someone who wants to install HVAC in their home.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning processes, functionalities, and repairs are explored in-depth throughout this course. You learn how air conditioning works, what parts of the HVAC are responsible for cooling air, and how to make repairs on real systems.


Refrigeration is part of the HVACR program, but it is also a component of standard HVAC as well. A liquid chemical compound called a refrigerant is used in HVAC systems to cool air using condensers and evaporator coils. You will also learn how various types of refrigeration units work and how to safely handle refrigerant materials in compliance with Environmental Protection Act (EPA) regulations.

Mechanical and Electronic Controls Troubleshooting

There are many things that can cause an HVAC system to malfunction, and it will be your job to diagnosis and identify problems. An HVAC technician must know how to properly assess a system\’s performance, pinpoint the source of an issue, and develop effective solutions. You will learn how to perform HVAC troubleshooting procedures with different types of tools to quickly and efficiently identify issues your clients face.

Load Calculations

HVAC load calculations use mathematical formulas to determine the capacity of a system and its ability to heat and cool a room. Load calculations factor in elements like square footage, windows, sunlight, climate region, and household occupants to determine how many BTUs (British thermal units) a home needs. This helps you select the right type of system for a space given its size.

Inspection and Documentation

HVAC inspections audit equipment to ensure it is operating properly and that it is repaired and maintained according to local regulations. Annual inspections provide insight into potential problems and guide the maintenance procedures in commercial and residential properties. Proper documentation protects HVAC technicians and companies against liability claims and provides accurate records on all the work a professional does. Documentation also provides the structure for contracted work and helps define the scope of a project before it starts.

Customer Relations

Customer loyalty is integral to long-term success for any HVAC business. Knowing how to communicate with clients and increase customer satisfaction is an essential job skill for any technician. As part of your HVAC education, you will learn the importance of building professional relationships with your clients and how to communicate effectively with them. This includes asking the right questions to learn about a problem, giving HVAC quotes, providing support, and offering high-quality service in a polite, non-disruptive manner.

Does a career as a HVACR Technician interest you? The HVACR Technician Program at MIAT is 9 months in length for full time students, assuming no interruption in training, and is offered at both the Michigan and Texas campuses. The training allows students to focus on their chosen field, graduating faster than it takes to earn a traditional 2 or 4-year college degree or complete a 3 to 5-year apprenticeship.

To learn more about the HVACR Program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming an HVAC technician today.