Commercial refrigeration and restaurant equipment technicians install, repair and maintain refrigeration, air conditioning and heating equipment. Training programs at community colleges across the country provide a solid foundation in the necessary skills for this career. Many schools that the Ranking Web of Universities ranked in the top 20 percent of over 22,000 colleges world-wide offer affordable programs that encourage students to continue, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Programs differ according to school, but all offer solid technical training.
Hudson Valley Community College
Hudson Valley Community College of Troy, New York, offers an associate degree in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration or HVAC/R technical services. Students receive instruction in refrigeration, heat-transfer, design and electrical theory and application, using a combination of lecture and hands-on laboratory training. The program boasts nearly 100 percent job placement, while the school had an average full-time net cost after grants and scholarships of $9,640 and a 55 percent retention rate.
The Community College of Baltimore County
The Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland, offers an associate and certificate program in heating, ventilation and air conditioning and energy technology. The program provides coursework, such as commercial HVAC systems, commercial controls, commercial refrigeration and alternative and renewable energy systems. The rapidly expanding program is at a school with an average net cost of $7,637 and a 49 percent retention rate.
Houston Community College
Houston Community College in Texas offers certificate programs in basic air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technology, designed to train students in basic technology and to pass the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification test. Coursework includes training in commercial refrigeration, commercial air conditioning and specialized commercial refrigeration. The school has an average net cost of $8,953 and a retention rate of 59 percent.
City Colleges of Chicago at Kennedy-King
The City Colleges of Chicago at Kennedy-King offers a basic certificate in commercial refrigeration plus an associate degree or an advanced certificate in air conditioning and refrigeration in a state-of-the-art facility. The associate degree program includes coursework, such as commercial refrigeration, engineering communications, advanced control systems and welding. The newly constructed campus boasts an average class size of 25 students, with a net cost of $8,753 and a retention rate of 48 percent.
College of Southern Nevada
The College of Southern Nevada at Las Vegas offers an associate degree and a certificate in air condition technology. The associate degree offers coursework, such as heat pumps, commercial refrigeration and HVAC mechanical theory and application, that leads to EPA certification. The school had a net cost of $6,404, however, due to many short-term certificate programs, no retention rate is available.
Honolulu Community College
The University of Hawaii at Honolulu Community College offers a certificate of achievement or an associate degree in refrigeration and air conditioning technology. Students receive training in design, service, repair and installation, learning to work with commercial equipment such as liquid chillers and commercial ice machines. Instruction includes commercial refrigeration, air conditioning and on-the job cooperative education. The school offers very affordable tuition rates and small classes that result in a net cost of $3,964 and a retention rate of 56 percent.
- Ranking Web of Universities: United States of America
- U. S. Department of Education: Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator
- Hudson Valley Community College: Academic Programs, Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technical Services
- The Community College of Baltimore County: School of Applied and Information Technology, Technical Studies, HVACR Technology
- Houston Community College: Programs, Basic Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate
- City Colleges of Chicago at Kennedy-King: Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
- College of Southern Nevada: Academics, Air Conditioning Technology
- University of Hawaii at Honolulu Community College: Refrigeration and Air Condition Technology
John Huddle is an Army veteran with enlisted service as general hospital staff and hospital chaplain's assistant. His career also included stints as a teacher, adjunct faculty, administrator and school psychologist. Twice, Dr. Huddle was a major party nominee for state office. He also served as a director on several nonprofit boards. Today he enjoys consulting and lobbying for underdog causes.