Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician
High demand field. Work for an employer or be your own boss. Hands-on experience during co-op work term. Just 20 months until you graduate!

General information

Program code
4 Semesters, plus 1 work term (2 Years)
Ontario College Diploma, Co-op
Work integrated learning
1 Co-op Work Term
Academic area

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2021 Barrie

Program description

Students gain the required skills to install, service, and maintain the environmental systems for residential buildings, including working with a variety of gas appliances, as well as an introduction to refrigeration and air conditioning. Students examine energy efficient and environmentally friendly approaches; and read, utilize, and produce Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning (HRAC) drawings using industry standard software. Students gain the required skills to obtain the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) Gas Technician 2 (G.2) exams in order to become a licensed gas technician.


This program is accredited by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE).

This accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for co-operative education programs in Canada, and recognizes Georgian's commitment to quality in co-op education.

CAFCE accreditation logo

Career opportunities

Graduates are primarily prepared for a career as a gas technician. However, employment may also be found in the areas of technical support and sales within the HRAC industry. Graduates are introduced to transferable practical skills, as well as industry relevant applied math and science, in order to facilitate the transition into a variety of other trades (such as sheet metal, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, and pipe fitting). For those who want to work in these trades, an apprenticeship is required after graduation.

Admission information

Admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent, with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/policies-procedures/


Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Admission details

Gas Technician work in Ontario requires Gas Technician license (Ontario Certificate of Qualification), which is governed by Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). The college facilitates Gas Technician 3 (G.3) and Gas Technician 2 (G.2) Ontario Certificate of Qualification Examinations on campus at the end of the first and third semesters, respectively. The cost of each examination is not included in the tuition fee.

Students must have successfully completed the TSSA Gas Technician 3 (G.3) exam prior to going out on their co-op work term.

Gas Technician (GAST) program students wanting to transfer to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (HRAC) program are required to:

• meet graduation requirements of the Gas Technician (GAST) program

• meet the admission requirements of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air conditioning (HRAC) program including a 12C or U math course or equivalent

• complete and submit a request for program change form

Successful applicants will be exempted from the first 3 semesters of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (HRAC) program.


Program-specific Courses

  • ELEC 1010 - Introduction to Electricity
    (Semester 1 / 70 hours)
  • GAST 1003 - Introduction to Gas Appliances
    (Semester 1 / 70 hours)
  • GAST 1013 - Professional Practices
    (Semester 1 / 28 hours)
  • GAST 1014 - Piping and Tubing Systems
    (Semester 1 / 28 hours)
  • ELEC 1011 - Basic Electricity and Controls
    (Semester 2 / 56 hours)
  • FITN 1002 - Fitness and Wellness
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • GAST 1015 - Gas Appliances
    (Semester 2 / 70 hours)
  • GAST 1017 - Venting
    (Semester 2 / 28 hours)
  • GAST 1020 - Buildings and Air Handling
    (Semester 2 / 28 hours)
  • ELEC 1012 - Electrical Troubleshooting Applications
    (Semester 3 / 28 hours)
  • GAST 1021 - Piping, Forced Air and Space Heating
    (Semester 3 / 70 hours)
  • GAST 1022 - Water Heaters and Hydronic Heating
    (Semester 3 / 70 hours)
  • HURM 1000 - Human Resources Management Foundations
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • DRFT 2003 - Drafting Techniques
    (Semester 4 / 42 hours)
  • HRAC 2000 - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning 1
    (Semester 4 / 70 hours)
  • MKTG 2033 - Professional Edge
    (Semester 4 / 42 hours)
  • MATH 1007 - Mathematics Techniques
    (Semester 4 / 42 hours)
  • SCIE 2001 - Heating and Air Conditioning Science
    (Semester 4 / 56 hours)
  • COOP 1029 - HRAC Work Term (occurs after Semester 3)
    (560 hours)

Communications courses

  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
    (Semester 1)
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
    (Semester 2)

General education courses

  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.
    (Semester 1)
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.
    (Semester 3)
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.
    (Semester 4)

Frequently asked questions

What does Georgian's HRAC program offer?

Georgian’s HRAC prepares students to become more competitive in finding employment as apprentices of the 313A or 313D Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic Trade.

What is the difference between HVAC and HRAC?

For those pursuing a post-secondary education, HVAC and HRAC mean the same thing.  Companies who advertise for HVAC position would also be interested in hiring an HRAC graduate, because upon graduation they will be equipped with the G2 (Gas Technician 2 heating license), a co-op work-term experience and one academic semester of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic training.

I want to graduate from the HRAC program. I have an OSSD but not a grade 12 math credit. Can I become a GAST student and take a grade 12 math equivalent course at the college?

Yes, you can. There are grade 12 math equivalent courses offered at the college that you can take while you’re a GAST student. Although it would be better to obtain the math credit before starting as an HRAC student, you can transfer from GAST to HRAC once you meet the GAST graduation requirements. However, this is contingent on the availability of seats in the HRAC program at the time of transfer.

How many hours would the HRAC program give me towards an apprenticeship?

Typically, having an Ontario College Diploma will not reduce the number of hours you are required to work in the field before you are eligible to write the licensing examination.

I see that GAST courses are offered in the evenings and weekends. When are these courses offered exactly?

The Gas Technician (GAST) program starts every September, with courses delivered in the evenings and weekends. A typical week timetable has 3 week-night courses, in addition to either Saturday or Sunday courses. We do not schedule classes for both Saturday and Sunday so that students will always have at least one weekend day without classes to attend. Classes typically start after 5 p.m. on weeknights and at 8 a.m. on weekend days.

What's the difference between the 'heating' and 'cooling' licenses?

The HRAC program provides training to successfully obtain the TSSA G2 (Gas Technician 2) Ontario Certificate of Qualification. The G2 license is also known as the ‘heating license’ or ‘ticket’.

The heating license is regulated and granted by the TSSA, while the ‘cooling license’ (313A or 313D) is regulated and granted by the Ontario College of Trades.

The heating license can be obtained without apprenticeship, while the cooling license requires three or five years of apprenticeship for the 313A and 313D, respectively.

Do I have to find my own co-op or does the college find it for me?

A co-op preparation course is offered to all of our first year students in co-op programs in order to prepare them for the co-op process and to provide them with information and resources needed to be successful.

Co-op in college is different than co-op in high school, in that it is a competitive process rather than a placement. Students actively participate in the whole job search process in order to find a co-op position. This is done through co-op job postings, which you can apply to through the college database, or opportunities you find through your own independent efforts. We will do our best to get your ready through the summer so that you can find a co-op position in the fall.

When are HRAC and GAST courses delivered weekly?

Both HRAC and GAST have identical first 3 months in terms of courses, content and program start and end dates. However, HRAC is delivered Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm while GAST is delivered several week-evenings and Saturdays. Under extenuating circumstances, GAST students can take their courses Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; and HRAC students can take their courses in the evenings and Saturdays.