Pathfinder Tech

Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R)


Grade 9

  • Install & troubleshoot oil heating equipment
  • Explain concepts relating to direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC), Ohm’s law, Watts’ law and how they pertain to volts, amperes, ohms, impedance, and watts.
  • Describe and perform an oil burner efficiency test and adjust according to manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Identify, describe the use of, and install various types and sizes of steel pipe and copper tubing.
  • Explain the importance of HVAC&R in modern society.
  • List refrigerant properties and accurately perform superheat, delta T, and sub-cooling calculations.

Grade 10

  • Explain the basic principles of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning & refrigeration systems.
  • List and describe the types of regulatory codes & licensing in the HVAC&R industry.
  • Demonstrate wiring HVAC&R controls, motors, and circuits.
  • Demonstrate the use of wire isolation and line transformers, relays, contactors, timers, sequencers and switches.
  • Demonstrate refrigerant charging techniques of air conditioning and pump systems using manufacturers’ recommended procedures.
  • Section 608 EPA Certification
  • Install and troubleshoot gas heating equipment.
  • Describe characteristics of and troubleshoot 80% and 90% plus efficiency gas furnaces.
  • Install LP/Natural gas conversion kits.
  • Describe and demonstrate the application of various types of electric motor
  • Install and troubleshoot gas heating equipment.
  • Describe classifications, properties, and different applications of refrigerants and use Temperature/Pressure and enthalpy chart

Grade 11

  • Calculate heat loss/gain for a structure. (Manual J ) 
  • Design and draw basic forced-air duct system. (Manual D) 
  • Demonstrate processes and procedures used to troubleshoot and adjust humidification accessories.
  • Describe and use the different standards/codes of measuring indoor air quality (IAQ) such as air-filtration systems, ventilation systems, air-contaminants (pollutants particulates), Ozone, and measuring instruments.
  • Field-test furnace/boiler operation with industry approved instruments.
  • Install and service oil-fired boilers and furnaces.
  • Describe characteristics of, and maintain and service hydronic components (e.g., pumps and circulators).
  • Install and service gas boilers and furnaces to manufacturers’ specifications.
  • Identify career opportunities available in the HVAC&R industry.
  • Describe and install heat pump with electric heating elements.
  • List and describe the characteristics of and test heat pump reversing valves.

Grade 12

  • Successfully complete the R-410a Safety Course.
  • List and describe the characteristics of compressors
  • List and describe the characteristics of metering devices
  • List and describe the characteristics of condensers.
  • List and describe the characteristics of evaporators.
  • List and describe various types of liquid line components.
  • Install and describe various types of suction line components.
  • Describe the structure of the Massachusetts Electrical Code (MEC).
  • Discuss and implement estimating methods for pricing jobs using drawings/prints.

Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R)

The Chapter 74 HVAC/R program is geared for students to actively engage through classroom theory followed by hands on experience using current industry standards to diagnose, interpret wiring and piping diagrams, repair, service, design, and install various types of gas and oil fired heating equipment (hot forced air, hydronic, and steam), as well as various types of air conditioning and refrigeration systems found in the field. Upperclassmen with a “B” or higher average in all of their classes (Academic and Shop) are allowed to apply for Co-Op after January where they can work for a contractor and be paid during their shop weeks.

  • 9th grade students build and fire an OIL Burner 
  • 10th Grade Students build a motor
  • 11th Grade Students build and run a Hydronic heating systems 
  • 12th Grade Students Work on Refrigeration Trainers
  • Cross curriculum projects across grade levels and with other shop and academic disciplines
  • OSHA 10 
  • Section 608 EPA Certification
  • 1000 hours towards Mass Refrigeration License
  • Oil Training counts toward Mass OIL License
  • READING and Writing (Instructions / Processes / Specification sheets) 
  •  Math Skills (Calculating Area / Cubic Feet / Electrical Formulas / Percentages) 
  • Reading Charts /Graphs  
  • Writing Skills Filling out invoices 
  • Problem solving and decision making skills


Upon graduation:
  •  graduation:

    • Service Technician 
    • Service Manager
    • Controls Technician 
    • Refrigeration Technician 
    • Salesperson (Residential/Commercial/ Equipment)
    • Service & Repair Technical Manager
    •  Installation Technician 
    •  Factory Support Technician 
    • Product Representative
    • Preventative Maintenance Technician 
    •  Stock Person
After completion of 1-2 years of post-secondary technical training (apprenticeship, certificate program or associate’s degree):
  • Company Owner  
  • Project Manager 
  • Design Engineer 
  • Facility Manager 
  • Wholesaler Owner/Manager
After completion of Advanced degree (4 year college degree or higher)
  • Mechanical Engineer
  •  General Manager 
  • Operation Manager
  • Instructor 
  • Consultant

Pathfinder Tech offers a wide range of vocational technical programs that give students a competitive advantage both in college and the workforce. These sixteen programs are designed to help students create and follow pathways to a career of their choice.  Pursue your passion and enjoy your education!

The Cooperative Education Program at Pathfinder is an optional experience for seniors and juniors (second half of the school year) having a minimum 1,000 hours in their technical area. Through a cooperative arrangement between the school and employer, the student will receive job placement related to their technical area of study during their “shop week” with wages paid by the employer. To be eligible, a student must have the recommendation of their technical program teachers, meet the required grade, attendance, and discipline standards. The student must also have their OSHA 10-hour card. Some technical areas may require additional certifications prior to entering the program.

To schedule a tour please contact our Guidance Department:
413-283-9701 Ext. 247
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