HVAC Apprenticeship Courses
Hawkeye offers the four levels of HVAC classroom training required as part of an apprenticeship program. Currently, NCCER training is being in the Hawkeye apprenticeship training classes. These training materials were designed by highly-skilled subject matter experts. The four levels of NCCER training is North American Technician Excellence (NATE) recognized and presents theoretical and practical skills essential to your success as an HVAC installer or technician.
Introduction to HVAC
Students will learn the principles of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, and what the Clean Air Act means to the HVAC trade. Topics also include regulatory codes encountered in the HVAC trade, types of schedules/drawings used in the HVAC trade, career opportunities available, the purpose and objectives of an apprentice training program, and how certified apprentice training can start in high school.
Students will learn how to convert measured values in the inch-pound system to equivalent metric values and vice versa, and will also learn how to convert temperature values between Celsius and Fahrenheit. Topics also include how to express numbers as powers of ten and determine the powers and roots of numbers, and calculate perimeter, area, and volume. Students will solve basic algebraic equations, identify various geometric figures, use the Pythagorean theorem to make calculations involving right triangles, and convert decimal feet to feet and inches and vice versa.
Copper and Plastic Piping Practices
Students will learn about precautions that must be taken when installing refrigerant piping, and selection of the right tubing for a job, and how to cut and bend copper tubing. Other topics discussed include using flare and compression fittings, hangers and supports needed for refrigerant piping, and basic safety requirements for pressure-testing a system once it has been installed. Students will learn to identify types of plastic pipe and their uses, and will learn how to cut and join lengths of plastic pipe.
Soldering and Brazing
Students will learn how to solder copper tubing and fittings. Students will also braze copper tubing and fittings and identify the purposes and uses of filler metals and fluxes used for brazing. Topics also include identifying the inert gases that can be used safely to purge tubing when brazing.
Ferrous Metal Piping Practices
Students will learn about ferrous metal pipes and common malleable iron fittings. Students will cut, ream, and thread ferrous metal pipe and will join lengths of threaded pipe together and install fittings.
Students will learn how electrical power is distributed and how voltage, current, resistance, and power are related. Topics include calculating the current, voltage, and resistance in a circuit and using the power formula to calculate how much power is consumed by a circuit. Students will know the difference between series and parallel circuits and calculate loads in each, and will know the purpose and operation of the various electrical components used in HVAC equipment. Other topics covered in this class include safety precautions that must be followed when working on electrical equipment, common electrical symbols, and more!
Introduction to Cooling
This class is an introduction to cooling where students will learn how heat transfer occurs in a cooling system, and terms and concepts used in the refrigeration cycle. Students will use temperature- and pressure-measuring instruments to make readings at key points in the refrigeration cycle. Other topics include the temperature and pressure relationships at key points in the refrigeration cycle, and commonly used refrigerants and proper procedures for handling these refrigerants, major components of a cooling system and how each type works and more!
Introduction to Heating
This class is an introduction to heating where students will learn about heat transfer, combustion, and byproducts of combustion. Students will also learn various types of fuels used in heating, major components and accessories of an induced draft and condensing gas furnace and the function of each component. Other topics include factors that must be considered when installing a furnace, major components of a gas furnace, oil furnace, and an electric furnace. Topics also include performing basic furnace preventive maintenance procedures such as cleaning and filter replacement.
Air Distribution Systems
Students will learn about airflow and pressures in a forced-air distribution system, the differences between propeller and centrifugal fans and blowers, and various types of duct systems. Other topics include metal, fiberboard, and flexible duct, and the use and installation of diffusers, registers, and grilles used in duct systems. Other topics discussed include dampers used in duct systems, and the installation of insulation and vapor barriers used in duct systems, and instruments used for measurements in air systems, as well as temperature, air pressure, and velocity measurements in an air distribution system.
Commercial Airside Systems
Students will learn about commercial all-air systems in buildings and which a particular type of system is used, as well as learning a range of capacities for a commercial air system.
Chimneys, Vents, and Flues
Students will learn the principles of combustion and the difference between complete and incomplete combustion. Topics include components of a furnace vent system, how to calculate the size of a vent, how to select and install a vent system, draft control devices used with natural-draft furnaces, flue gas and how it is vented. Discussions will include how to perform the adjustments necessary to achieve proper combustion in a gas furnace, techniques for venting different types of furnaces, and how to adjust a thermostat heat anticipator.
Introduction to the Hydronic Systems
Students will learn terms, concepts, and components used when working with hot-water heating. Topics covered will include safety precautions on hot-water systems and low-pressure systems, common piping configurations, and calculating heating water flow rates. Students will learn to read the pressure across a water system circulating pump and how to select a pump for a given application.
Air Quality Equipment
Throughout this course, students will learn the importance of humidity control in buildings. Topics include the various kinds of humidifiers and air filters used with HVAC systems, as well as installation and servicing of HVAC systems. Before the completion of this course, students will know the most commonly used air conditioning system accessories, such as humidity control devices, air filtration devices, and energy conservation devices.
Leak Detection, Evacuation, Recovery, and Charging
Students who take this course will learn to perform leak detection tests using common types of detectors. Participants will be required to recognize service equipment used for evacuating systems, and recovering and recycling refrigerant. Topics include how to properly perform system evacuation and dehydration, refrigerant recovery, purge systems using nitrogen, and charge refrigerant into a system using methods such as weight, superheat, subcooling, and charging pressure charts.
This course includes the discussion of the principle of alternating current and safety and protection methods that are necessary when using electrical equipment. Completion of this course will inform students of the different types of transformers and capacitors along with the functions. Students will be able to recognize single-phase and three-phase wiring arrangements as well as the identification and functions of single-phase and three-phase induction motors. After successfully completing this course, students will obtain the know-how to perform tests on AC components such as capacitors, transformers, and motors.
This course is designed to teach students the fundamental theory of electronics and semiconductors. By successfully completing this course, students will know the functions of the following semiconductor devices: diodes, LEDs, and photo diodes. Students will also have an understanding for various sorts of resistors, thermistors, and cad cells. The testing of semiconductor components is covered in this course along with recognizing connectors on personal computers.
Introduction to Control Circuit Troubleshooting
Throughout this course, students will learn the types, operations, installations, adjustments, and troubleshooting of thermostats in HVAC systems, controls, and components. Students will also learn to segregate and repair malfunctions such as electrical problems, faulty power distribution, and load in a cooling system control circuit.
Troubleshooting Gas Heating
Students will learn to perform various tasks regarding gas heating equipment and systems such as basic operating sequence, interpret control circuit diagrams, proper use of troubleshooting tools and equipment, and segregating and repairing malfunctions. Topics also include different burner ignition methods used in gas heating operation.
Students who take this course learn the proper method of troubleshooting various issues in cooling systems and components. Topics covered include segregating problems to electrical/mechanical utilities, using manufacturer’s aids for troubleshooting, using servicing paraphernalia, and troubleshooting safety precautions.
Students will learn the variations and ideology of reverse-cycle heating and geothermal water loops. In addition, completing this course enables students to recognize various heat pumps, components of heating systems, various heat pump ratings, and common refrigerant circuit accessories. Topics also include how to operate, install, and repair electric heat, heat pumps, and control circuits.
Basic Installation and Maintenance Practices
By completing this course, students will be able to recognize, clarify, and install threaded and non-threaded fasteners, and various gaskets, packings, and seals. Students will also be able to recognize and use different types of lubricants and equipment to lubricate motor bearings. In addition, different forms of belt drives and their primary uses will be explained. Before the completion of this course, students will know the different types of bearings, and the causes of bearing failures. Students will be required to demonstrate proper procedures for aligning, installing or adjusting belt drives, various types of couplings, and bearings, along with cleaning and basic preventive maintenance inspection.
Sheet Metal Duct Systems
In this course students will gain an understanding for the basic types of sheet metal such as steel and aluminum alloys. Proper cutting performance, basic layout, and appropriate hanging and support methods are also an important aspect of this course. Students will know the proper method to select, apply, and seal insulation for metal duct work using principles including thermal and acoustic insulation. Topics also include how to install components such as registers, diffusers, grilles, dampers, access doors, zoning accessories, takeoffs and to attach flexible ducts to sheet metal ducts.
Fiberglass and Flexible Duct Systems
Students who take this course are geared with knowledge concerning the layout and fabrication basics of different kinds of fiberglass duct, such as flexible duct. Students will also examine various closure methods for sealing a fiberglass duct. In addition, students gain knowledge about hanging, support methods, fabrication, and repair of major and minor damage of fiberglass duct modules with the use of suitable equipment. Students will also learn how to properly install takeoffs and to successfully fasten a flexible duct to a fiberglass duct.
Refrigerants and Oils
Students who take this course will learn about commonly used refrigerants and the different applications of each. The effects refrigerants have on the atmosphere and the classification by chemical composition are also covered. Students will learn to use the color-coding scheme to identify refrigerant cylinders; describe how azeotropes and near-azeotropes differ from each other and from so-called pure refrigerants; and interpret a P-T chart for an azeotrope refrigerant. Calculation of superheat and subcooling, along with detecting refrigerant leaks, are important aspects of this course. Students will know how to identify the different types of oils used in refrigeration systems, their relationships with various refrigerants, how to test oil for conta, and how to add and remove oil from a system.
Completion of this course will arm students with the knowledge to differentiate between various styles of compressors and will know the mechanical operations and methods for lubrication of each. Students will learn the methods used to control compressor capacity and how compressor protection devices operate. This course also covers commonly used procedures for field servicing open and semi-hermetic compressors such as shaft seal removal and installation, valve plate removal and installation, and unloader adjustment. Other topics include identifying problems that cause compressor failures, system checkout procedures used following a compressor failure, removal and installation of compressors, and procedures used to clean a system after a compressor burnout.
This course covers the purposes and uses of metering devices. Students will learn to operate and identify different forms of expansion valves. After successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify common troubles with the replacement of expansion valves; and will obtain the knowledge to correctly install and adjust select expansion valves.
Retail Refrigeration Systems
Completion of this class teaches students to depict the mechanical refrigeration cycle as it applies to retail refrigeration systems; and describe the differences in refrigerants and applications in low-, medium-, and high-temperature refrigeration systems. Topics include: refrigeration cycle components, supporting components and accessories, defrosting methods, applications, control system components, operating sequences, and wiring diagrams and troubleshooting charts of retail refrigeration systems.
Commercial Hydronic Systems
Students will learn the terms and concepts used when working with hot-water heating and chilled-water cooling systems. In addition, the purpose of each major component of hot-water heating, chilled-water cooling, and dual temperature water systems will be identified. Displaying safety precautions when working with hot-water/chilled-water systems is an important aspect of this course. Students will be expected to identify the differences between reciprocating, rotary, screw, scroll, and centrifugal chillers. The common piping configurations used with hot-water heating and chilled-water cooling systems will be covered in this course. Principles and procedures commonly used in balancing hydronic systems will be identified; as well as selecting, calibrating, and properly using tools to balance hydronic systems. Students will also learn how to read the pressure across a water system circulating pump.
This class informs students of the concepts, terms, and the major components of steam systems. Topics include the basic steam heating cycle. Also covered in this course are the safety procedures necessary when working on low-pressure steam boilers and systems. Students will be able to install and maintain specific steam straps and recognize the common piping configurations used with steam heating systems.
Students will be required to service and perform planned maintenance tasks on selected HVAC equipment, components, and accessories using an acquired checklist and necessary tools and materials. Safety precautions are also discussed.
Students will be able to identify the symptoms and the different types of problems with water and steam systems. Students are required to execute general maintenance on selected mechanical types of HVAC equipment used in controlling and enhancing water quality. Topics also include how to use commercial water test kits to test water quality in selected water/steam systems. Performing inspections and evaluations of a cooling tower or evaporative condenser to recognize prospective causes and presented conditions indicating water problems is a major component of this course.
Troubleshooting Electronic Controls
Completing this class provides students with the knowledge to compare and contrast electronic and conventional controls. Students will be able to understand circuit diagrams and literature from other manufacturers’ in order to determine the operating sequence of microprocessor-controlled systems. Topics also include how to diagnose a microprocessor-controlled comfort system using proper testing equipment.
Troubleshooting Oil Heating
Successfully completing this course provides students with the knowledge to read a control circuit diagram and understand a basic operating sequence for oil-fired heating equipment. Students will be able to effectively create a troubleshooting chart along with knowing which instruments to use as well as the correct technique in troubleshooting said systems. Isolation and correcting malfunctions in oil heating systems is an important aspect of this class. Topics also include the safety precautions necessary when servicing oil heating systems.
Troubleshooting Heat Pumps
Students will gain an understanding of the basic operating sequence and control circuits for an air-to-air heat pump. In addition, students are required to develop a checklist and correctly troubleshoot heat pumps using the correct instruments and tools. Students will learn how to isolate and correct malfunctions in heat pumps by way of using correct safety precautions.
Students will learn to perform various tasks regarding various HVAC system accessories including troubleshooting aids and service instruments, electrical and mechanical functions, and safety measures.
Construction Drawings and Specifications
Completion of this course gives students the knowledge to correctly read blueprints and architect’s plans. Students will be able to apply their knowledge in comparing mechanical plans with the actual installation of duct run fittings and sections, and will be able to apply readings from specification documents and shop drawings. Submittal derivation, routing, and makeup are topics covered in this course. Students are required to develop a field set of as-built drawings and to recognize the steps required in transferring design information to component production. The classification, development, and completion of takeoff sheets are also required. In regards to HVAC systems, students will learn commonly used materials as well as takeoff procedures.
Air System Balancing
At the completion of this course, students will be able to determine the gas laws (Dalton, Boyle, and Charles). Students will also understand fan and pump laws. Students will be able to read a psychrometric chart in order to evaluate and balance air properties and changes in air properties in air and water distribution systems using proper tools and instruments. An understanding of common manufacturing terms used in describing grilles, registers, and diffusers will be gained. Students will also learn how to change the speed of an air distribution system supply fan.
Indoor Air Quality
In this course, students will learn the importance of good indoor air quality and the steps to get to that level of quality. Students will also learn the signs of inadequate indoor air quality and the steps to inspect and evaluate the air quality of equipment and structures. In addition, the causes and actions used to correct indoor air inefficiencies will also be covered. Completion of this course will provide students with the knowledge to recognize and clean HVAC air systems and equipment.
Energy Conservation Equipment
Students will learn to recognize selected air-to-air heat exchanges, condenser recovery systems, coil energy recovery loops, heat pipe heat exchangers, thermosiphon heat exchangers, twin tower enthalpy recovery loop systems, airside and waterside economizers, steam system heat recovery systems, an ice bank-type off-peak hours energy reduction system, and the operations of each. Students will be required to operate selected energy conversion equipment.
Building Management Systems
Students who complete this course will be able to identify the parts and major components of a building management system. Building and utilizing these systems is a large part of the curriculum for this course and includes operating a direct digital controller, installing sensors, actuators, power wiring, and communication wiring. Students will also be able to apply their knowledge to interpret information on a basic front-end computer screen.
System Startup and Shutdown
Students will learn to perform a variety of tasks in this course such as: preparing a boiler for wet and dry storage, cleaning, start-up, and shut down of hot-water and steam boilers, as with various types of liquid chillers, and also with various types of forced-air distribution systems. The testing, adding, and removal of oil from different compressors will also be taught throughout the duration of the course. Students will also be required to examine and clean shell and tube condensers/evaporators and other water-type heat exchangers.
Heating and Cooling System Design
Students will gain an understanding for the steps in the system design process. Individuals will learn how to obtain necessary information in order to complete estimates regarding heating and cooling loads using construction drawings or a job site and to properly execute a load estimate with a supervisor. Students will be able to recognize the factors that affect heat gains and losses to buildings and determine how these aspects influence design. Principles affecting the selection of equipment in order to satisfy the calculated heating and/or cooling load are also covered; using manufacturers’ data, students will be required to select heating and/or cooling equipment under the supervision of an instructor. The various kinds of duct systems and their uses are additional topics. Individuals will learn to use a friction loss chart and duct sizing table to size duct as well as install insulation and vapor barriers such as refrigerant and condensation piping used in duct systems. In addition, students will learn to estimate the electrical load for a building and calculate the effect of the comfort system on the electrical load.
Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration Systems
Students who take this course will learn about different variations of coolers and display cases, single, multiple and satellite compressor systems, packaged condensing units, unit coolers, two-stage compressors, commercial refrigeration system accessories, and refrigeration control devices; also covered are the application, operation, installation, advantages and disadvantages, and the purpose of each where applicable. Other topics include components of ammonia systems and of halocarbon-based refrigerant systems, and components of commercial/industrial refrigeration systems and retail refrigeration systems.
Alternative Heating and Cooling Systems
By taking this class students will learn alternative heating technologies such as in-floor, direct-fired makeup unit (DFMU), solar, air turnover, corn or wood pellet burners, waste oil/multi-fuel, and fireplace inserts. Alternative cooling technologies are also covered in this course for example ductless system (DX/hydronic), computer room, chilled beams, and multi-zone.
Introductory Skills for the Crew Leader
This class will introduce students to the knowledge and skills necessary to be a supervisor. Practical information for leadership, including characteristics and behavior of effective leaders, as well as the different leadership styles will be discussed. Students will learn the difference between problem solving and decision making and will learn safety responsibilities. Topics also include common leadership problems, such as absenteeism and turnover, signals of substance abuse, and essential parts of an accident investigation.