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Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC/R)

Entry Level Assessment Blueprint

Specific Competencies and Skills Tested in this Assessment:



  • Demonstrate understanding of basic AC/DC theory
  • Understand and use electrical formulas
  • Interpret and construct electrical diagrams
  • Understand series and parallel circuits
  • Understand and use ohmmeters, voltmeters, and ammeters
  • Identify and test various electrical components
  • Apply and manipulate Ohm’s Law
  • Demonstrate knowledge of wiring exercises
  • Perform troubleshooting
  • Understand and test transformers
  • Replace 3-phase motors (wire for high and low volts)
  • Wire residential heat pump control circuits
  • Test capacitors and calculate multiple capacitors
  • Test fuses and calculate fuse size


Soldering, Brazing, and Welding

  • Identify types of solder and alloys
  • Choose proper flux for each alloy
  • Understand soldering and brazing of tubings and fittings
  • Use nitrogen or carbon dioxide when brazing
  • Understand measurement taking
  • Set-up/use of torch and equipment
  • Demonstrate understanding of gas welder usage
  • Understand leak check procedures
  • Indicate melting temperatures



  • Interpret drawings on blueprints
  • Display knowledge of working with tubing and/or pipe
  • Identify valves and fittings



  • Differentiate types of metering valves
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the function of a distributor
  • Identify methods of defrosting refrigeration systems
  • Identify, test, and calibrate controls
  • Demonstrate knowledge of thermostat installation
  • Test motor starting relays


Installation and Service

  • Identify and use appropriate hand and power tools
  • Test, analyze, troubleshoot, and repair system
  • Service motor components
  • Service coolers (reach-in and walk-in)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of code regulations


Related Math and Science  

  • Use temperature conversion scales
  • Identify modes of heat transfer
  • Demonstrate understanding of British Thermal Unit (BTU)
  • Demonstrate understanding of compression ratio
  • Measuring in increments
  • Calculate GPM, CFM, and CFM per ton
  • Calculate materials cost



  • Identify refrigerant types for proper application
  • Understand how to evacuate and charge a refrigeration system
  • Service and troubleshoot refrigeration systems
  • Size refrigerant lines
  • Understand compressor operation
  • Identify absorption and centrifugal system components
  • Understand defrost procedures
  • Measure superheat
  • Understand refrigeration safety techniques


Refrigerant Recovery   

  • Define recovery, reclamation, and recycling
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Montreal Protocol
  • Identify refrigerants by chemical family
  • Properly handle and dispose of refrigerants


General Safety  

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic first-aid skills and procedures
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ladder safety
  • Demonstrate knowledge of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Identify and use fire extinguishers
  • Demonstrate knowledge of electrical safety procedures
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safe lifting techniques
  • Demonstrate knowledge of correct handling and reporting of accidents
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safe equipment repair practices
  • Demonstrate knowledge of HVAC-specific safety procedures


Computer Literacy  

  • Demonstrate basic understanding of common operating systems
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of basic word processing procedures and techniques
  • Identify and prepare basic spreadsheets
  • Prepare and maintain basic database


Employability Skills  

  • Demonstrate understanding of resumé and job interview skills
  • Identify the components and requirements for effective oral presentations
  • Demonstrate understanding of proposal and technical writing
  • Demonstrate knowledge of organizational skills


Written Assessment:

Administration Time: 3 hours
Number of Questions: 118

Areas Covered: 

Electricity: 20%

Soldering, Brazing, and Welding: 12%

Pipefitting: 5%

Controls: 9%

Installation and Service: 6%

Related Math and Science: 8%

Refrigeration: 10%

Refrigerant Recovery: 7%

General Safety: 11%

Computer Literacy: 6%

Employability Skills: 6%

Sample Questions:

A heat pump changes from cooling to heating by

  1. a reversing valve
  2. compressor rotation
  3. heat application to the refrigerant
  4. de-energizing the outdoor fan


A 50/50 solder is a combination of lead and

  1. tin
  2. nickel
  3. antimony
  4. zinc


When calculating heat loss, the HTM means the

  1. heat temperature menu
  2. house thermal material
  3. heat transfer multiplier
  4. heating thermostat method


The refrigerant used in smaller centrifugal compressors is

  1. R-11
  2. R-12
  3. R-13
  4. R-22


If one of the distributor ports is plugged, the distributor will

  1. equally feed the extra refrigeration to all other ports
  2. feed unequal amounts of refrigerant to adjacent ports
  3. create flow problems for all other ports
  4. pulse, causing intermittent starving and flooding in the evaporator


Performance Assessment:

Administration Time: 3 hours
Number of Jobs: 2

Areas Covered:

50% Gas Furnace Start-up and Check
Evaluation of assigned order, leak test gas connections, test supply gas pressure, test electric connection for voltage and polarity, start equipment, adjust thermostat heat anticipator setting, test manifold gas pressure, test temperature rise through unit, check fan motor amperage draw, perform steady state efficiency test, complete system operation sheet, time to complete job 1.

50% Refrigerant Recovery and System Recharge
Evaluation of assigned order, adjust manifold gauges, install gauges, purge manifold gauge hoses, adjust/position service valves to read pressures, recover refrigerant, replace filter dryer and sight glass, vacuum system, install new refrigerant, restart system, check system operation, complete system conditions sheet, time to complete job 2.

Sample Job: Refrigerant Recovery and System Recharge
Maximum Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Participant Activity: The participant will perform refrigerant recovery and system recharge utilizing the vapor recovery method.