Top A/C & Refrigeration Instructors

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From air conditioning repair to commercial refrigeration, specialists in A/C and refrigeration can put their skills to work in a variety of ways. This includes working as a contractor or going to work for an established company, like Traulsen in commercial refrigeration. Technicians with solid troubleshooting skills and knowledge of computers and electronics may find better job opportunities since they should know how to work on newer systems, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Interest in energy efficiency continues to grow as new federal and state mandates are passed to promote conservation and cost savings, and this is true in the fields of air conditioning and refrigeration as elsewhere. In fact, several of the top A/C & refrigeration instructors on our list have an interest in green technologies and one has even co-published a book.

Robert Stokes

Robert Stokes

32BJ Training
At 32BJ Training, in New York City, Robert Stokes brings more than 20 years of hands-on experience to students in the refrigeration and air conditioning courses that he teaches. He once worked as the chief engineer of a condominium association, gaining extensive experience installing air-conditioning units, replacing compressors and doing refrigeration and air-conditioning repairs. He is certified in air conditioning and refrigeration, has a systems maintenance technician certification and an associate degree in occupational studies building maintenance technology.
Joseph Pacella

Joseph Pacella

Ferris State University

At Ferris State University, in Big Rapids, Michigan, Joseph Pacella is an assistant professor in the school’s HVACR program, bringing hands-on experience to his teaching. He is a member of three Air Conditioning Contractors of America committees, including the standards committee and the Manual N Revision and Manual P Revision committees. He’s done several presentations, including one entitled: “Air Conditioning Troubleshooting” for HVAC Excellence and he even co-authored a book called “Green Awareness: Energy Efficiency, Comfort Conditioning, Electrical Plumbing (Going Green).”

Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey

Northeast Community College

Paul Bailey is an HVAC instructor in applied technology at Northeast Community College, in Norfolk, Nebraska. He is a master tech specialist with the Refrigeration Service Engineer’s Society, NATE certified in air conditioning, air distribution and other fields, and has a bachelor’s degree in technology and a master’s degree in education. He brings more than 10 years experience in HVACR service and contract work to his teaching and has 20 years of experience in education.

Nicholas Griewahn

Nicholas Griewahn

Northern Michigan University

At Northern Michigan University, in Marquette, Michigan, Nicholas Griewahn teaches courses such as Principles of Air Delivery Systems and Advanced Commercial Refrigeration Systems. In fact, according to his instructor profile, some of his favorite courses to teach are about control systems and wiring of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. He is a certified commercial air conditioning and commercial refrigeration educator, has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and EPA and North American Technician Excellence certifications. He is particularly interested in conservation, particularly as related to refrigeration and alternative refrigerant solutions.

Shane Todd

Shane Todd

Ogeechee Technical College

Shane Todd started teaching at Ogeechee Technical College, in Statesboro, Ga., in 2005.  As the air-conditioning technology instructor, he has more than 15 years experience in HVAC, having been a contractor for an area shop. He has a Georgia non-restricted air-conditioning license, Universal EPA Section 608 certification, and NATE certification.  He also has experience in commercial refrigeration as well as residential electrical and plumbing. He graduated with a diploma in air conditioning from Savannah Tech in 1987.


Our list of top AC and refrigeration instructors takes a look at HVACR specialists who have first-hand experience in the field, either through employment with a specific company, through contract work or a combination of both. Most of those on our list are also certified, often having North American Technician Excellence, EPA Section 608 or HVAC Excellence certification or certifications. They may also have done special work in air conditioning or refrigeration, taught classes in those fields or gained other experiences making their skills more niche and unique.

Barry Franklin

Before co-founding Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, Barry Franklin was a VP at a Silicon Valley software company, and is an investor in and advisor for Impellia. Barry believes that education and lifelong learning are paramount. Barry met his wife at Carnegie Mellon University and they have two beautiful daughters. He also volunteers for various committees at his kids’ high school.

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