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Pinellas Technical College HVAC Training and Programs Info

HVAC Training School

Do you want to have a good paying, high demand career? Do you want to help people and solve problems? If so, then consider a career in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC). Nearly every home and commercial building has a climate control system, HVAC. As a result, there will always be a need for an HVAC professional to install, repair, maintain and replace units as needed. Pinellas Technical College offers affordable HVAC training to help get your career started. Take a look at what a career in the HVAC industry means for you, and what Pinellas Technical College can do to help you prepare for such a career.

Why Pursue a Career in HVAC

Heating and Air Conditioning Careers Involve Problem Solving

The most interesting jobs are ones that are challenging, encourage resourcefulness and produce great results. HVAC professionals work with many different people, in different locations and solve simple and complex problems, every single day. Technicians need to look at a system, determine why it isn't working and make the necessary repairs.

The position requires mechanical skills, technical aptitude and practical knowledge. It's gratifying to face new problems and solve them and it is even more gratifying to know your work makes a difference. With a career in HVAC, you will be helping people and families by keeping them safe and comfortable in their homes, schools and offices.

Not Stuck in an Office

A career in air conditioning and heater repair means a change of environment each day. If you don't like reporting to the same building every day and doing the same thing repeatedly, a career in HVAC makes sense. Service calls allow you to work with a lot of different people in different parts of the city. Each call is an adventure, as they can take you into rooms, crawl spaces, attics, basements, outdoors, etc., and you work with a variety of tools to fix different problems.

You Get to be the Hero

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When the air conditioner stops working in the summer's heat, or when your furnace stops in the winter, it's dangerous and uncomfortable for families. Add in the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and furnace repair and replacement is very important. Pipes can freeze and even burst, causing thousands of dollars in damage and creating a huge inconvenience to the clients. A career in HVAC gives you the chance to help others by fixing their HVAC systems and making them feel safe and comfortable in their space.

Good-paying Job

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HVAC is a reliable, good-paying, service-oriented profession. The HVAC industry is stable, because if there are buildings with people, there will be a need for skilled professionals to keep the HVAC systems in working order. The economy will always fluctuate. Construction jobs will be in demand, one moment, then at other times they will be scarce. Manufacturing jobs are constantly being outsourced because there isn't a need for someone to complete it on location. Heating and air conditioning jobs, however, will always be in demand and will always require you to work on site; you can't remotely fix an HVAC system.

HVAC Career Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that HVAC technicians have a comparatively high earning potential and they project that by 2022, the field will experience over 20 percent an increase in job growth. Beginners and emerging professionals, with less than five years of experience, can earn $28-$40K a year, which is a reasonable salary for those looking to get started in a new career. In 2016, professional HVAC technicians made over $48,000 a year, on average, with the top earners making over $70K.  

According to the 2016 BLS, the top three states with the highest concentration of job opportunities for HVAC technicians are Florida, California, and Texas. States that have the lowest concentrations are Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Though there aren't as many opportunities, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Alaska have the highest paid HVAC technicians in the United States.

With the influx of new technology available, older HVAC equipment is not as efficient and needs routine repairs and replacements. With new installations, there will be new maintenance needs to fulfill, so HVAC professionals will be busier than ever before in the decade ahead.

There are many jobs within the HVAC field. You do not need to be a technician to reap the rewards. There are always needs for HVAC managers, installers, engineers and refrigeration technicians needed to fulfill the growing demands for new installations. These fulfill many needs:

  • HVAC Manager: A manager is an important part of any team. Managers oversee to the project's success by ensuring their team has the materials and training to complete project goals. They also work with the client to make sure they met their needs to their satisfaction
  • HVAC Installers: The installation crew is system controllers. They install, repair, and maintain a building's HVAC unit and keeping the occupants' comfortable throughout the year
  • HVAC Engineers: Engineers in the HVAC field have varying responsibilities. They can design new systems, work with installation crews, improve a system's maintenance and even engineer repairs 

Training & Certification

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Image Source: by Lawson State Audio-Visual, via Flickr

The training and certification necessary to pursue a career in this industry will vary with different opportunities at different locations. HVAC managers and engineers may require an advanced degree and experience. The most common requirements for an HVAC technician include having a high school diploma, or equivalent, and a basic HVAC certification from a trade school or an additional HVAC-related professional development certificate. Pinellas Technical College offers a reputable and affordable HVAC training program that a student can complete in less than a year for under $2,500.

Pinellas Technical College HVAC Training Program

Pinellas Technical College offers an affordable, accredited HVAC training program, led by trained professionals, that a student can complete in as little as eight months. The current tuition is $2,190, making it one of the most affordable programs in the U.S.

Students who take part gain the skills needed to install, maintain, and repair air conditioning, refrigeration and heating systems, and are also better prepared for industry certifications, including the EPA Refrigerant Handling Certification and ESCO Workplace Readiness Certification. Graduates who enter the workforce can earn an average of $19.90 her hour, or around $41,392 per year.

The mission of the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating program at Pinellas Technical College is to provide sequential, task-specific courses of study which will result in broad industry related knowledge, skills and behavior that the individual will need in order to secure employment in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry. Students are encouraged to become lifelong learners.  

The Pinellas Technical College HVAC Program Courses

Course ACR0041 (250 hours)

Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Helper - Training includes the areas of safety, principles of heating and air conditioning, soldering, brazing, silver soldering, and fabrication and installation of components of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment

Course ACR0043 (250 hours)

A/C, Refrigeration, and Heating Mechanic Assistant - Training include the areas of safety, electricity, control wiring, equipment commissioning, and preventive maintenance operations

Course ACR0047 (250 hours)

A/C, Refrigeration, and Heating Mechanic, one of two (only one offered) - Training will include the area of safety, troubleshooting of electrical and mechanical systems, electric heat and fossil fuel heating, indoor air quality and other properties of air

The Pinellas Technical College HVAC Program Details

Industry Certification(s)

This program helps students prepare for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Refrigerant Handling Certification (Section 608), ESCO Workplace Readiness Certification, and NCCER Certifications. Certifications can help give students an advantage when competing for higher wage-earning positions.

  • Accreditation: HVAC Excellence
  • Apprenticeship: Available.  For more information about apprenticeships, refer to the Clearwater Campus Apprenticeship section in the course catalog
  • Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirement: 70 percent
  • Minimum Attendance Requirement: 70 percent

Basic Skills Entrance/Exit Requirements

Because the field requires mechanical skills, technical aptitude, and practical knowledge, students must show a competency in reading, math and language before graduating. These pre and post-assessments are completed using the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). The required basic skills grade levels for this program are Reading (9th-grade level), Math (10th-grade level), and Language (9th-grade level)

Conclusion

In the U.S. there is a growing need for people in various trades, especially in HVAC. HVAC is a stable, high-paying and emotionally rewarding career expected to grow, exponentially, over the next ten years. If you're interested in a career that pays well and allows you to work in different areas, help different people throughout your day, and solve a variety of mechanical practical problems, a career in HVAC may be right for you.  

HVAC careers often require you to be able to lift heavy equipment or squeeze into tight spots, and you can count on getting dirty throughout your day, but if you are able to handle that, then get started in your new career, today, by enrolling in the affordable HVAC training program at Pinellas Technical College. In less than a year, you can be a certified HVAC technician

Featured Image: by Lawson State Audio-Visual, via Flickr