If you like helping people, solving problems, and working with your brain and your hands, then heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is a profession that deserves your attention. With many opportunities arising now more than ever, it's an exciting thing to learn about. The School of the Osage, which we will provide more information on, is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to become a professional in an industry primed for growth and built on helping others.
Why Consider a Career in HVAC?
There are many reasons to consider a career in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning now more than ever. With the baby boomer generation retiring in waves and the Gen-X generation being much smaller than its predecessor, there are more job openings because there are simply fewer workers to fill the gaps.
This, coupled with the fact that more of the younger generation is going to college now due to the intense focus placed on university career tracks by our education system, has left a hole to fill in many of the skilled trades. One of these skilled trades is HVAC. These generational and societal shifts have left a tremendous shortage of HVAC professionals. Trade schools like the School of the Osage are available and affordable to get you started on a career that will always be in demand.
HVAC Will Always Be in Demand
The HVAC industry is stable because as long as there are buildings and people in them, there will be a need for professionals to keep them in working order. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2022 the field will experience a 21% increase in job growth. There's more people in the world than ever before and in turn, more buildings.
HVAC professionals will be busier than ever in the next decade and what's particularly intriguing is that HVAC jobs can never be outsourced like jobs in many other industries. If a heating or air-conditioning system breaks, it takes a person to be present and work hands-on in order to fix the problem. The work will always be on-site, which affords professionals in this industry long-term job security.
Based on 2016 statistics, the states with the highest concentration of jobs for HVAC technicians were (perhaps not surprisingly) Florida, California, and Texas. States with the lowest concentration were Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. While North Dakota has low job concentration, their technicians have one of the highest annual mean wages. The highest paid HVAC techs in America are in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Alaska. So even if you're in an area where there aren't a ton of jobs available, that just means the earning potential is probably higher.
There has been such an influx in job growth within the HVAC field compared to other occupations. This can be attributed to the influx of new technology available. Older HVAC equipment is less efficient and needs more repairs, while there's a constant need for the installation of new equipment, and with it new maintenance needs.
Problem Solving and Job Variety
It can be extremely gratifying to face a problem, diagnose it, come up with a plan to fix it, and execute that plan. This is just a day in the life of an HVAC technician. Every day when you show up to work, you don't know exactly what problems the day will throw at you. This keeps you on your toes and keeps your brain sharp. Many HVAC professionals enjoy the variety of work and love the fact that it's never monotonous.
This profession also allows you to get outdoors and be in different parts of the city or town in which you work. You will never be trapped in an office day after day. There are so many different
types of projects within the field: new AC installation, new furnace installation, AC repair, and furnace repair are all part of the profession. HVAC technicians also work with air purification systems, humidifiers, and radiant heating.
It's a knowledge-based profession that rewards those who never stop learning. There will always be new challenges thrown at you that you have to respond to in an intelligent and professional manner.
You Get to Be the Hero
If you can recall a time in your life when you were in desperate need of something - anything - and another person came through to help you, then you know the feeling of being saved, of appreciating someone else's work, of being eternally grateful. In the HVAC profession, you get to be on the other side of that every day. You get to be someone else's hero.
When your furnace stops in the winter, it's dangerous. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning - also freezing half to death - makes furnace repair or replacement essential. Pipes can freeze and burst, causing thousands of dollars in damage and you are the one they call to fix this problem. When you show up at their doorstep with a smile and assure them that everything will be alright, and then proceed to fix their problem, you are their hero! The gratification from transactions like these are what keep HVAC professionals coming back to work every day more than anything else.
Education & Certification
There are two main paths to becoming an HVAC technician. The first path is by being an apprentice. This entails starting out as an installer and supplementing your on-the-job training with formal education. Often heating and air conditioning contractors will hire people who are mechanically savvy and teachable. Once you start working and learning on the job, you will also be taking night classes at a trade school like the school of the Osage. If you take classes two nights a week, you can get your HVAC certificate in about four years.
The second path is a full-time training program which can be completed in about eighteen months with the school of the Osage. This path is less common than the apprentice one, but can offer special rewards. With this path, you can advance quicker, take on more responsibility, and get paid more in a shorter time.
There are many different jobs within the industry; you don't need to be a technician to benefit from the HVAC boom. There are HVAC managers, installers, engineers, and refrigeration techs needed to help fill the demand. The manager oversees the job, works closely with his employees and clients to provide the best service possible.
Installers are the technicians in the field. They install, repair and maintain a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Finally, the engineers have a lot of different opportunities and varying responsibilities in the field. They design systems, work with installers, improve a system’s maintenance, and engineer repairs. Engineers can work directly for HVAC companies or at design firms, government agencies, or HVAC equipment manufacturers. To be an engineer, you need additional certificates beyond your HVAC certificate.
School of the Osage HVAC Training Program
Monongalia County Technical Education Center (MCTEC) is the best school to obtain an HVAC certificate in the Osage area. Their heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and refrigeration maintenance technology program provides state-of-the-art training on all of the things we've covered in this article. You can take the courses at your own pace, be an apprentice, or do the full-time program. Whatever fits your needs best, they will work with you.
To get in on the HVAC boom, the school of the Osage, MCTEC, has wonderful and intuitive programs to fit into your life and get you on track to reap the rewards of this profession. HVAC professionals enjoy a variety of work projects and environments, daily problem solving, and helping others to be comfortable in their homes.
Located at 1000 Mississippi Street, Morgantown, WV, 26501; they will be waiting for you with a smile an eagerness to help you start down the path of one of the most exciting trade fields of our time.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professionals are in an exciting time right now. With more buildings and people than ever before, our economy is primed to reward HVAC professionals with plenty of work in the coming decade. In fact, the industry is expected to grow at an astounding rate over the next five years alone, and the fact that HVAC jobs can't be outsourced provides professionals in the industry long-term job security rarely found in the trades. Jobs will be available all over the world in HVAC.
The school of the Osage attracts people who want to make a difference, people who work hard, and people who want to help others. Earning an HVAC certificate is not easy, and it does take time, but nothing in life worth doing is easy. Many proud professionals earn their certificates from the school of the Osage every year and join the workforce as excited, motivated, and hard-working heroes to many of the clients they will come in contact with. Look into the school of the Osage (MCTEC) today if you like working outdoors, using your brain and your hands, and helping people. Best of luck!