(WACO, Texas) – The last few weeks have been busy for the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology program at Texas State Technical College.
David Brannen, the program’s lead instructor, said several companies have visited the campus to recruit HVAC students for jobs. Brannen is happy about this because the program has a very high job placement rate for graduates.
“Everybody picks up this time of year because the cooling season is upon us,” said Brannen.
Brannen also said as senior-level technicians retire, younger workers are needed to replace them.
“This industry pays as good or as better than any industry out there,” Brannen said.
Jobs for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 15 percent nationally through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas has more than 25,200 workers earning an annual mean wage of more than $46,000.
Some area businesses said it is difficult finding the right employees to fill HVAC jobs.
Andrew Smith, a recruiter and salesman at Construction Force Inc. in China Spring, said prospective employees need basic hand tools and a willingness to work.
“We can train new people, but it helps to have some of the background,” Smith said.
More than 100 students were enrolled this spring in TSTC’s HVAC Technology program in Waco, which offers an associate degree as well as a certificate.
Brannen said students entering the program should have a fascination with how things work. He said students coming into the program are a mix, from those who know people in the HVAC industry to some who have never touched a wrench.
“I have guys that want to go where the money is and some that want to go home to work,” Brannen said. “Even the small towns need HVAC technicians.”
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to www.tstc.edu.