The Path to HVAC 

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A career in heating, ventilation, A/C and refrigeration may not be an expected path for women, but South Texas College is working hard to turn that stigma around. Offering both a certificate and associate degree in the field, prospective students are encouraged to enroll in the HVAC program at STC.

Erika Claire, student at the air conditioning and refrigeration technology campus at South Texas College, opens up about her academic experience. She is pleased to learn that the skills she has learned in her training would benefit her when transitioning to the HVAC workforce.

“You will love the program, especially if you like working with your hands,” she says. “The labs that we have here at school are very hands-on. Everything I learn in class I apply in my everyday life.”

The HVAC is a field that continues to undergo technological advances, opening doors and opportunities for those interested, and one of the highest paying trades in the nation. A field that will always be in demand, students in the program will gain experience that will be an asset to them in the long run.

Students enrolled in the HVAC program can expect to learn how to read blueprints, properly connect HVAC systems, understand the functionalities of an entire heating and air-conditioning system, use testing equipment and more.

Originally enrolling to learn more about this subject to be able to apply it in her everyday life, she was happy to find that it was something that she could truly build off of.

“My main objective was to learn this field so I could do my own maintenance at home and hopefully in the future have my own business,” said Claire.

As listed in the STC curriculum, while enrolled in the corresponding HVAC degree plan, students can expect to gain knowledge and an extensive amount of training in several areas. These areas include but are not limited to refrigeration systems, pneumatic controls and duct controls among others.

The HVAC program at STC is hands-on, providing students with the opportunity to learn what a day in the field would look like as they learn about maintenance, installation, and cooling.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, the background you have or where you come from. [The HVAC program] is a good field and it’s very rewarding,“ she said.

Some basic skills necessary in the HVAC field beyond the program include troubleshooting and computer skills as well as thorough knowledge of and ability to use all tools.

Claire encourages all women interested in pursuing a career in HVAC to enroll in the program at STC.

“I just hope that I can encourage more women to come into the field so we can have a more diverse [workforce],” she said. “This is not only for men, it’s also for women.”

Learn more about HVAC and other exceptional programs and essential careers at South Texas College by visiting bt.southtexascollege.edu/persist. Funding was provided through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with Carl D. Perkins Basic funds.

Students enrolled in the HVAC program may receive the following degrees:

Certificate

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Certificate

Associate Degree
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Associate of Applied Science