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The Demand is High for HVAC Workers

Posted: November 16, 2022 — With each passing year, the number of qualified heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians grows smaller, even as technological advances, operational efficiency, and fuel economy become more and more critical. This presents a problem for a society that depends on indoor comfort and refrigeration, but it also presents a great opportunity for someone wishing to pursue a career that is both rewarding and recession-proof.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates as many as 40,000 jobs in the HVAC/R trade will go begging this year, and that number is expected to increase by 5% each year. The demand is high nationwide for qualified technicians. This is also true here in upstate New York.  Employers are hungry for system installers and service technicians. A person with some basic entry-level skills can anticipate to earn around $42,000 annually, while a seasoned technician can expect a salary exceeding $50,000, even more if employed in the city. These positions include jobs at local HVACR contractors as well as industrial facilities maintenance departments. Emerging industries such as semiconductor manufacturing plants and cannabis production facilities require skilled HVACR techs to maintain and operate temperature-sensitive equipment. The future is bright for anyone who possesses knowledge and the skill to service heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems. But where can someone acquire these skills?

Fulton-Montgomery Community College has an HVACR program that meets in the evening, which permits a student to work during the day using the skills he or she learns at night. For two nights a week in two semesters, students will learn the basics of the refrigeration cycle by training on equipment in a lab. Electrical diagrams and wiring is taught, so a student will be able to read and diagnose problems in equipment. Classes on heating fundamentals and air conditioning further build upon the foundations erected in the classroom and the hands-on lab. Students can also take advantage of an opportunity to take the exam for the EPA’s refrigerant handling certification, which is required in order to purchase, install, or service HVACR systems.  After two semesters, a student can achieve and receive a certificate demonstrating they have taken these courses and have a strong working knowledge of the equipment, which will give them an advantage when seeking employment in the trade. Contractors and companies seek out our students to help fill their vacancies.

New governmental regulations and efficiency requirements are making it critically important to fill these vacant positions with trained personnel.  Your path to a rewarding career that is as economy-proof as any could be can start with some evening courses at FMCC.  More information can be found by calling 518-736-3622 , or by visiting FMCC online at fmcc.edu.

Written by Ronald Sutler, HVACR Instructor.

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