TCC’s new associate degree in Heating Ventilation and Refrigeration Maintenance Technology (HVAC/R) gives students the chance to work toward a career in a growing field where the demand for jobs is high. The gamut of professional possibilities ranges from project manager to computer programmer to diagnostic technician.
“HVAC/R has the highest demand for new workers among the technical fields – that’s both in Virginia and across the nation,” said Harlan Krepcik, program head for the HVAC/R program at TCC and a nationally respected expert in the field.
“The income opportunities are there. The job opportunities are there. The future is bright for someone who wants to get into this field. The demand is enormous, and every year, it gets bigger.”
Beginning in fall 2014, TCC will offer a 67-credit associate of applied science degree that will allow students to specialize in one of five areas: residential, commercial, weatherization, supervision and management, or energy management.
“Specializing in one aspect of the industry is absolutely supported by the business community in Hampton Roads and beyond,” Krepcik said. “That will reduce the learning curve for new employees.”
TCC also continues to offer a 35-credit certificate in HVAC/R. Whether following the associate or the certificate path, students will have obtained the Environmental Protection Agency certification upon graduation.
While knowledge of basic algebra is helpful for students interested in the field, both the associate and the certificate programs are designed to prepare those with no prior background in HVAC/R.
The program also enrolls veterans with some technical background and current employees within the industry looking to increase their earning potential. Women do quite well, also, Krepcik said, though heavy lifting can be required.
The largest misconception about the field is that it’s only manual work. Maintenance and diagnosis are parts of the field – just not the only parts.
“We have project managers, people who spend all day writing programs for large commercial systems, people working in air purification,” Krepcik said. “This is an energy management business; thermal imaging and air quality management are specialty areas of HVAC/R. We’re into all kinds of things people don’t associate with HVAC/R.”
Interested? Contact Krepcik at [email protected]