If you’ve ever wondered how the heating or air conditioning system in your home or office building keeps the air temperature nicely controlled, that’s thanks to your Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) technician. Skilled HVAC technicians install new systems or repair failing ones. These systems protect us from winter blasts, melting hot days, and everything in between.
Garry Davis turned to HVAC as a second career after working in masonry because HVAC was less physically demanding for him. After being on disability for 10 years due to a back injury and then a successful surgery, he was able to retrain in HVAC and go back to work. He retooled with Fortis’s HVAC-R program, graduating in January 2020 from Fortis’s Nashville campus. He’s been working in the field since then.
The Career Offers Variety
No two calls are alike, and Davis enjoys the variety. As a certified HVAC technician, Davis works for an apartment complex so that’s his specialty, but he also handles residential homes on the side. The HVAC systems require a thorough check to determine what’s wrong and that keeps the work interesting, he says. The system problem may not simply be a case of low refrigerant in the AC system as he says sometimes is commonly assumed. “You need to do a thorough check of the whole system to determine what’s wrong,” he says.
HVAC Techs Make a Difference
You never know when you’re going to be helping someone out of a real jam with their home. Heating and cooling are so important for people’s comfort, particularly in extreme weather conditions, that solving the system’s problem makes a meaningful difference. An HVAC technician learns to trouble shoot all kinds of problems. The comprehensive HVAC training program at Fortis teaches students to apply theory and principles taught in class and lab settings to real-world simulations.
Davis’s Tips for Students
Davis recommends taking time to learn everything you need to know while you’re in class. “When you get into the field and you’re handling service calls, you need to know what you’re doing,” he says. That means paying attention to the instructor, concentrating in class, and most importantly, completing your homework. “Don’t go in halfheartedly. You have to be committed to learning,” he says.
Also, make the most of the campus lab that offers hands-on experience with HVAC systems. It’s the closest experience you have to the real-world setting before you get into the field, he says. You’ll also have the opportunity to work in the field through apprenticeships.
Whether you’re a young person looking for your first career or someone looking for a less physically demanding job like Davis was, HVAC can be a good choice. Fortis offers programs in 13 states. Visit our website for more information and to find a training program near you. Or, call 1-855-436-7847 to speak with a representative today.