Why HVAC Training for Veterans Makes SenseBy Mahrukh Karimi on Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Utilizing technical and mechanical skills, HVAC training for veterans can lead to a good post-military career and help fill more hvac technician jobs.
Military service is a path taken by around 7.3% of Americans. While some are unsure of where a military career will lead them, all know that it will help shape and guide them even after their service ends. While military careers can span a lifetime for some, others use them as a starting point for future civilian careers.
Joshua Stevens, the lead technician at Sears Heating and Cooling, didn’t always know HVAC was what he wanted to do. He first became introduced to the concept of the trade when he worked on aircraft electrical and environmental systems as an Airman in the Air Force. “The Air Force gave me where I was going to go in life,” Joshua recounts of his time in the military.
The military can function as a place to discover pathways and also as a place to develop marketable skills. Many skills gained through training are transferable and highly sought by HVAC and other field service industries. In the military, veterans learn disciplinary, leadership, and technical skills that provide a good foundation for learning HVAC. HVAC is already a very mechanical and technical field, but with growing advancements in HVAC technology and the rise of HVAC business software, it is important that new hires be able to keep up. Businesses like knowing that their new hires are going to be able to handle the work and apply it; a military background helps them meet these expectations.
Finding jobs can be tough enough in a vacuum. For those who have been out of the civilian job market for a while, the act of job seeking can seem even trickier! Some seek out HVAC as a post-military career because it offers job placement immediacy in a way that other fields cannot. While many careers require years of education or prior experience in order to yield a livable salary, an HVAC technician average salary is around $20 an hour.
HVAC training for veterans can be found through many different avenues. Many HVAC businesses offer apprentice learning positions so veterans can start earning money immediately. With the GI Bill, veterans can even pursue further education for free while working in HVAC. And who doesn’t like a two for one deal?
“I knew I didn’t want to get a four year degree. I wanted to work with my hands so I really jumped on indoor air quality.”
After service, some veterans can find it difficult to transition from military to civilian life. This comes as no surprise; office work can seem very monotonous when compared to the hands-on, adventurous work of military life. Who cares about water cooler chit-chat and paper supplies after you’ve dealt with life and death situations for years?! Many veterans find that HVAC provides an easy transition because it maintains a level of physical and mental stimulus akin to military work. Joshua’s experience was similar. When he finished with the Air Force, sitting down all day was not an appealing choice. “I knew I didn’t want to get a four year degree. I wanted to work with my hands so I really jumped on indoor air quality.”
The HVAC industry also offers an ample supply of open jobs. With baby boomers retiring from the field and not enough people filling those open spots, HVAC businesses are desperately looking for people with interest in heating and cooling. Advances like HVAC business software have helped optimize business operations, but there is still a great need for HVAC technicians. The need for HVACR mechanics and installers is expected to increase by 5.5% a year moving forward!
HVAC training for veterans can result in more than just economic benefits. It can be very rewarding to see a direct positive impact made in the lives of clients through HVAC work. “I didn’t expect the kindness and the relationships I built through work,” Joshua remarks. “Seeing the small things make a difference with customers. I get to help customers improve their lives with the knowledge I have.”
“Get into it, educate yourself, and be the best you can by bettering people’s lives.”
In life, sometimes the twists and turns lead you where you need to go. For Joshua, the approach he takes in working in HVAC isn’t all that different from the Air Force. “Get into it, educate yourself, and be the best you can by bettering people’s lives.”
And the best part about working in HVAC? Joshua says it’s the amount of dogs he gets to see every day.