Richland Community College's Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC) has noticed a need for more certified technicians.
According to Program Director Lynn Hudson, certified HVAC technicians are becoming a need around the industry. He says the baby boomer technicians are getting ready to retire and with heating and air conditioning units being more popular than ever, there is a need for those positions to be filled. Hudson adds, its not the family business that it use to be and many companies are reaching outside of their families to hire technicians.
Richland's HVAC program gives students two options to get their degrees. They have an option between a fast track program or a traditional program. The traditional program is primarily night classes, and a person usually has 2 certificates within 3 years, where as the fast track is day classes and can get a student 2 certificates in 9 months.
Anyone who is just curious about the field and is looking for a career change would be good for the program. Hudson notes basic knowledge of tools is needed, but the program teaches a lot of hand and analytical skills that are needed to be a technician.
Hudson explains students vary in age and life experience. His students' ages range from right out of high school to someone in their late forties. With this large variance in age, he makes it his goal to take students through step by step to learn how to fix appliances. Students can currently sign up for fall classes, which start on Aug. 20.
For more information on the program or to inquire about signing up, call Richland at 217-875-7200 and ask for a HVAC counselor.