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Del Mar College helping fill gap in the high demand for HVACR workers

Air conditioning
Posted at 6:46 AM, Sep 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-06 15:32:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As temperatures continue to break records this summer, air conditioners are being pushed to the limit. That's why HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigerator) technicians are needed now more than ever.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, there is a projected 5% increase in openings for HVACR mechanics and installers than in previous years.

That's why Del Mar College is ramping up its education opportunities to help its students get certified.

"We are actually trying to get students trained up to be technicians that can go to your home, your commercial property, or even an industrial facility and ensure that we are maintaining the temperatures, " Paul Creacy, the program coordinator for the Building Trades Program at Del Mar College said.

The demand for technicians is due to the growing population in the community and the need to replace older systems — the weather also plays a major factor.

"The summer heats; that AC is flooring it. It's not going to last that long, the extra wear and tear, the extra maintenance that needs to be put into play, as well as different power surges," Creacy said.

Creacy added that tropical storms could also cause an electrical surge, which can cause motor capacitors and different relays to burn out.

Dexter Jackson is in his second week of the course, and his favorite part so far is the electrical part. He said a family friend recommended the course, and he is enjoying it.

"Moving currents making a circuit, finding the problems in the circuit, fixing it, and that's pretty much it. You do everything yourself, and I love doing everything myself and seeing a bigger side of it," Jackson said.

One of the main reasons he started taking the course was because he had seen how successful his friend had been in less than a year.

"I want to be able to support my family and myself comfortably," he added.

Creacy said it's an ever-growing industry that will always be in need of technicians. The starting pay ranges from $18- $20 an hour. And with years of experience, the pay will increase.

"You can take your education here and go anywhere in the world. The science and technology used in air conditioning are good everywhere; even in Alaska, they still have an air conditioning system," he said.

This semester, more than 50 students are enrolled in the program. This is the highest rate of enrollment, whereas Creacy said they even had to start offering the class during the afternoon. Before, they would only offer it in the morning and at night.

The goal of this program is to help fill the gaps in the high demand in the HVACR industry. If interested in the program, click here.