GLOBE — For anyone seeking to find work in a trade, this fall the Gila Pueblo Campus of Eastern Arizona College offers a good option with its HVAC-R (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) certificate program. In this course, students learn not only how to repair heaters and air conditioners, but also how to install them.
Students get to practice diagnosing problems on a simulator that reproduces residential HVAC-R units. Three classes, half of the six needed for a certificate, are being offered this fall – Basic Refrigeration, Basic Electrical, and Motors and Controls. They will be held Monday and Tuesday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. The remaining three classes will be held in the spring.
In Basic Refrigeration, students learn how refrigerant gases work. Basic Electrical teaches the basics of wiring and electrical as it applies to air conditioning and refrigeration, as well as how to draw schematics. Finally, in Motors and Controls, students learn how those devices function, how to repair them and what protects them from overheating. Not only can the course help students go on to careers in HVAC-R, it can also help anyone who just wants to learn how to repair their own air conditioners.
As well as hands-on work, the program offers printed study materials and instructional videos to help students learn the trade. Students who complete the program also earn an Environmental Protection Agency certification, which is required in order to work in the industry. To further prepare students for a career, the program offers three other third-party certification exams. “Right now in Arizona there are over 3,470 job openings,” said HVAC-R instructor George Rocha, an experienced general contractor who has been teaching at EAC for over 15 years. He said that, depending on location, starting pay ranged from $16 to $18 per hour. “Within your first year, you can get into the $20-25 range.
“The program opens the doors to wherever you want to go, even nationwide,” Rocha added. “There are 37,000 openings in the country right now – and you are not limited just to hot areas. Air conditioning does a lot more than just cool homes.” He said it is important in commercial businesses, hospitals, semiconductor manufacturing facilities, food processing, grocery stores and transportation. “It’s everywhere.”
Enroll today in EAC Gila Pueblo Campus fall classes: Fall semester begins August 22.
Financial aid is available for students who qualify. EAC offers a tuition waiver for 55+ students who have lived in Arizona for over a year. For more information on how to register, call the EAC Gila Pueblo Campus Administration Office at (928) 425-8481.