FALL 2016

Michael Covington, Department Chair

The career I ended up with is not one that I knew existed in 1983. I have been in the HVAC/R industry for more than 30 years. now and often wonder why this industry remains hidden. I started my career in 1983 as installation help. When I was promoted to a service technician in 1985, I still just had a job. It would be some 5 years later I realized I had a career. The year 2003 brought new challenges to my career when I made the transition from service technician to project manager. My career took another turn in 2010 when I became an instructor at Sullivan College of Technology and Design. I have been an HVAC/R instructor now for 6 yrs. my colleagues and I often discuss why most young people do not know about HVAC/R as a career choice. Why is our industry still hidden?

Every industry in the world is touched by HVAC/R. People need HVAC/R for comfort from hot or cold weather. The Internet and all its servers could not function well without proper temperature and humidity control. The food industry relies on HVAC/R to preserve and ship their products; even medical fields rely heavily on HVAC/R. The HVAC/R industry provides for the functionality of so many other industries, yet we still are viewed as a job not a career. The HVAC/R department at Sullivan College of Technology and Design are dedicated to changing this. The careers that are available in HVAC/R can’t be shipped out of the country. The entry level career in HVAC/R provides local careers for the next generation of designer, engineers, and project managers, and business owners. The Department of Labor estimates a 14% growth in the HVAC/R field for mechanics and technicians. This means that 40,000 new jobs will be added to the industry requiring many new careers to support them. The Department of Labor also reports the median wage for this career is $45,000. Jobs are available to anyone; careers are for people who claim them. A career in the HVAC/R industry are wide and varied as people themselves, all you have to do is see us.

– Tom Owen, HVAC/R Instructor

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