Alabama Power and Bevill State help HVAC industry demands with boot camp WBMA 1
by Ashley GoodenMonday, August 26th 2019
JASPER, Ala. (WBMA) — We're talking boot camp, not military, but HVAC Summer Boot Camp. 11 weeks, 295 hours, and a wealth of knowledge.
HVAC technicians are the people you call out to fix your air conditioner.
Statistics show there will be a shortage of over 100,000 technicians by the year 2021.
Alabama Power and Bevill State Community College are working together to meet the demands of the HVAC industry. There will be around 84,000 new HVAC jobs by the year 2024.
"Huge deficit of technicians and people who come in and learn this industry...They will have a job forever if they learn it and get good at it," says Jeff Marquess, senior training analyst at the HVAC Training Center in Jasper.
Marquess is one of the instructors for the boot camp who spent much time in the industry.
"My learning curve would have been a lot steeper, I would have learned a lot faster, and I would have progressed a lot quicker in my career if I had been able to start off at a place like this," says Marquess.
He's glad to pass on his knowledge. Since technology is changing, so is the industry.
"A lot of the technicians that have been in this industry for so long, a lot of them are retiring and there's just not a lot of people, young people, coming into this profession. I don't think they realize how lucrative it can be," Marquess says.
Clifton Mcdaniel, one of the boot camp students does, thanks to a friend.
"I actually saw what he was doing and buying with his earnings and I was like 'what do you do?' and he told me and I was like ok, that sounds pretty interesting," says Mcdaniel who says he'd reached a dead end with his trucking career and decided to try something new.
Here's how interesting: The median annual salary for HVACR technicians and installers is almost 46 thousand dollars ($45,910), and it gets higher with experience.
Also, by choosing a 2 year career education instead of a 4 year college education, you'd save around $90,000 on tuition.
"I felt like I was skillful enough to actually try it, so here I am. I'm at the end of it. I'm pretty excited," says Mcdaniel.
The five students in this year's boot camp will graduate from the program on Wednesday.
If you want to get involved in the next boot camp, you can reach out to Amanda Clement Tice at email@example.com or Charles Ireland at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Summer Boot Camp is an accelerated non-credit training program that teaches the technical knowledge and skills to repair, install, service, and maintain the operating condition of heating, air conditions, and refrigeration systems.