Unique apprenticeship program at Eastwick College provides formal training for one of the fastest-growing trade careers
You may not spend your day thinking about it, but heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems are an important part of your life. Known collectively as HVACR, it’s what keeps you comfortable in your home and at work, maintaining the ideal temperature and improving the air quality. Without it, life for many would be unbearable.
It’s a field that holds a lot of promise for those looking to start a new career, with especially high demand in New Jersey. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that job opportunities in HVACR are expected to grow 14 percent by 2024, more than double the national average for all occupations.
Why is the job growth so great for HVAC specialists? Older HVACR equipment is far less efficient than today’s models, costing more to run, offering less comfort, and taking a larger toll on the environment. As a result, consumers and businesses are making the move to implement more modern systems, which will require HVACR technicians to install, repair, and maintain.
Eastwick College has developed a specialized program at its Nutley campus to meet this demand. Students in the fully-accredited HVACR Technology program train in modern hands-on workstations using tools of the trade to become proficient and knowledgeable in the installation, maintenance and repair of residential and light commercial systems. They also learn the electrical, electronic and mechanical components of the HVACR system, including motors, compressors, fans, and thermostats.
What makes the program so unique is its apprenticeship component: graduates of the HVACR program at Eastwick earn the equivalent of four full years of apprenticeship classroom experience required to work in the field, in the form of 567 hours of related technical instruction (RTI). This provides a unique advantage to those looking to start a career in the industry, as employers highly value verified hands-on training, especially in a field that is as versatile as HVACR where technicians have a variety of responsibilities and tasks to accomplish.
During installation of new systems, HVACR technicians prepare the workspace for the installation, which may include construction and installation of the ductwork and main components for the system.
They also help maintain existing systems, inspecting each component in the system to ensure that each portion of the overall system is functioning within acceptable levels of efficiency and repairing any components found to be wearing out or in danger of breaking down.
“If you enjoy working with your hands and are able to conceptualize airflow and how different system components work together, HVACR would be an excellent career for you to consider,” explains President Thomas Eastwick. “Especially considering the apprenticeship experience, which adds valuable career experience to a comprehensive trade school education.”
Graduates of the program meet all the requirements for the valuable Universal EPA and R-410A certifications and are recognized by the New Jersey Association of Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors (NJPHCC) as eligible to enter into their Member Apprenticeship Training Program as second-year apprentices.
Contact us to learn more about the HVACR Diploma Program at our Nutley Campus.