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Blinn student building dream business with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in HVAC

Program provides graduates with valuable credentials and hands-on skills to excel in the industry

Program provides graduates with valuable credentials and hands-on skills to excel in the industry

October 27, 2021

Growing up with Houston’s hot and humid summers, Blinn College District student Bradley Johnson has no doubt that an HVAC career will keep him busy and in-demand.

“Everyone in Texas needs air conditioning,” said Johnson. “If your AC goes out, you are going to be calling someone immediately. It is just a good business plan in my mind.”

Johnson enrolled in Blinn’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in HVAC to jumpstart his career.

“My father has worked in construction his whole life, so I’m hoping I can bring that work ethic to HVAC,” Johnson said. “I’m blue collar, so I love to work with my hands and the idea of a new work environment every day is by far one of the best things you can do.”

Blinn’s HVAC Program is one of eight skilled trades AAS degrees the College offers that equips students with in-depth, hands-on training and valuable credentials to pursue high-wage, high-demand careers.

As the community college partner at the RELLIS Academic Alliance, Blinn students also can take foundational courses that transfer seamlessly into bachelor’s degree programs offered by the Texas A&M University System’s 10 regional universities and Stephen F. Austin State University – a route Johnson is considering.

“I’m trying to get a double major in business so one day I can have my own HVAC business,” he said.

Blinn’s AAS Degree in HVAC provides students training in the fundamentals of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; safety; residential and commercial applications; heat pumps; and Environmental Protection Agency recovery certification. The program follows the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum, a nationally recognized curriculum developed by construction CEOs, trade association officials, and academic leaders. As students work towards their AAS degree, they also earn their HVAC Level 1-4 credentials as well as Blinn’s Occupational Skills Award and Level 1 and 2 certificates.

“This program takes students from knowing nothing to two internships where they get on-the-job training while they are in school. This gives them a real big step up in the hiring process,” said Richard Hobbs, Facilities Maintenance Instruction Coordinator and HVAC Instructor. “The possibilities are endless – technician, company owner, general manager, sales manager, service manager, installer – anybody who is willing to learn and work hard will always have a job in this industry.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC and refrigeration mechanics and installers earn a median salary of $50,590 per year.

Courses for Blinn’s skilled trade AAS degrees are offered at the new RELLIS Agricultural and Workforce Education Complex located at the RELLIS Campus in Bryan. This state-of-the-art, 38,000-square-foot facility provides students with innovative instruction and access to the latest equipment in their chosen profession.

“We have lots of brand-new equipment and continually get more new equipment,” Hobbs said. “We train students in everything from very small residential up to light commercial work and we have all that equipment here that we train on.”

Funding to assist students in these programs may be available through Blinn scholarships, including the Duddlesten Scholarship, which provides up to $2,500 to students participating in a skilled trades program. To apply for this and other scholarships, complete the single application at www.blinn.edu/scholarships.

In addition to HVAC, Blinn offers skilled trade AAS degrees in carpentry, construction management, facility maintenance, power line worker, surveying technician, water purification, and welding.

To learn more about Blinn’s skilled trade AAS degrees, visit www.blinn.edu/workforce.

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