HVAC Technician Training Program in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction
HVAC Technician Training Program in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction

As summer starts to heat up, we are reminded of how essential it is to keep cool. Especially in the summer sunshine, we find respite in our cool homes and with our icy beverages, which make this wonderful time of year even better.

Have you ever given thought to the people who help keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter? Imagine not having that perfectly air conditioned home after a hot, busy day running around town. Or what if your holiday party was ruined by a broken heater?

An industry that requires year-round maintenance and is in high demand, refrigeration and HVAC specialists are the heroes who keep homes, offices, schools, and more functioning and comfortable.

Become an HVAC Hero Today

One of the most common questions we get, though, is what do these technicians do each day, and what is the program like at IntelliTec? We have outlined some of the most important information you will need to determine if this is the right career path for you!

What Do I Learn in HVAC Trade School?

IntelliTec only equips you with the information you need to be successful in the workplace. Rather than taking basic requirements and general education courses, you dive right into the real, hands-on work that your industry requires.

In our Refrigeration and HVAC program, you will do the following:

  • Train for entry-level employment, developing necessary skills for your new job
  • Develop computer skills needed for the latest in HVAC technologies
  • Get an HVAC-R toolkit, which includes the best brands and best quality products for your career
  • Take specialized classes that offer personal instruction, walking you through each step you need to know
  • Earn the skills and knowledge needed to pass industry certification tests

What Kind of People are HVAC Technicians?

Refrigeration and HVAC technicians are problem solvers. They are often met with people who need a fast solution, and they are ready to jump in and find the issue.

These people are often analytical and strategic, knowing just what to do when a problem arises. They aren’t afraid to dig deeper and take the time necessary to get a job done the right way.

HVAC technicians and refrigeration specialists are friendly, meeting customers from all walks of life. Interacting with various types of people means being able to relate to others, hear their problems, and work efficiently to get their lives back to normal.

Some of the best customer service that an HVAC or refrigeration professional can provide is to be kind, be quick, and be thorough in finding a solution that lasts for the customer.

How Long is HVAC Trade School?

Depending on where you go to HVAC school and what type of degree you choose to earn, your program length can vary.

Not only is IntelliTec an accredited college, but our HVAC trade school program is designed to be completed in as few as 18 months. In less than two years, you will be ready to sit for your industry certification exams. Plus, our program results in an associate of occupational studies degree, rather than a certificate.

This degree builds the base for you to continue your education, earning additional certifications and specialities that will make you even more attractive to potential employers!

At IntelliTec, we operate on a rolling basis for enrollment, giving students the opportunity to start classes nearly every month. Instead of many schools that operate on a semester-long calendar, we offer classes to students that are convenient for their schedules.

What Careers Are Offered to HVAC Specialists?

Once you’ve completed your Refrigeration and HVAC degree program, what is next?

Starting a new career journey in the HVAC-R industry means you are open to many positions that the field needs. Some of these roles may include:

  • HVAC Service Technician
  • HVAC Control Technician
  • HVAC Mechanic & Installer
  • Refrigeration Technician
  • Refrigeration & Mechanic Installer
  • Air Pressure Technician
  • Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • Heating Equipment Technician
  • Facility Maintenance Technician
  • Environmental Maintenance Technician

From the list above, you see just how many directions your career can take you! Once you begin classes, you will quickly learn which career – in HVAC or refrigeration – makes the most sense for your interests and skills.

Learning in hands-on environment means you will never second guess the right job opportunity for you. Since you are learning by doing in our classrooms, you will never be surprised by the demands of working in the real world. We are here to prepare you for every step of your new career.

Apply to HVAC-R School Today!

Learn More About The Program

HVAC technicianIf you’re someone who loves working with their hands to solve a problem, you may want to think about becoming a refrigeration and HVAC technician.

In this role, individuals and businesses will rely on your unique skill set to ensure these machines are able to perform the way they were designed, even when problems emerge.

What Is a Refrigeration and HVAC Technician?

Before we delve into the details about working as a refrigeration and HVAC technician, let’s quickly cover the basics of what this role entails.

These technicians install, repair, and maintain refrigeration and HVAC systems.

Examples of these systems include:

  • Air Conditioning Units
  • Commercial Refrigerators
  • Commercial Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers
  • Radiant Systems
  • Chillers
  • Boilers
  • Heat Pumps

Most people are familiar with HVAC technicians who have come to their home when their air conditioning system broke down during a particularly hot day and saved them by turning the cold air back on.

However, these technicians are just as important in commercial settings, too. If you think about the refrigeration requirements of dairy products or hospitals that need to maintain specimens, the working knowledge of HVAC technicians become absolutely vital.

A Day in the Life of a Refrigeration and HVAC Technician

Your daily duties as a refrigeration and HVAC technician will mostly involve some combination of the following:

  • Taking calls from people who need your help
  • Scheduling customers’ services calls
  • Drive to worksites
  • Look over blueprints for refrigeration and HVAC systems
  • Order replacement parts
  • Connect systems to air ducts, water supply, and fuel lines, and other components
  • Install electrical controls and wiring and test those connections
  • Inspect and maintain HVAC and refrigeration systems
  • Troubleshoot HVAC and refrigeration systems

However, how you spend your day will depend on who employs you.

For example, you may work as a repairperson for homes, which means most of your day will involve taking calls, driving to people’s houses, and fixing their HVAC systems. You could also be employed by a large university or hospital, which would mean your job would involve regularly troubleshooting these systems and working on them as required.

As just about every modern building – both commercial and residential – requires some kind of HVAC and/or refrigeration system, the job field for qualified candidates is extremely diverse.

Jobs for Refrigeration and HVAC Technicians

Speaking of employment, here are some of the most common job titles you’ll see for people who have received training as refrigeration and HVAC technicians (not all of these are entry-level positions):

  • Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • Air Pressure Technician
  • Environmental Maintenance Technician
  • Facility Maintenance Technician
  • Heating Equipment Technician
  • HVAC Control Technician
  • HVAC Foreman
  • HVAC Installer
  • HVAC Mechanic & Installer
  • HVAC Service Technician
  • Maintenance Plant Engineer
  • Refrigeration Mechanic & Installer
  • Refrigeration Technician

Eventually, you may decide to start your own business, too, focusing on HVAC and refrigeration services either for people’s homes or their businesses.

Contact us today. At IntelliTec Colleges, we offer a program that can be completed in as few as 18 months, at which point, you’ll be ready to sit for your certifications and then begin work.

Would You Like Working as an HVAC Technician?

If you don’t like working with your hands, you won’t enjoy working as an HVAC technician. This is something you’ll need to do every single day and there’s also a certain physical component that goes along with that. You may need to climb up into air ducts or on top of roofs.

Those aren’t the only prerequisites for enjoying this work, though. The following are also traits you should think about before taking this career path.

1. A Comfort with Technical Blueprints

Many people simply don’t enjoy anything remotely technical. They don’t mind using their hands for sports or hobbies, but they have no interest in trying to get them to follow blueprints or technical directions. If you’re someone who recruits their friends to put together IKEA furniture, this job won’t be a good fit.

On the other hand, some people absolutely love looking over a machine’s blueprints. They find it as easy as reading a menu.

This is a huge advantage for people who enter this field. Even though you’ll receive a lot of technical training before you receive your degree and begin working, you can’t possibly cover every single brand, machine, and device. Instead, you must be able to look over blueprints and apply your knowledge to the problem at hand.

2. A Love for Problem Solving

Speaking of which, the problem you need to solve won’t always have straightforward, obvious solutions.

Sure, sometimes, it will be clear what has to be done. A component will need to be replaced or some long overdue cleaning is required.

However, refrigeration and HVAC technicians often need to think outside the box. The devices and machines you have to work on are complicated, meaning their problems can be even more intricate. People who give up easily won’t last very long in this field.

In contrast, if you love a good challenge and are patient enough to keep trying to solve it until something finally works, you’ll find plenty of engaging opportunities as a refrigeration and HVAC technician.

3. The Ability to Work Alone

You won’t work in complete solitude as a technician, but there will be plenty of alone time, so it’s a position best suited for people who don’t need constant company.

That said, some interpersonal skills won’t hurt. You’ll most likely spend time around your coworkers and may even work together on some jobs. It will also help if you can explain HVAC and refrigeration issues to your clients in laymen’s terms.

When it comes to the actual work you do, though, you’ll most likely be on your own the majority of the time. Many people actually prefer this, especially those who love having a problem all to themselves. If this sounds like you, working as a refrigeration and HVAC technician will probably be the perfect fit.

Want to Learn More About Becoming a Refrigeration and HVAC Technician?

Now that you have a better idea of what it’s like to work on refrigeration and HVAC units for a living, are you excited about beginning on a path toward making this your career?

If so, contact us today. At IntelliTec Colleges, we offer a program that can be completed in as few as 18 months, at which point, you’ll be ready to sit for your certifications and then begin work.

Have you ever opened a cookbook to make a recipe, yet found that you had none of the ingredients? Perhaps the recipe calls for a difficult technique, with a piece of equipment you don’t keep in your kitchen. What once started out as a great idea to make a fun meal now seems confusing and like more work than you expected.

Similarly, when you want to begin a job in an interesting field, you need to be equipped with the right knowledge and skills to get started. If you walked in on the first day and had no idea what to expect or to do, you are behind.

While there is always room to grow and improve in your career, it definitely helps to have the basic requirements and expectations to succeed. That’s why learning a job first-hand, in real-life settings makes all the difference.

How IntelliTec Students Learn: Our Real World Approach

At IntelliTec College, we understand that the trades our students receive training in require a certain set of skills, certifications, and proof that you can excel in the field. To help students hit the ground running towards a new career, the curricula we offer include real job training.

Along with the important information you learn in the classroom, you gain practical skills that prepare you to start your career right away. How do we do it? See just a few of the ways we accomplish this below!


One of the most common ways that our students gain real career experience is through our externship program. Because IntelliTec is invested in the communities where we are located, we have great connections with businesses, clinics, and more around town.

Thanks to our instructors who know their industries well, and thanks to our helpful career services department, students are able to connect with externship hosts. These externships, offered in a variety of settings for different programs, allow students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining experience and seeing how the day-to-day business is handled.

During your externship, you will shadow, learn from, and begin working alongside a worker in your industry. Students are able to see what their future career looks like and how coursework affects the ability to perform in the workplace.

Our Salons

For students in our cosmetology and massage therapy programs, we offer a truly hands-on approach to honing their skills.

In Grand Junction and Pueblo, we have two cosmetology salons, which are open for customers to come in and let students try out their craft. The salons offer hair, nail, waxing, and skin services to the public.

As an affordable option for our communities, these salons also give great real-life training to students. We ensure that students have had enough experience before working on a customer, but also let them do services to learn tricks and techniques that they cannot learn in the classroom.

Click here to access our cosmetology salon’s page and to learn more about the services offered to customers and the experience students gain!

Similarly, our massage therapy students have their own massage clinics in Grand Junction and Pueblo, too! While some massage services at upscale spas can cost quite a bit of money, our services in the massage clinic provide the same relaxing experience for a fraction of the cost.

Students practice their therapeutic skills with an array of massages – from 30 to 90 minute offerings in various massage options, such as popular Swedish and Deep Tissue massage therapies.

The public is invited to come in, get pampered, and leave feeling renewed, while helping out a massage therapist in training! Click here to visit the massage clinic’s page.


For science-based programs, such as medical, dental, pharmacy, and nursing assistants, laboratories offer real experience for the workplace. Getting into the true science of your new career allows you to find out how medicines work and how to make solutions while on the job.

Additionally, our medically-based programs are able to work within our simulated clinic settings, which are offered on all of our campuses. Inside the clinics, you get a true feel for what it is like to work alongside fellow professionals, how the day flows, and how to handle emergencies.

With these experiences, students in the medical field can not only learn faster, but they also can get a better sense of what type of work they would like to pursue. By giving laboratory and clinic settings at the college, along with externship opportunities in hospitals and other medical settings, IntelliTec allows students to find their true passion and decide on a career that fits their personality.

Equipment and Technology

For some of our programs, the right technology and tools provides enormous value to students. When you are familiar with all of the latest updates in your industry, you can find a job that is innovative and able to adapt, giving you a long-term career where you can always grow as technologies change.

As an example, our new Computer Systems Technician program was recently started to keep up with the booming tech field. Our students are able to complete their own labs, working on actual computer systems and finding solutions to some of the most common industry problems.

For students in programs like our HVAC & Refrigeration or Automotive Technician, having simulated equipment and the right tools makes all the difference in how students learn. HVAC students even receive their own toolkit through the program, which allows them to work with the real-world tools, become familiar with them, and fix issues that arise.

For Automotive Technician students, IntelliTec has an array of Snap-On tools, allowing students to run diagnostics and become familiar with one of the leading brands used in the industry today. In addition, automotive technician students receive their own set of tools upon graduation to ensure they are equipped for their new career!

Additionally, for programs like Personal Training, understanding the equipment and how it affects the body and a client’s results is crucial. In addition to understanding the theory behind their work, personal trainers get hands-on learning in our spacious fitness facility, which is equipped with state-of-the-art practice training equipment. Having the right equipment allows trainers to see it in action, understand its impact, and make recommendations to clients based on their experience.

Think Outside the Classroom with IntelliTec

There’s a reason why IntelliTec College provides more than just a classroom setting. We all learn in different ways, but one of the most effective ways to learn is by doing!

Trying something out for yourself, especially for a new career path, means having consistent practice, becoming familiar, and feeling confident. If we taught just a classroom alone, our students would not have the practical experience and exposure that a potential employer wants.

Through IntelliTec’s programs, students get a distinct advantage above other job seekers. Instead of coming into a job as an entry-level candidate, you have the skills and real-life experience. This allows you to tell an employer directly what you are good at, what you love, and where you see your career headed with them.

Curious about a certain program and how hands-on learning can help you? Browse our programs here, and contact our Career Services department to learn more!

Partners in Refrigeration & HVAC

The Pikes PeakPPMCA Mechanical Contractors Association presented an “Outstanding Educational Partner” Award to IntelliTec College staff for their involvement with the highly successful Enhanced Mechanic IV Program, including its initial design and approval.  Pictured from left to right are Mr. Chuck Fonda, former HVAC/R Project Manager for IntelliTec College and current “hands-on” lab instructor, Ms. Joanie Johnston, Career Services Manager, Mr. Dave Ashmore, HVAC/R Program Supervisor and PPMCA President, Dan Rial. The PPMCA also wishes to send a big thank you to Mr. Mike Schranz, CEO of IntelliTec College, for his unending support of the program over the last three years, and to Mr. Ray Ada, Campus Director as well as all the other numerous support staff at IntelliTec College.

The Pikes Peak Mechanical Contractors Association salutes IntelliTec’s efforts in making the program a huge success!

About IntelliTec Colleges

IntelliTec Colleges provide hands-on career training in Colorado and New Mexico with Associate (Occupational Studies) Degrees and Certificate programs designed to be completed in 9 to 18 months. Campus locations includeAlbuquerque, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Pueblo. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career byrequesting information at or calling 1-800-748-2282.  IntelliTec Colleges are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Newly hired Refrigeration and HVAC Technician college graduate Brad Henry on-the-job with HomeLand Mechanical in Colorado Springs.
Newly hired Refrigeration and HVAC Technician college graduate Brad Henry on-the-job with HomeLand Mechanical in Colorado Springs.

Genuine Respect Between Father-in-Law and Son-in-Law Leads to Successful Teaming at IntelliTec College and On-the-Job in Colorado Springs

Hollis “Brad” Henry and Christopher “Ryan” Slusher share more than just the fact that both men go by their middle names. This duo completed their Refrigeration and HVAC Technician associate degrees (Occupational Studies) at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs within months of each other. They began working at HomeLand Mechanical within a few weeks of one another and hope to one day start their own business together. To top it all off, Ryan is married to Brad’s oldest daughter.

“We negotiate our days pretty easily. When we’ve been called out for repair work, we often tackle the less desirable tasks together so neither of us feels like we got the short end of the stick,” says Slusher.

The Growing HVAC-R Industry Beckoned Military Veteran Brad Henry

After 27 successful years in the military, Brad Henry retired in order to finally be home with his family. He spent a good part of his career on overseas assignments, particularly after the 911 tragedy. Once retired, he began contracting as a civilian for the military, but felt he was essentially performing the same job and was ready for a change.

Brad enjoys his favorite downtime passion, flying his two-seater airplane. Pictured with Loren Schowengerdt.
Brad enjoys his favorite downtime passion; flying his two-seater airplane. Pictured with Loren Schowengerdt.

Henry did his homework, checking out a number of other colleges in Colorado Springs, but found IntelliTec “fit the bill.” He wanted to get right to business with hands-on training and put his love of fixing things to work again. The 18-month Refrigeration and HVAC Technician career training program was an obvious choice for him, employing both his love of technology and desire to work with his hands.

“After the military I wanted to write a new chapter in my life instead of writing the same one over and over again,” says Henry.

Henry’s Serious Approach to Academics at a Career College Made Finding a Job Easier

Henry found the transition back to college quite enjoyable.

Proud husband and father Brad Henry enjoys dinner out with his family. Pictured back row from left to right: Oldest daughter Stephanie Slusher, son-in-law Brad Slusher, and his wife Denise. Pictured front row from left to right: Brad’s oldest grandson Jayton and his youngest daughter Katelyn.
Proud husband and father Brad Henry enjoys dinner out with his family. Pictured back row from left to right: Oldest daughter Stephanie Slusher, Brad Slusher, and his wife Denise. Pictured front row from left to right: Brad’s oldest grandson Jayton and his youngest daughter Katelyn.

He believes if you take it seriously and do what you’re supposed to be doing (reading and studying), the process is all rather straightforward. He advises that once out in the workforce you need to understand you will make mistakes. No matter who you are, let the mistakes be lessons and learn from them without letting them affect your confidence.

He began working as an HVAC Technician at HomeLand Mechanical several weeks before graduating from IntelliTec College with an Associate of Occupational Studies degree. HomeLand Mechanical is a commercial and residential heating and air conditioning business – veteran and family owned and operated. Henry enjoys the family-type atmosphere that husband and wife owners Bill and Ingrid Engler maintain for all the employees.

Henry knows learning occurs daily on the job, and he advises, “Employers know you’ll make mistakes, just don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Refrigeration and HVAC Technician graduate Ryan Slusher with his wife Stephanie.
Refrigeration and HVAC Technician graduate Ryan Slusher with his wife Stephanie.

HVAC-R Graduate Ryan Slusher Defines Happiness as Time Spent With His Family – Not Dollars in His Bank Account

Henry’s son-in-law, Ryan Slusher, learned quickly that money did not buy happiness. His six-figure salary and 12-hour workdays in the oil fields as a Safety Director left him little time with his family. It did not take much for him to be convinced to leave his job and join forces with Henry.

The two began discussing working together in the future, and once they determined this as a goal, it was time to decide on a career. Both men knew their strengths in the mechanical arena, and after a little research as to employment opportunities and salary potential in a number of trades, they quickly recognized the merits of HVAC-R. Slusher’s subsequent relocation to Colorado Springs was an obvious one as his wife’s family was already comfortably settled here.

“My father-in-law presented the idea of first going to college together and then hopefully one day working together. My wife and I probably thought about it for all of five minutes before packing up and moving to Colorado,” recalls Slusher.

Relocating a family and starting life over can be an overwhelming challenge, but Slusher admits his wife shouldered the household burdens so he could focus on getting back to school. She was his source of strength and would not let him quit for anything, despite her own struggles with time limitations and health constraints.

“I’d enrolled in college a number of times back in Texas but never went to class or ended up dropping the classes. At IntelliTec I didn’t have that issue because the program was fun and kept me interested. Plus, my wife, my true angel, pushed me through tough times with her constant encouragement,” he explains.

Brad Henry - HVAC and Refrigeration Technician program graduate of IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs - pictured with son-in-law Ryan Slusher, grandsons, daughter Stephanie, and wife Denise.
Brad Henry – HVAC and Refrigeration Technician program graduate of IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs. Brad is pictured at his graduation with son-in-law Ryan Slusher, grandsons, daughter Stephanie, and wife Denise.

A Shared Passion for the HVAC Trade and Respect for One Another Create a Unique Bond

Joanie Johnston, Career Services Manager at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, knew immediately this father-in-law and son-in-law duo were a force to be reckoned with. Henry’s maturity and strong work ethic – and Slusher’s determined job search approach and easygoing interviewing skills – made them a perfect fit for employment at HomeLand Mechanical.

Owner Bill Engler is one of IntelliTec College’s highly valued Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members for the Refrigeration and HVAC Technician program, with 36 years in the HVAC industry. He knew both Henry and Slusher were “green” as HVAC-R technicians, but have since proven themselves to be excellent technicians.

“When I interview potential employees, I make sure to ask a couple of very specific questions. First, is it something you are really interested in, and second, is it something you see yourself doing for life. This is a career that requires serious dedication, and I want the best people working for me,” says Engler.

Brad recommended Ryan to Bill Engler at HomeLand Mechanical, so he clearly respects Ryan’s abilities. They not only graduated within two terms of each other and now work for the same company, but they live together. 

“You really have to get along with someone to spend that much time with them. While both are top-quality performers in their own right, they certainly complement each other and make an amazing duo,” says Johnston.

There is a notable level of respect between Henry and Slusher. It begins with their individual commitments to family first, followed immediately by a dedication to hard work and the integrity it takes to stick to what you start.

“In all the years I’ve known Brad, we’ve never disagreed or argued about anything. We get along really well and truly enjoy working together,” admits Slusher.

Henry adds, “It’s nice to work with your family, especially when you both have a passion for what you do.”

About IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs

IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, computer technology, medical assisting  and personal training fields. These programs award either associate of occupational studies degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in 10½ to 18 months. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at or calling 719-632-7626. IntelliTec College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

HVAC and HVACR technicians are in high demand. In fact, in Colorado, more than 1,000 new HVAC job openings are expected to be added by 2017.
HVAC and HVACR technicians are in high demand. In fact, in Colorado, more than 1,000 new HVAC job openings are expected to be added by 2017.

Skilled HVAC Technicians Are In High Demand.

For many students, going to college isn’t the best option. This often has nothing to do with someone’s intelligence or ability. Many people are simply better with their hands or may not be interested in a job working in an office.

There are a number of high-paying jobs that don’t require a college education. For example, HVAC and HVACR technicians are in high demand. In fact, in Colorado, more than 1,000 new HVAC job openings are expected to be added by 2017.

Here is information about what these techs do, what types of jobs are available and what you can expect to make as a tech.

What Do HVAC Technicians Do?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Most people who are HVAC techs work on heating and air conditioning systems in either private homes or businesses. Their job is to control the temperature and air quality in buildings. Some technicians work in hospitals or commercial buildings on complex systems.

HVAC technicians are important because they make sure that homes and buildings are comfortable. They are also responsible for keeping air quality high. When HVAC systems fail, it can lead to high power bills, rooms that are too hot or too cold and even illness.

HVAC jobs are in demand. Learn what skills are most needed.
HVAC jobs are in demand. Learn what skills are most needed.

What Are the Most In-Demand HVAC Jobs?

Many technicians choose to focus on installing, maintaining or replacing HVAC systems. These are the most common types of HVAC jobs. However, most are familiar with all of these tasks. For HVAC installation technicians, the job usually involves connecting different systems. Installation techs may connect air ducts, heating and cooling units and water and fuel lines.

HVAC Repair and maintenance technicians normally test that parts of a system are working. If things aren’t working, broken items are replaced or repaired. Techs that do maintenance and repair may also adjust systems so that all rooms are heated and cooled evenly. They may also help keep systems from wasting energy.

Along with installation, maintenance and repair, some people choose specialized jobs. These jobs usually require at least a few years working as a tech. People may also need more education or certifications.

Fabrication mechanics make ductwork and need to be able to use metal fabrication machinery. Another specialty job is working as an HVAC system designer. This job requires techs to use computers to create HVAC systems. People can get both of these jobs without going to a traditional four-year school.

Daniel Kindred-HVAC Grad Success Story
HVAC graduate Daniel Kindred was 26 years old and still working at an hourly job in the food industry, he realized one day he had reached his earning potential. He was bored and depressed and “wanted to make more money by entering a growing career in HVAC”.

The Heating & Cooling Industry is Facing a Shortage of Qualified HVAC Technicians.

One of the many reasons to go into the HVAC field is that many businesses really need employees. A lot of jobs require a four-year degree. However, HVAC technicians can be trained in a much shorter time-frame. There is a shortage of HVAC technicians throughout the country, and Colorado is no exception.

Employers need about 29 days to fill jobs that are like HVAC jobs. For companies looking for HVAC techs, this can take more than 36 days.

What is Causing the Increased Demand for Techs?

The need for HVAC workers is expected to rise sharply in the coming years.

There are three major reasons for the shortage of technicians. They are that people are retiring in large numbers, fewer young people are becoming techs and new technology requires more workers.

  1. Workers are Retiring – One major issue is that baby boomers are retiring. This means that large numbers of experienced workers are leaving the workforce. It is estimated that about half of HVAC workers will retire in the next 10 years. Employers will have to replace old technicians and find new technicians as well.
  2. People Assume the Best Jobs Require College Many high school students aren’t choosing to become HVAC techs. There is a perception that the only way to get a good job is to go to college. In fact, many HVAC technicians make as much or more than people who go to a four-year school. This is especially true after someone has been working as a tech for a few years.
  3. New Technology Requires More Workers – Finally, there have been a number of new developments in HVAC systems. People are more interested in eco-friendly heating and cooling. Ductless systems and heat pumps have also been replacing old heating and cooling systems. New types of units require technicians to install and maintain them.
New HVAC-R program comes to IntelliTec in Grand Junction.
Employers are you looking for HVAC Tech’s? Did you know about the HVAC-R training programs at IntelliTec Colleges in Grand Junction and Colorado Springs?

HVAC Career Benefits

There are a lot of benefits of being an HVAC technician. They include good pay, benefits and the ability to start a business.

  • It Pays Well – Many HVAC techs can make anywhere from $42,000 to $67,000 a year. Starting pay may be lower, but people can increase their income with overtime. During the hottest and coldest times of the year, a greater need for techs opens up extra hours.
  • Good Insurance and Benefits – HVAC technicians tend to have good benefits packages, because they are in high demand. The benefits offered will depend on the employer, but health and dental are often included.
  • Job Security – HVAC techs don’t normally have to worry about being laid off. Many other workers are being replaced by machines or seeing their jobs outsourced, but HVAC techs have good job security.
  • Work Environment – You have the opportunity to work indoors and outdoors, you will be on the go working at different locations, and no two days will be the same.
  • Business Ownership – A person also may find it easier to start his/her own business if he/she is an HVAC technician. About 16 percent of HVAC technicians run their own business. If you are interested in being your own boss, this may be the career for you.

Basic Requirements for Entering the HVAC Technician Field

There are only a few basic qualifications people need to start working or training as an HVAC tech. They include:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Being 18 years of age
  • Having a valid driver’s license
  • Taking and passing a substance abuse test
  • Passing a basic math test
HVAC technician checking the amperage on a residential heat pump
HVAC technician checking the amperage on a residential heat pump.

Do You Love Using Tools? A Helpful Skill for HVAC Technicians.

To do their jobs, technicians have to be familiar with using a variety of tools. Tools used are:

  • screwdrivers
  • wrenches
  • pipe cutters

Some people will also need to be familiar with more specialized tools. These can include:

  • voltmeters
  • combustion analyzers
  • carbon monoxide testers
  • acetylene torches

HVAC Technician Training School vs Apprenticeship

While there are a few ways to become an apprentice HVAC technician, most people now attend Refrigeration & HVAC Technician Training programs. This can be easier than being an apprentice. Apprenticeships normally last three to five years. Apprentices also make less money.

Which Vocational Schools Offer Training for HVAC Techs?

It is often a good idea to go to a vocational school or college. Schools like IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs offer programs just for Refrigeration & HVAC Techs. The programs can be completed in as few as 18 months and you earn an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree.

These programs can also help you prepare for professional certification tests and various licenses. Getting these can help you get a higher paying job right out of school.

Once you successfully complete your Refrigeration and HVAC training program at IntelliTec college, you will be prepared to sit for professional HVAC industry certification exams.

Look Into Becoming an HVAC Technician: Make a Short-term Investment for a Great Career

You don’t have to spend years going to college to get a good job as an HVAC Technician, because:

  • There are a lot of job openings for HVAC techs in Colorado and the U.S.
  • These jobs pay as much or more than some jobs that require a four-year degree.
  • This career may also allow you to start your own business.



Top 3 HVAC Technician Traits

What are the top 3 things employers look for in a candidate applying for HVAC jobs?

  1. Appearance
  2. Attitude
  3. Aptitude

HVAC technicians need to be on-time and dependable. For this reason, some employers may pay more attention to your college attendance and dependability than your grade point average.

Read more about HVAC Careers in our original article: Exploring Careers in the HVAC-Refrigeration Industry.

“Employers Appreciate What You Know – and Even What You Don’t Know – as Long as You Are Honest About Both”

HVAC grad Daniel Kindred knew focus, drive and determination would help him during his program and his professional career
HVAC Technician graduate, Daniel Kindred, recognizes the value of focus, drive and determination.

Daniel Kindred, Refrigeration and HVAC Technician  (heating, ventilation, air conditioning technician) graduate from IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, believes in old-fashioned principles: hard work, honesty, and the power of a thank you note.

After a tough HVAC Tech job interview with Academy School District #20 in Colorado Springs, he took the time to send a personal note of thanks to each person on the panel interview. “They asked some tough questions; questions I didn’t have all the answers to. I answered truthfully if I didn’t know something, but I also promised to research the questions and send them the answers. I included that information in my thank you notes, and I think that must have impressed them,” stated Kindred, “because I got the job!”

Make Every Dollar Count at College

When Kindred was 26 years old and still working at an hourly job in the food industry, he realized one day he had reached his earning potential. He was bored and depressed and “wanted to make more money by entering a growing career in HVAC.

I’d gone as far as I could as cook, and when I discovered IntelliTec, I saw it as a way out of just working and existing in life,” said Kindred. He dedicated himself to classes in the morning followed by an eight-hour restaurant shift (plus weekend hours) at his job, and study time whenever he had a free moment. “It was a struggle, but my main goal was to learn as much as I could while enrolled,” he added.

Juggling school and work can be challenging, but he advises students to look at the final picture. “Determine what sacrifices have to be made in order to succeed,” he explained. He takes advice from mentors seriously, and recognizes their shared personal experiences are valuable nuggets of information. “One teacher said ‘you’re not here to learn everything, but to understand how to learn for the future.’ I feel lucky to have a some of the best teachers in the industry as well as my dad giving me great advice,” said Kindred.

Invest in a Career with Innovation and Extra Effort for Big a Pay-Off

It takes a desire to learn and a level of integrity to be successful in the HVAC industry, according to one of Kindred’s former teachers, Charles Ledford. “The true test of any tech is to be able to refer him to family and friends since he would be directly in their homes. I wouldn’t hesitate to do so, and as a previous HVAC business owner, I’d hire him in a second.”

IntelliTec Offers a Strong Support Network Before, During and After Completion of a Program

Kindred recognizes he brought focus, drive, and determination to his college experience, but he attributes his success to a lot of help and encouragement from teachers and staff at IntelliTec. “You learn so much in such a short period of time, and not all of it relates just to your program classes. I felt like people there helped me with my first day jitters, kept me from feeling overwhelmed by pacing the content, and if it hadn’t been for my resume writing class, I don’t think I’d have the job I do today,” he said.


Career Path Choices
What career path is right for you? Learn the benefits of accelerated career training.

Are you ready for a new career but are unsure of what you want to do? Do you want to make a living doing something you love and are genuinely good at?

Then look into associate degree (occupational) careers or professional certificate careers.

  • These career paths will take you less time than getting your degree through a community college or traditional university.
  • Most programs will also prepare you to sit for professional certification exams; having certifications generally make you more employable.

Associate Degree and Professional Certificate Careers are Rewarding and In-demand

You can complete training for Associate Degree (Occupational) or Professional Certificate careers in only 12-18 months. Explore this sample of six career paths that have positive employment growth:

Continue reading “What Career Path is Right for You?”