HVAC’s booming industry

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As the labor market continues to grow, the HVAC industry in particular is seeing an increasing amount of job opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates more than 40,000 job openings each year for the next decade.

In 2023, there were 140,024 HVAC contractor businesses in the U.S., which was a 4.5% increase from 2022.

Kristin Gubser, Vice President of Workforce Development and External Affairs at Gateway Community College, joined “Arizona Horizon” to discuss the trade programs they have available.

Gubser explained how important HVAC is as a whole and not just focusing on the heating and air conditioning components. 

“It means heating, ventilation, refrigeration and air conditioning so it really covers the gamut from home AC to big commercial buildings, big manufacturing plants, hospitals, schools,” Gubser said. 

The HVAC industry is always looking for employees and is in demand across the country, especially summers in Arizona. There are also a variety of jobs people can explore when working for HVAC. 

“HVAC really is in demand everywhere, and it’s just one of several construction trades that are important to every industry and every homeowner in Arizona, so when we talk about training the workforce and HVAC, we really also are talking about training the workforce and all the other construction trades: electricians, carpenters, masons that really cover the gamut. But HVAC is especially important here in the desert and the summers we have in Arizona,” said Gubser. 

Gubser explained how the requirements for the HVAC program at Gateway Community College work. 

“Our residential program can be completed in around a year, and then we do have an Associate’s Degree program that is more of the two-year program. We do have a wonderful partnership with Johnson Controls, and Johnson Controls does commercial HVAC for Chase Field and a lot of large commercial industries,” Gubser said.  

Johnson Controls also helps with financial aid and scholarships for students interested in the program. 

Students have hands-on experience with HVAC and get real-world experience. 

“Facilities at Gateway run from large industrial chillers all the way to the infrastructure you see running through the roof of your house in order to spread the AC from room to room. So it really is hands-on from the very beginning and basic skills all the way through the really heavy industrial training,” said Gubser. 

Kristin Gubser, Vice President of Workforce Development and External Affairs at Gateway Community College

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