ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — HVAC technician apprentices are part of a growing career field in demand in the Valley: one that helps keep you comfortable at home and around town.
Todd Breeden began his road to becoming an HVAC technician at Valley Career & Technical Center in Fishersville. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Breeden started with some summer work in the business in high school and is now coming up on his sixth year on the job.
"It keeps you pretty challenged, because it's different every day," said Breeden.
Breeden works at Riddleberger Brothers in Rockingham County. He helps install and maintain HVAC equipment as part of the company's special projects division.
"It's a wide range of skills that you develop,” said Breeden.
He sees a bright future for this line of work.
"The amount of people going into it is slower vs. the people that are retiring, because most of the workforce in this industry is older, so it's going to grow, and the pay is going to go up as well," Breeden added.
According to statistics gathered by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, the salary range for an HVAC technician apprentice is between $28,900 and $47,393. Over the next 10 years, our region is expected to need 855 of these jobs. Most occupations require a high school diploma and post-secondary certificate.
Breeden has some advice for people thinking of going into the HVAC field.
"I would say work hard, and don't let people in high school and stuff change your mind on things because it's definitely a good career path, and there's a lot of opportunity," said Breeden.