Skilled to Work: Savannah Tech training HVAC technicians of the future

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 1:33 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:37 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Dealing with a busted HVAC system during the holidays might be a phone call away, but fewer service techs could mean longer wait times.

Savannah Tech is busy training the next generation of techs.

“The average age now is like 48 to 52 for service techs. So, we’re in dire need of service techs,” Dennis Adams said.

Adams has spent decades crawling in attics or under homes to service central heating and air conditioning units. Now he’s training future techs to do the same.

“Generally, about six months or two semesters, a student can come here and learn the refrigeration cycle and the electrical side of the air conditioning systems and generally get out in the field and start making around $20 an hour,” Adams said.

As students train, local businesses are actively recruiting.

“There’s companies out there offering signup bonuses just like you know three to 5000 our signup bonuses, your own vehicle, vacations insurance packages,” Adams said.

Tristen Ingram is one of those students training now.

“I did my research on it and it seemed like a great trade to get into have, like family friends that have businesses and I got to experience go out there and work with them, experience how the field is and I enjoy it,” Ingram said.

Ingram is one of 28 winners of a Trane Technician of the Future Scholarship, to work toward a technical education to prepare for the field of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. He started dual enrollment at Savannah Tech during his senior year at South Effingham High School. But was overwhelmed when his A/C class started.

“I came in here first day and I looked at some of this I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing. But throughout the semester I’ve learned and learned how to do stuff properly,” Ingram said.

“When they really grasp it, it’s that light bulb you see it in your head and just like Wow, Mr. Adams I figured it out. You know, it’s really rewarding,” Adams said.

And the student’s reward is on the way. When they walk out the door and put those skills to work.