Service Experts Career Academy (SECA) is partnering with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) to offer a debt-free path to a lifelong career as an HVAC technician or plumber. The SECA program is training dozens of apprentices across the country to meet the growing demand for HVAC technicians and plumbers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 401,100 job openings for HVAC technicians are expected every year for the next decade. After a positive response to the HVAC training program, SECA and NCCER will also train aspiring plumbers beginning January 2023.
Service Experts welcomes any applicants interested in starting their professional careers debt-free. While trade schools, four-year colleges, associates degrees and other hands-on training programs can cost $7,000 or more annually, SECA pays HVAC apprentices throughout all four years of the training program, while giving them virtual, hands-on and ride along learning opportunities.
“We are opening our doors to anyone interested in taking that first step,” says Tom Essing, a SECA technical trainer in Michigan. “Whether you have prior experience or are a fresh mind with no experience at all, we want good, quality people who are enthusiastic about learning and are looking for a fulfilling career.”
“The construction and maintenance workforces are aging and it’s important we recruit and train the next generation of craft professions,” said NCCER President and CEO Boyd Worsham. “It will take all of us working together to make a real impact on the industry as we strive to fill the skills gap.”
In a traditionally male-dominated field, SECA is making strides by reaching out to women who might be interested in HVAC technician training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women only make up 1.5 percent of HVAC professionals and 2.1 percent of plumbers in 2021; however, nine percent of students in SECA are women.
“I’ve always had trouble finding a job that I could grow in. Thankfully the apprenticeship program has allowed me to do just that and get my certification in HVAC,” said Kailey Scott, a current apprentice in SECA. “In this field there are no limits, and I’m more than excited to exceed beyond my limits thanks to this program.”
“When I started working in HVAC, it was a male-dominated field, and now it’s changing to be more diverse,” says Essing. “It’s positive to see this shift and we look forward to continuing to support anyone interested in the HVAC field.”
In addition to paying apprentices, SECA offers a comprehensive employment benefits package made to support each student and their families on day one of their training. According to Essing, SECA wants to attract recruits away from other jobs by offering them the rounded benefits of a career, including two weeks of paid time off, a 401(k) plan with company matching and health insurance programs. Students also get a $1,000 tool kit with hand tools, gauges, electric beaters and more that is theirs when they complete the program. SECA graduates can also take advantage of Service Experts locations spread across the country. Service Experts serves over 90 locations across America, and certified program graduates have the opportunity to work with any Service Experts location, from San Francisco to Miami.
The pay, opportunities and benefits aren’t the only way that SECA accommodates aspiring HVAC technicians.
“Going virtual has helped get everyone together, all at the same time,” says Ken Benedetto, a SECA technical trainer in New York. “Having virtual class in the morning has been a huge benefit, students are ready to learn before they start their day.”
After completing their SECA training and earning their NCCER credentials, program graduates can earn more than many fields that require a four-year college degree, without having to navigate their lives around repaying expensive school loans.
“If you are looking for a career that will support you for your entire lifetime and give you four years of schooling without debt, jumpstart your future with Service Experts Career Academy,” said Jim Hughes, SECA director.