Submitted by Barron Heating & Air Conditioning

Whether it’s you, your brother, or your best friend’s niece, June means graduation for many. And with all the excitement of accomplishment and growth, turning that tassel naturally sparks thoughts about the future and what it may hold. If job stability, problem-solving, and big earning potential are what you’re after, a career in the trades could be for you. With a huge gap in the industry, the demand for skilled tradespeople is high and continuing to grow. For every five retiring, just one individual is entering the trades—creating a need that is proving to be incredibly rewarding for those willing to answer it.

Photo courtesy: Barron Heating & Air Conditioning

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning—known as HVAC—is an avenue to success in the skilled trades that often goes unnoticed. Merrill Bevan, Director of Sales and Marketing at Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing, points out just how hidden it can be: “Growing up I’d heard of plumbers…I’d heard of electricians…but not HVAC technicians,” he says. “And certainly not what a lucrative career it can be.”

From employer-paid medical, dental, and vision benefits, to flexible schedules and even four-day work weeks, a career in HVAC is ideal for a comfortable work/family life balance. Salaries can be equally rewarding, with six-figure earning potential and opportunities for advancement. And the variety of work and skills learned in the HVAC trade is wide. Whether it’s repairing a furnace, installing a new ductless system, or drastically improving the air quality in a customer’s home, the range of work and experiences from day-to-day as an HVAC technician is significant compared to many other careers. No humdrum nine-to-five with HVAC.

HVAC techs are commonly known in the industry as HVAC refrigeration technicians or retrofit HVAC installers. Depending on your interests and strengths, you’ll find your perfect fit through a few main channels that feed into the trade. These channels include equipping new construction homes with new heating and cooling systems, replacing existing systems with new ones (retrofit), and working with commercial properties—restaurants, offices, medical facilities, and more.

The experienced team at Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing has an eye for aligning candidates’ strengths with their best avenue for success. At Barron Technician School, you’ll learn from the best in the field, with no prior industry experience necessary. BTS at Barron’s Ferndale campus combines labs equipped with fully functioning HVAC systems with classes taught by industry leaders. Job candidates accepted by Barron Technician School are paid for their classroom, lab, and on-the-job training and don’t pay tuition—paving the way for a new and bright career in the trades.

If the thrill of “new” is what you’re after, big changes are on the horizon for the HVAC industry. The Climate Action Task Force (CATF) is a name that has not just Bellingham, but the entire state of Washington buzzing, as it suggests big changes to this town’s energy usage in the years to come. A lengthy report of recommendations has been developed to meet a few big climate goals, namely converting to 100% renewable energy throughout Bellingham over the next 10 years. While the report includes recommendations for everything from waste reduction to renewable energy through solar, the electrification sector has gotten a lot of attention, as it affects homeowners in a very tangible way.

Electrification is simply the conversion from fossil fuels to electric power. This means by 2030, when a homeowner’s natural gas or propane heating or hot water system dies and needs to be replaced, it must be replaced with an electric heat pump system. While much is still unknown, one thing is for certain: the need for skilled tradespeople in our area will only continue to grow. As the term “electrification” suggests, electricians will continue to be in demand. But it’s the hidden trade…HVAC, that will experience the largest gap, Rob Takemura, Director of Operations at Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing, stresses. “We estimate the need for two HVAC techs for every one electrician to accomplish electrification—that is, two-to-one to perform the switch from a gas furnace to an electric heat pump,” he says.

The kind of labor demand we’re currently experiencing coupled with a big change like electrification undeniably creates many career opportunities for our community. So as you’re turning that tassel, a career in the trades just might be the one worth going after. At Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing, we’re always looking for honest, hardworking, mechanically-inclined individuals, and we’re on a mission to prove that a career in the trades is a rewarding one. With career opportunities like these, we’re certain that HVAC is about to go from hidden trade to center stage. Ready to build your own trade story? Apply now at the Barron Heating & Air Conditioning website.

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