High school students learn about HVAC career opportunities

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MARATHON, Wis (WSAW) -- Students at Marathon High school are getting a taste of what it's like to go into the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry. The school district held an HVAC career day; which is a field in high demand.

"Every home, every building has a heating and air conditioning system,” explained John Hirsch who is the Director of Business Development for Auer Steel in Milwaukee. “What we find is that a lot of these young adults don't even realize that our profession exists. Unfortunately, there are more jobs than there are for people to fill those jobs. "

Hirsch says that interest in the industry has decreased in popularity over the years. On Wednesday his company spent the day with the students enrolled in the Construction Trades Course to explain the career field and its benefits. Students learned how the systems work, and how to fix them using simulators.

“We teach masonry, carpentry, electrical and plumbing and HVAC,” said John Vanderwyst who is the Tech Education teacher at Marathon High School. ”This course only exists because local contractors have been contacting me about the need to meet the demands of society.”

Students enrolled in the class told NewsChannel 7 that having the career day helped them provided them an opportunity to learn hands-on rather than listen to a lecture.

“It helped me broaden my horizon,” said Eric Mrocsenski who is a Senior. “Without this class, I wouldn’t know what I now know.”

“I enjoyed hearing professionals come in and talk about their experience,” added Logan Ludwig who is also a senior. “This will give me a better opportunity to know if this is what I want to do.”

Most entre level HVAC positions range from $16 to $25 an hour and only require a certificate or two-year degree from a technical college.