HVAC student stands between training units wearing a red t-shirt and glasses. He has long dark hair and a dark beard. He has tattoos on both arms.

(RED OAK, Texas) – U.S. Navy veteran Roger McClellan, a student in the HVAC Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s North Texas campus, said he originally began the program because the air conditioning in his apartment never worked.

“It got to the point where I was like, ‘Fine, I’m going to learn how to do this so at least my AC is working,’” the fourth-semester student said.  “It was kind of a spite thing initially, and then the more I got into learning it, the more I realized I actually like what I’m learning.”

McClellan said attending TSTC became important to him because he wanted to earn his degree and that is one of the reasons he is most excited to graduate.

“I will be a little disappointed that my normal routine I’ve made over the year will be kind of gone (once I graduate),” he said. “But I’m excited to finally say, ‘I’ve got a degree.’”

Douglas McCuen, lead instructor for TSTC’s HVAC Technology program in North Texas, said McClellan has been a determined student.

“He’s focused, he’s dedicated to the course, and he studies,” McCuen said. “He’s inquisitive. He wants to learn, and that’s a (strength) in this field.”

McCuen said one thing that made McClellan stand out was his willingness to go to the instructors for help.

McClellan’s advice to other students reflects that.

“If you have questions, ask,” he said. “Closed mouths don’t get fed. The instructors are more than willing to teach you or point you in the right direction to find the information.”

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in HVAC Technology and certificates of completion in HVAC Residential Service Technician, HVAC Technician and HVAC Technology at its East Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, North Texas and Waco campuses. 

According to onetonline.org, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers earn an average salary of $48,720 a year in Texas. The field was projected to grow 21% in the state between 2020 and 2030, according to the website.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

tstc logo