TSTC alumnus Mathew Mendoza is representative of that effort. He earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in HVAC Technology from TSTC’s Harlingen campus in May.
He became interested in the HVAC field because it is an essential service that many people need.
“There are many people who don’t have much knowledge about air conditioning,” Mendoza said. “It’s a service that I contribute to because many individuals are taken advantage of.”
Mendoza accepted a job as a service technician with ACP Integrity Management in Rio Hondo.
“I travel throughout the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, Eagle Pass, and Laredo,” he said. “My duties are diagnosing the symptoms of air conditioning, commercial, rooftop, and residential units. I perform preventative and warranty maintenance on electrical issues. I also do light construction on air conditioning units that are found in a closet or attic at a residence.”
Mendoza said the work culture has provided a new perspective.
“Each team member has amazing knowledge that they share,” he said. “If I don’t understand an issue, they will explain it to me. I learn what needs to be resolved, and I resolve that issue.”
Within four months on the job, he recalled a rewarding effort to resolve a client’s concern.
“A customer’s air conditioning unit was not cooling properly,” he said. “She mentioned that a few companies attempted to resolve the issue. My team member and I analyzed the situation and discovered there was a sensor issue. A contactor in the unit was jammed. My efforts saved her money. It was a great day.”
He credits his career success to TSTC’s HVAC Technology instructors.
“My college experience was incredible,” he said. “The instructors elaborated on their industry experience, and emphasized on taking the time to do it right. They also took the time to explain the assignments. What’s great is that my boss (Cesar) Perez Jr. also graduated from the same program.”
Mendoza said his favorite memory was completing the HVAC Technology program.
“It was surreal to graduate,” he said. “I didn’t think I would pull through at times, but I was successful.”
Mendoza said his future plans include establishing a business or working for an industrial company in a larger scale system.
Perez, owner of ACP Integrity Management, said Mendoza is passionate about elevating his field expertise to the next level.
“Mathew has been a great asset since he came from the same training,” Perez said. “He is utilizing his knowledge to be a great technician. He is always eager to learn more and improve his career.”
In Texas, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers can earn an average annual salary of $47,980, according to onetonline.org, which forecasts the number of positions growing by 16% through 2028.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in HVAC Technology and certificates of completion in HVAC Technician, HVAC Technology, and HVAC Residential Service Technician. The program also offers an occupational skills achievement award in Basic HVAC.