Sergio Godina is an HVAC Technology student at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – When he was in high school, Texas State Technical College student Sergio Godina acquired hands-on technical skills in welding, carpentry and plumbing.

But with high school graduation approaching, he was unsure which career pathway he wanted to take — until he saw an HVAC technician at work.

“My friend’s brother-in-law is an HVAC technician who is an independent contractor,” Godina said. “I handed him some tools while I observed him troubleshooting an air conditioning unit and installing a thermostat. His job made me curious.”

That curiosity led Godina to join a field trip to TSTC.

“One of the programs we visited was HVAC Technology,” he said. “The instructors said students learn skills such as electricity, plumbing and brazing. It caught my interest.”

Now Godina is studying for a certificate of completion in the program.

“The instructors explain why each component that we learn is important,” the Mission resident said. “For example, we have to know the correct amount of refrigeration and pressure to put in a unit. As for a thermostat, we need to know the proper way to wire its system.”

Billy Weaver is one of Godina’s HVAC Technology instructors.

“Sergio has gone beyond his education and learns new skills that will benefit his current skilled abilities,” he said. “Our program prepares students like Sergio with soft skills, industry standards and new technology practices that will develop their professionalism.”

In Texas, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers earn an average annual salary of $48,720, according to, which forecast the number of such positions to grow in the state by 21% from 2020 to 2030.

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

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