For many industries around the world, the rapid nature of the coronavirus and the accompanying quarantines has spelt disaster. Millions of jobs have been lost, businesses that took decades to build have been dismantled in months. For some industries, the virus has been a death knell. Few industries have been hit harder than the oil industry, which, as the world economy slowed to a crawl, saw the price of oil plummet. As a result, thousands of oil workers have lost their jobs.

In the lone star state, tens of thousands of Texans have been laid off, particularly in the Permian Basin shale fields in West Texas. By March in North Dakota, a few hundred had lost their jobs, with many more at risk due to unprofitable wells. 

Today, families across the country face an uncertain future, with many workers wondering whether there will ever be a job waiting at the end of the pandemic but for many ex-oilfield workers, there are other options available.

Amongst the most promising possible career changes, is a transition into the HVAC industry. There are many similarities between the two. As such, HVAC training schools around the country are opening their doors to former oil field workers.

Exhausted from the oil price wars, the perpetual cycles of boom-and-bust, technically-minded individuals from the oil industry are finding a stable and prosperous life as an HVAC technician. Plus, rather than head off to the oil field for weeks at a time, they’re able to come home to their bed, and their family each night

Nor, is the transition a monumental jump. The HVAC training schools offer a quick turnaround time, sending their graduates back into the workforce ready to make a living. For the majority of oil workers, who’ve spent their life around machinery, electrics and tools, HVAC is less an entirely new prospect, than applying the same skills to a new challenge. 

The similar skill sets help make the transition smooth, and with many oil workers accepting the offer, the schools are becoming tailored to the needs of such individuals. With accelerated programs lasting under two months, people are back at work in no time. 

Though there is no federal law that mandates HVAC certification, it is a crucial way to display competency to prospective employers and clients. Plus, some states do require a license to work in the industry. Thankfully, a license in one state is viewed as acceptable by others, allowing a flexibility of work not found in the oil industry.

It’s no surprise that such a transition is becoming popular, with some HVAC classes containing a large proportion of former oil field workers. With HVAC being considered an essential industry in many places, it’s pandemic-proof too.


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