Q&A with HVAC-R Student Daniel Mukavetz
Daniel Mukavetz has always enjoyed being around people. He wanted a career he felt passionate about, and a way he could help others by sharing his knowledge and expertise. After exploring many career options, he settled on enrolling in the HVAC-R program at Carrington College at the Phoenix campus.
Daniel is scheduled to graduate in May of 2022, but he has already found a job within the industry—he’s already off to an excellent start in his career.
What did you do before you began the HVAC-R program at Carrington College?
I was driving semi-trucks for about a year. I liked that it was steady work, but it’s work you do alone, and I really missed interacting with other people. Before that, I was in the Army for eight years. I was also a volunteer firefighter for four years.
What made you interested in studying HVAC-R?
I wanted to join a trade that would be around for a long time, and that was in high demand.
I decided to look more into becoming a welder, a lineman, or an HVAC tech. I have a lot of family and friends who are in those trades, so I asked them to write down pros and cons of their jobs.
With HVAC, I didn’t see many cons on the list—and I was more excited about HVAC. As I learned more about it, I really gained a passion for it. I saw it as a way to give back to the community by sharing my knowledge. I liked giving back in the past as a volunteer firefighter and in the military, so I really like the aspect of this career being something that can help people.
How did you find the program at Carrington College?
I knew there were a couple of local schools with HVAC programs, but because my wife had attended Carrington for medical assisting and had a great experience there, it went to the top of the list. Carrington had better reviews. When I went on a tour, I just really liked Carrington: I loved how they were set up, how big the lab was, and that they hire not just teachers but people who do or have done HVAC-R for a living. They bring all that experience to the classroom.
What is your favorite part of the program so far?
I like how we are taught and how the information is broken down for us each night; for the first portion of class, we review things, but for the second part, we go into the lab and get our hands dirty. I’m a hands-on learner, so this is great. We aren’t just looking at a book or a video, we are actually doing the job. In the lab, you mess something up and have to fix it, or the teacher messes something up so you can figure out the fault. It’s more realistic to work this way, so that when you go into the field, you already have basic knowledge on how to troubleshoot or fix things. I think it definitely helped prepare me for the job I have now.
What has been the most challenging part of the program so far?
I would say the electrical portion was the most challenging part so far—just learning the different electrical components and how to read a schematic—but the instructors break it down and simplify it to make sure everyone understands it at all different levels, and you really gain confidence with it. After doing it for a week or two, looking back, I can’t believe it was that hard.
Where is your current job and what do you do there? How did you find the opportunity?
I work at Alaskan Air Conditioning and Heating; it’s a local company. I’m a Maintenance Technician/Service Technician Apprentice. I perform maintenance and service inspection and repairs.
I found my job by searching on my own; I made an Indeed account and just started applying. I had a couple of different interviews, but I really liked this company just from walking in—the atmosphere, how I was treated right from the start, and even just hearing their commercials before going in—I knew it was where I wanted to work.
They teach me so much on the job, and I try to pass on what I’m learning to other students as well. I think that’s so important; we’re all on the same team.
What would you tell someone who is just starting out in this program, or thinking about enrolling?
For those just starting out: don’t let all the information scare you. It will be a lot to take in at first, it might be overwhelming, but it does all come together. Working in this field is something you have to have a passion for and be excited to do. If you have a passion in what you do for work, it will never feel like work.