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From Charter College to His Own Business: Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson had had a few jobs, doing a “little of this and a little of that” when he landed at an HVAC company as an apprentice. Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration seemed like solid, dependable work. It was the kind of career that he believed could support his family, the kind of work he could be proud of.

It was clear early-on, though, that jumping right into the work wasn’t the best path. He needed HVAC/R career training to understand all the technical aspects of the job. That’s when he enrolled at Charter College in Pasco, WA. He learned how to install, maintain and troubleshoot a variety of HVAC/R systems.

“I really liked the hands-on way they taught.” said Zach, “and I still use my books from school on the job.”

With a solid skill set, Zach was able to find employment as a service technician with local contractors to really hone his HVAC/R skills. He also went on to earn his Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology Degree from Charter College. The online program helped him understand the business end of the industry more fully. He learned all about professionalism in the field, including basic business concepts, project management and how to provide excellent customer service.

It’s a good thing, too. Because today Zach runs his own company!

Zach opened Columbia Basin Heating and Cooling in January in Umatilla, OR, and feels like he’s already filling a need. It’s been a busy winter. According to Zach, he “can work on any brand” of system that is out there, and being able to service brands that others cannot really sets him apart.

Zach loves the career he’s chosen and says that Charter College helped him gain the skills and knowledge he needed. He says he’d advise students just setting out to really pay attention in class.

“When you’re out in the field, you need to take what you’ve learned but then put everything together on your own to diagnose the problem and the solution,” said Zach.

If you’re ready to set on your own career path, check out all that Charter College has to offer you. We have career-focused programs in aviation, business, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, paralegal studies, veterinary assistant and some trades. Which one is right for you?