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Michael Beach - Mid-America Tech and Pontotoc Tech

This HVAC technician brings a breath of fresh air to the classroom.

THEN: A boiler operator and mechanic in the Navy. Michael Beach said the Navy’s air conditioning technicians were mechanics and machinists, so he got a taste for working in the field during his three years of military service. He was good with his hands and liked to fix things, so heating, ventilation and air conditioning was a logical career choice for him.

Following his military stint, he formalized his training by enrolling in the HVAC program at Mid-America Technology Center. After graduation, Beach received his journeyman’s license and worked for a contractor for three years before starting his own HVAC contractor company. As a result of the HVAC program, Beach

  • Was able to get two years of credit toward his apprenticeship requirements in the journeyman’s process.
  • Passed his certification test.
  • Got hired by an Oklahoma City company within three months of graduating from Mid-America Tech.

Three years later, Beach got his contractor’s license and opened Beach Heat and Air. He didn’t stay away from Mid-America Tech for long, however. He taught night classes there while he ran his business.

Teaching was a calling for Beach, and eventually he decided to pursue a more challenging teaching opportunity. Pontotoc Technology Center hired him to build an HVAC program from the ground up, an opportunity he called “amazing.”

“I get to see [students] move forward in their careers and see them succeed,” he said. “I enjoy teaching, so this was the right move for me.”

Beach didn’t give up his business for the classroom. He’s successfully juggling both, and he said that makes the learning experience even more valuable for his students.

“I’m able to share a variety of aspects students will deal with in the everyday life of being an HVAC technician,” he said.

He said all students with an interest in mechanics can find success in the HVAC program.

“Some people are good at turning a wrench, and being a mechanic can mean all sorts of different things. Specialization means you just have to focus on an area, like HVAC, to grow your knowledge and skills. That’s what we do in this program,” he said.

NOW: With that combination of knowledge and skills, Beach said he has achieved financial success, which has allowed him to expand his world. He travels all over the world, which is one of his greatest passions.

"After I graduated, my instructor became my mentor, and I strive to be that for my students."

Michael Beach, HVAC technician and instructor

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