Ten Scholarships for Women in HVAC

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While in the past, the HVAC industry was traditionally male-dominated, this image is quickly being shed as more and more women are finding employment in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Feb. 2017) reported that women make up only 1.4 percent of the HVAC workforce, but the nearly 6,000 women nationwide represents a significant leap from years past. Women’s representation is growing in conjunction with the swelling demand for HVAC professionals.

Women are also starting HVAC businesses and securing higher positions in management with a greater degree of responsibility. For example, the Refrigeration School (July 2016) covered a few of the rising industry leaders, including Anderson Plumbing Heating & Air in San Diego, which is helmed by Mary Jean Anderson, as well as Gene Love Plumbing Air Electrical, which is led by Tammy Ferris with more than 30 years of experience. Furthermore, the recent surge of women also inspired the creation of Women in HVACR, an organization that aims to provide education, mentoring, networking opportunities, and other resources for women in this career field.

Ultimately, there are many employment opportunities for women searching for a career in the HVAC industry. By illustration, the BLS (Dec. 2015) projected that there would be an explosion of openings in this industry in the coming decade; specifically, the BLS anticipated a 14 percent increase in HVAC positions nationwide between 2014 and 2024, substantially more robust than the average growth expected across all occupations during that time (6.5 percent). The addition of 39,600 fresh jobs in this industry reflects the continuing demand for climate control professionals. That said, aspiring HVAC professionals—both men and women—must have the requisite education before joining the industry, which can be expensive or even cost-prohibitive for some. Several organizations have stepped up to offer grants and tuition stipends for women in this high-growth industry. Here are 10 standout scholarships for women in HVAC.

WHVACR Scholarship Program

Women in HVACR—the aforementioned organization with a myriad networking, education, and other benefits for women working in HVAC—offers three annual $2,000 scholarships as of 2017. Two types of scholarships are available: one is provided for those applying to a technical or trade school, while the other must be applied toward a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year school. For the former, applicants must have at least a 2.0 high school GPA; for the latter, a 3.0 GPA is required. Both of these are open to females who are high school seniors (or older) and interested in working in HVAC, and both require a completed application and 500-word essay answering questions on the organization’s website. Applications must be submitted by June 1st, and scholarships are announced at the end of the month.

Dwyer Group

Each semester, the Dwyer Group offers three $1,500 scholarships (a total of six per year) for their “Women in the Trades” program. The Dwyer Group is an organization that builds successful businesses in the service industry as the holding company of various brands, and offers these scholarships to cover tuition, fees, books, and travel. Eligible candidates must be applying to an HVAC school or other trade program.

Women in Technical Careers – Dunwoody College of Technology

The Dunwoody College of Technology of Minneapolis, Minnesota provides education in various technical fields and offers a $10,000 per year scholarship for women interested in enrolling in a technical program at the college, as well as up to $1,500 per year in childcare stipends. To be eligible, an applicant must be a woman (or a non-binary person) looking for a satisfying, high-paying career. They must have a high school diploma or GED and a desire to attend the Dunwoody College of Technology. Scholarship recipients also receive a host of other benefits, including program coordination, professional development workshops, advising, and other academic support.

EWGA Women on Par Scholarship

The EWGA “Women on Par” Scholarship provides $1,000 and $500 grants to qualifying candidates. Eligible applicants must be women age 30 and older who are attending a college or university for the first time to complete a technical/vocation, associate, or bachelor’s degree program. The scholarship is designed to help women get “on par” (i.e., on equal footing) with their peers, friends, and others. EWGA is an organization for current and aspiring professional women, dedicated to empowering, enriching, and energizing professional women through golf.

Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award

Soroptimist is a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. The organization offers the Live Your Dream Award in three amounts: local-level awards of $3,000 or $5,000; and international-level awards of $10,000. Eligible applicants must provide primary financial support for their families and must be enrolled in (or have been accepted to) a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate program. Finally, candidates must also demonstrate financial need.

The Refrigeration School Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship Program

Each year, the Refrigeration School offers a number of awards via its Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship Program. The scholarship, which is distributed incrementally over the second half of the student’s academic career, is worth $3,000 and can only be awarded to female students who are already enrolled in a program at the Refrigeration School. To be eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate their financial need; apply for (and accept) all applicable student aid; and complete a scholarship request form, which is available online.

The Tulsa Welding School Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship Program

Female students enrolled at any Tulsa Welding School campus across the country are eligible to apply for a scholarship through the Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship program. Similar to the Refrigeration School, this scholarship is also awarded over the second half of the student’s academic year and includes $3,000 of aid. Also, the Tulsa Welding School requires applicants to apply for (and accept) all applicable student aid; demonstrate a financial need; and complete a scholarship request form.

Linamar Corporation Skilled Industrial Trades Scholarship (Conestoga College)

Students interested in enrolling in a mechanical technician program at Conestoga College in Ontario may wish to apply for the Skilled Industrial Trades Scholarship provided by the Linamar Corporation. Six of these scholarships are awarded per year, valued at $3,110 each. The scholarship may also be renewed in the student’s second academic year as long as she has maintained a GPA of at least 3.0. It’s important to note that Conestoga College offers various other scholarships for interested applicants as well; in light of this, prospective students considering applying to this school should perform additional research to maximize the grants they secure to cover tuition. Please note that men can also qualify for this specific scholarship.

National Council of Jewish Women Dodell Women’s Empowerment Scholarship

The National Council of Jewish Women’s LA Scholarship Program is “designed to ease the financial burden of people who are trying to better their lives through education in the aftermath of trauma, loss, and other setbacks,” according to the organization’s website. One option provided by the NCJW, the Dodell Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, offers $1,000 to female recipients. To qualify, the applicant must be re-entering or continuing school in order to learn a marketable skill that will lead to economic self-sufficiency. Furthermore, the applicant must be a woman 25 or older seeking economic independence through education. Applications for this scholarship and others offered by the NCJW in Los Angeles are available online.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grants

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a non-profit organization that aims to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. The AAUW offers career development grants to provide funding to women who hold a bachelor’s degree and are preparing to advance, change careers, or re-enter the workforce. These grants provide support for coursework beyond a bachelor’s degree, including a certification program or specialized training in technical or professional fields. The amount of the award ranges between $2,000 and $12,000, and applicants must submit their application between August 1st and December 15th. These grants are open to women who are U.S. citizens, hold a bachelor’s degree, and plan to enroll in a technical school, certification program, or other degree program. All applicants will be notified of the award by April 15th, and the grant will be applied to the following school year.

Barry Franklin

Barry is the Editor in Chief of HVACClasses.org, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures, which he joined as partner in 2013 after almost 20 years in the financial software industry.

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