Picture of Isaiah Hawkins, OTC

Okaloosa Technical College Changes Student's Life

Isaiah Hawkins, a new graduate of the Okaloosa Technical College’s (OTC) Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration program, shares his story on how choosing a postsecondary school which truly focuses on building a career can change a person’s life.

Rapid changes in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating service continue to open a multitude of career opportunities in environmental control of both commercial and residential buildings. Students in the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Technology Program will be equipped with the skills and knowledge required to launch a career as an entry-level technician. OTC makes sure students have the skills to use the tools of the trade to embark on new career in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Technology. Students will be well prepared to take the EPA 608 certification test, the ESCO ER-AC Exam and more. As the seasons change, systems change; but the need for solid technical knowledge and skills never changes.
Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Technology is a high demand career field. OTC’s program trains students for employment as heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics, installers and service technicians. Job duties include:

  • Install, service, maintain, and troubleshoot heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration units for both new construction and existing units.
  • Design, production, installation, and maintenance of efficient, cost-effective air conditioning and heating systems.

Okaloosa Technical College offers quality post-secondary programs featuring state-of-the-art training facilities and professional, industry-experienced instructors. Programs provide nationally recognized industry certifications that qualify students to enter the workforce or continue their education.

Promoting students to the highest level of professionalism obtainable is OTC’s goal. They guarantee that "if any of our graduated students do not perform their jobs in an exemplary manner which is up to our high standards, we will bring that student back in for retraining at the expensive of the college." This is how confident OTC is that the training and education they offer is beyond reproach and second to none.

Students in OTC’s programs range in age from 18 - 73. A full list of programs offered can be found at https://www.otcollege.net/programs and include:

  • Applied CyberSecurity which prepares students for employment and/or specialized training in the Information Technology (IT) industry. This program of study focuses on broad, transferable skills and stresses understanding and demonstration of security and networking technologies.
  • Through the Automotive Service Technology Program, students explore the many aspects and career opportunities within the automotive industry.  Students are exposed to the new “high-tech” world of automobile service and repair through daily hands-on work in the classroom and opportunities to meet and learn from local industry partners.
  • In Building Trades and Construction Design Technology students receive training in carpentry and installation of drywall, and basic skills in HVAC, plumbing fixtures, electrical components, concrete and masonry. Training in construction OSHA, are part of this program. Students learn through classroom, shop and laboratory activities.
  • The Carpentry program prepares students for entry-level positions in various segments of the construction industry. From safety practices to basic rough carpentry and framing. Students in the Carpentry program are prepared to jump-start their careers in this industry. Students participate in various construction projects on campus and gain experience with a full, start to finish residential project. From blueprints to estimating buildings cost to carpentry, you will be engaged in all aspects of construction, and will receive hands-on training from concept to completion in building a house.
    • Learn real-world skills while having fun.
    • Learn from industry-certified, experienced instructors.
    • Earn national industry certifications that lead to high skill / high wage positions.
  • There are tremendous career opportunities for students in Cosmetology, Skin care, Spa Treatments, and Nail care are the hottest specialty growth areas today. Students enrolled in the Cosmetology Program receive specialized training in many of today’s most sought after career fields. While enrolled in the Cosmetology Program, students are awarded the opportunity of preparing for the Board of Cosmetology License. Program description:
    • Hands on real-world experience through our student operated state-of-the-art salon.
    • The latest techniques in the beauty industry.
    • Superior product education which results in increased earning potential
    • Endless Career opportunities.
  • Commercial Foods & Culinary Arts Institute is designed to teach students the actual practice and art of cooking through theory, technique, palate training, speed and teamwork. Students will learn the necessities required to thrive in the culinary industry, as well as forge personal contacts that will guide them through their journey. Students range in both age and previous professional experience. Students enrolled in the Commercial Foods & Culinary Arts Program receive specialized training in one of today’s most sought after career fields:
    • Learn proper methods of food and equipment handling.
    • Explore Commercial Foods & Culinary Arts from a management perspective.
    • Study recipe management and menu planning.
    • Develop marketable workplace readiness skills.
    • Apply classroom learning during and on-the-job training.
  • The Electrician program combines hands-on, practical learning with classroom training to prepare students for these high-demand positions. From specialty trade contractors to communications companies, today's electricians can work for a variety of employers—residential contractors to commercial builders. Day to day job duties may include: reading electrical blueprints, wiring and installation of junction boxes, outlet boxes and lighting. The need for homes, businesses, and industries across the nation to have electrical systems maintained and serviced by qualified professionals is an on-going requirement. The Electrician program provides students the skills necessary to keep pace with industry demand.
  • In the Marine Service Technologies program, students will work directly on marine engines, learn how to use the tools, equipment, materials, and processes found in the marine industry, and will be prepared for employment as machinery, marine engine, or outboard motor technicians. Classroom and practical experience with maintenance, repair, trouble-shooting, removal and reinstallation of marine engines and related equipment on pleasure boats and commercial crafts. The course content includes: service, repair and overhaul of two-stroke and four-stroke cycle engines and outboard motors, and service and repair of boating accessories. This includes electrical systems, fuel systems, power transfer systems, ignition systems, cooling systems, lubrication systems, drive systems, and boat and trailer rigging. Students can earn two Yamaha 5 Star certificates and four Bombardier (Johnson-Evinrude) Recreational Products
    E-ssentials certificates while attending this course.  Mercury University’s E-Skills programs are also available.
  • The Practical Nursing program includes theoretical instruction and clinical experience in the following areas: (1) Medical, surgical, obstetric, pediatric, and geriatric nursing; (2) Both acute and long term care situations, (3) Application of vocational role and function, personal, family and community health concepts. Students will also learn nutrition, human growth and development over the life span, interpersonal skills, mental health concepts, pharmacology, medications, legal aspects of the profession, etc. This program is approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing, and as such, the student must pass the NCLEX-PN examination before becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse.
  • The Solar Technology program offers a sequence of courses that provide content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the energy field. The classroom content provides limited Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System Design, Installation and Maintenance program. Students learn:
    • The importance of health, safety and environmental management systems for various organizations.
    • Federal regulatory performance and compliance required of "Green" companies.
    • How to identify systems and their components.
    • Conduct a site assessment.
    • Read and interpret basic blueprints.
    • Layout and coordinate a job.
    • Adapt a PV design.
    • Install solar collectors, PV systems and electrical wiring.
  • Technology Support Services is an introductory level course designed to give students a broad overview of vendor neutral computer topics. The course includes an introduction to hardware, software and networking fundamentals. Students will learn to use productivity software applications and will be introduced to the fundamentals of programming.
  • The Welding Technology program prepares students for high-demand careers in the welding industry. The demand of welding grows daily, thus increasing the number of high paying jobs for qualified individuals with welding skills. Students enrolled in the Welding Technology Program will have the opportunity to learn stick, mig and tig welding as well as oxyfuel torch and plasma cutting with state of the art equipment and have the opportunity to earn their AWS certification.
    • The Advanced Welding Technologies program offers a sequence of courses that provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the manufacturing career cluster:
      • Provides technical skills, proficiency, and includes competency-based applied learning.
      • Contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning.
      • Sharpen problem solving, work attitudes, general employability, technical and occupational skills.
      • Gain knowledge of all aspects of the manufacturing career cluster.

The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration program video was created by the CHOICE High School and Technical Center’s Digital Cinema class taught by Ivan McMillin. Marcus Harris and Dalton Byles are the students produced the video.

More information about how to register for Okaloosa Technical College and or how to apply for financial aid can be found at OTCollege.net or by calling 850-833-3500.