Category : HVAC Specialties

Consider a Career in the Skilled Trades


Many young people are asked early on what they want to do after high school. A lot of them will go on to a state college or university. Some will take time off, and others are yet undecided. If you or someone you know wants to explore a promising path, consider a career in the skilled trades. We’ll tell you more about the benefits of finding your future in HVAC/R.


The fact remains that a four-year college experience isn’t everyone’s post-high school dream. And it’s okay, because there are plenty of options for building a knowledge base and putting those skills to rewarding use.

Learning skilled trades through specialized programs is both affordable and practical. On average, the cost for a trade school degree is a little more than one-quarter of that for a Bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, the salary comparison is reasonably balanced. One study projected trade school graduates might earn about $90,000 less than four-year college graduates over a 30-year span. However, students who pursue a trade school education will finish sooner and enter the workforce about two years earlier, which amounts to trade school graduates earning two additional years of income.

Through apprenticeships, trade school students often receive hands-on training while studying in their chosen field. And these fast-paced, constantly evolving environments provide plenty of opportunity for experience and growth.


Right now, the market for careers in skilled trades is booming, thanks to retiring baby boomers.

Each day over the next several years, an estimated 10,000 baby boomers are expected to turn 65, the age of retirement. By 2029, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population will have already retired or be ready to do so.

As more and more people age out of the workforce, fewer workers are available to fill those positions because they require specific skills. Trade schools can provide the necessary education and skillsets.

Right now, about 80 percent of construction companies in the U.S. are unable to find workers qualified to complete their projects, especially when it comes to HVAC. And the need for HVAC technicians continues to rise. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 15 percent increase in the demand for HVAC employment through 2026.

With such a hot market, the time has never been better to consider this cool, in-demand career.


Family owned and operated for more than 60 years, SCR is the Midwest Premier mechanical and refrigeration contractor. Our supportive work culture and rewarding atmosphere encourages personal and professional growth.

What’s more, SCR provides for prospective employees all the advantages one can expect and more, including:

  • Competitive salary
  • Benefits such as medical, dental, and 401K
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Career and educational advancement opportunities

And those looking for scholarship opportunities can find them right here with SCR. We currently have assistance programs available to those choosing to pursue a career in the skilled trades. Contact us to learn more.


SCR’s Impressive HVAC Project


HVAC installation is often a reasonably straightforward endeavor. But sometimes, a larger and more challenging venture presents itself. Such is the case for the crew at SCR, who started a massive job in Litchfield more than a year ago. With everything on track to wrap up soon, learn more about SCR’s impressive HVAC project and how it differs from so many others.


“A typical HVAC project involves installing the equipment and ductwork that moves air throughout a facility,” Project Manager Josh Hagen said. However, this task was anything but typical.

In the fall of 2019, the First District Association (FDA) dairy processing plant in Litchfield began construction to expand its facility and output. The building additions would allow FDA to increase its daily intake capacity from around 5 million pounds of milk to 7.5 million pounds.

“We did a cheese plant addition, a lactose dryer addition, and a milk receiving addition,” Hagen noted. “So, there were really three separate projects going simultaneously.”

Each expansion was a new building that required a new system. None of the existing HVAC was integrated, so everything started from square one.


This FDA project operates on a bigger scale than most HVAC installations. Naturally, the larger details require more time and effort for execution. And when everything is custom fitted along the way, the amount of work invested becomes obvious.

“Just about all the ductwork is welded stainless steel, which is more time consuming and difficult than typical, bolted-together ductwork,” Hagen explained.

All the pieces used for this project were cut out in SCR’s sheet metal fabrication shop and welded together. “We had one connection piece that measured 144 inches by 96 inches. So, imagine trying to get that up and into place and welded on,” he added.


The complexity and size of these systems made the work demanding at times. One constant challenge on a project of this magnitude, Hagen admitted, was coordinating logistics with the other trades.

This was especially true at the cheese plant, with a maze and miles of piping going in every direction. “We needed to try to make everything fit together while not getting in each other’s way,” Hagen said.

Because the crew needed to get immense and bulky equipment about 250 feet into the building, SCR brought in some memorable machinery to do the heavy lifting.

“We were using Landwehr’s monster 400-ton crane with a 100-foot jib on it to set equipment,” Hagen explained. “You could see this thing from 10 miles away.”

But seeing this project come together is the very definition of satisfying.

“You can look at all the photos you want,” Hagen said, “but the pictures don’t do justice to the scope of this project. To think about what our guys were able to accomplish in getting some of the equipment and ductwork where it’s at is kind of amazing.”


SCR takes comprehensive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services seriously as well as to the next level. This impressive HVAC project will help FDA increase its capabilities and make a statement, just in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary this summer. Learn more about SCR’s HVAC, refrigeration, building automation, food service, and maintenance specialties and how they can work for you. Contact us today.


Follow Your Path to an HVAC Career


Working in HVAC is a fulfilling job. Sure, it has its hot and cold moments, depending on the task. But providing complete and reliable heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and (sometimes) refrigeration service to residential and commercial clients is its own reward. Learn more about this profession and how SCR can help you to find and follow your path to an HVAC career.


HVAC service technicians install, maintain, repair, and replace the climate control systems that keep us comfortable. Ensuring the effective and efficient operation of heating, ventilation, and cooling systems is important for client satisfaction and safety.

On a given day, an HVAC technician may need to perform duties that include:

  • Troubleshooting electrical and mechanical issues
  • Checking for leaks
  • Cleaning, adjusting, or repairing systems and equipment
  • Testing and regulating controls
  • Assembling and installing HVAC equipment
  • Interpreting blueprints

One of the best things about working in HVAC is that every day offers new challenges in a variety of environments with more opportunities to learn and grow.


SCR is the industry leader for commercial and residential HVAC service across the state. We employ and train our technicians to understand all aspects of HVAC. That way, they’re able to assess and understand any issues while adapting to this continually changing industry.

Once you decide that an HVAC career is right for you, make sure to secure a solid education foundation. This path most often requires attaining a high school diploma or GED equivalent before continuing on to earn certification. Additional courses for specialized skills can add to your resume and knowledge base and serve as stepping-stones toward a long and successful HVAC career.

You’ll climb the HVAC career ladder by starting as a laborer or apprentice, where you’ll get hands-on training to hone your skills. As you work your way up to installer or service tech and beyond, you’ll gain more knowledge and become more adept in your trade.

With each rung, you’ll experience more success and job satisfaction, along with increased compensation and pride in your work.


Service technicians are the driving force behind SCR. Currently, HVAC service and installation techs are a highly sought-after crowd, and that demand is only expected to increase over the next several years.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a steady increase in HVAC tech employment through 2029.

For more than 60 years, the family-owned SCR has provided quality service to residential and commercial customers throughout Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. We have all the tools you need to discover and follow your path to an HVAC career. When you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help. Contact us today or visit our website to find current job openings.


Deliver Safer Air with New Technology


The current state of the world has everyone thinking about safeguards, especially regarding indoor air quality. For companies, organizations, and institutions both large and small, safety is the top priority. While the task of purifying indoor air during a global pandemic may seem daunting, Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) and SCR have the answer. Thanks to NeedlePoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI), SCR can deliver safer air with new technology.


GPS’s patented NPBI system uses a facility’s existing heating and cooling system to provide cleaner indoor air. Throughout the process, ions steadily attach to airborne particles. Opposite polarities combine to become larger particles, which allows the system to more quickly recognize, capture, and eliminate them.

In June 2020, GPS conducted a laboratory study in collaboration with Aviation Clear Air. Initial testing revealed a 99.4 percent reduction on a COVID-19 surface strain after 30 minutes. This neutralization is the earliest example by an air purification enterprise.

This technology is ozone-free and subsequently environmentally friendly. What’s more, it can be installed in any system inside any building, from airports and arenas to hospitals, office buildings, places of worship, universities, and everything in between.


NPBI targets airborne particles, pathogens, and odors to deliver clean, healthy indoor air while also saving energy. This scientific and cost-effective approach functions by:

  • Targeting particles. Ions attach to air particles, making them larger and more easily captured by filtration systems.
  • Eliminating odors. The technology reduces indoor odors to basic compounds. What remains is fresh air, free from volatile organic compounds.
  • Reducing pathogens. The process destroys viruses, spores, and bacteria, rendering them inactive and unable to replicate.
  • Saving energy. By requiring less fresh, outdoor air, this system saves about 30 percent on energy consumption costs.

Clean indoor air is an incomparable resource, especially right now. With more than 250,000 satisfied installations, GPS’s NPBI system is a proven way to deliver effectively safer air through existing components. Contact SCR today to learn how this technology can work for you.