Student Starts HVAC Company While Finishing Degree

Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2021


UNOH Graduate and Owner of Horton Heating, Steven Horton

Written by Communications Specialist Georgia Beard

Being local to UNOH, Steven Horton easily found himself at the university right out of high school. However, his path changed course and he found himself joining the Air Force. After serving as a security forces member, his time was up and he knew his path would lead him to join the trades. Steven grew up with a family of plumbers, HVAC technicians, and other similar careers.

Steven worked at a trade job for five years, but he knew he wanted something more, he wanted to own his own business. As a veteran, Steven was able to go to college again. This is when he found his way back to UNOH to study HVAC/R Technology. At the same time, Steven started his own company, Horton Heating.

“I started in the field without having this classroom instruction,” Steven explained. “You’re just kind of thrown to the wolves.” The classroom and shop work helped Steven understand the past and current age of HVAC systems and equipment.

By starting the business and course work at the same time, Steven was able to be sure to develop the foundation correctly and build his business up with the proper knowledge. His work-to-school balance was accomplished by working during the day and taking night classes at UNOH. “With classes being Monday through Thursday, I really appreciated the schedule and that I was able to have Friday, Saturday, and Sundays off,” Steven stated.

Inside the classroom, not only did Steven appreciate the knowledgeable instructors with real world experience, but he also respected the learning style. He explains, “We spent most of our time out in the shop and working on pieces of equipment, getting our hands on the material. But on the back end in the classroom, that's where the fundamentals are pounded in and that's ultimately, where I received the building blocks to succeed as a technician.”

“I think the instructors do it very well. They know how to talk to students. They know how to assign work in a way that it's not going to overwhelm you, but it's going to challenge you,” Steven continued. “And that's what people need. They need to be challenged. They need to have goals and they need to exceed those goals. And UNOH does a good job of doing that for the students.”

Steven completed courses in 2020 and is utilizing his education everyday within his business. “The time I’ve spent at UNOH has drastically put me ahead of the ball,” he exclaimed. “I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time, that it was definitely worth it. There’s so much opportunity to learn and grow here at UNOH.”

Category: Applied Technologies

Keywords: HVAC/R, Steven Horton

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Last updated: 07/21/2021