In your new career in the HVAC field, you’ll be learning as you go and establishing yourself as a trustworthy contractor. Of course, no one is perfect, and you’re likely to make mistakes along the way. However, there are a few key errors you should do your best to absolutely never make.
Common HVAC Mistakes
As you work to develop your HVAC job, you may find yourself uncertain about some decisions or aspects of your new career. First of all, remember that everyone makes mistakes. However, a few particularly unfortunate mistakes could cause problems for you in the long run. Consider these choices you should absolutely not make in your HVAC work:
- Don’t sell yourself short
- Don’t just focus on the HVAC mechanics
- Don’t rely on “rule of thumb”
1) Don’t Sell Yourself Short
In your early days of business, you won’t be able to charge especially high prices for your services. You’ll still be in the stage of proving yourself to your clients. However, don’t constantly underbid on a job. Remember, the cost of a job is your salary. Don’t feel obligated to bid an unreasonably low price or accept a terrible estimate.
2) Don’t Just Focus on the HVAC Mechanics
On the surface, your clients are hiring you to work on their HVAC units and fix a definite problem. Ultimately, they’re hiring you to enhance their comfort in their own house. If you fix a faulty air conditioning but fail to mention that a poorly done window is causing the cold air to leak out, your clients may face the same problem later. Make sure your clients know what other work may be necessary to completely fix their problem. As an added bonus, you may be able to do some of that work yourself, resulting in a bigger paycheck!
Pro Tip: Don’t try to fix a problem you didn’t study for. Offer to expand your project to include additional HVAC work, but don’t try to fix a client’s broken window.
3) Don’t Rely on “Rule of Thumb”
You’ll rarely encounter two identical homes or HVAC systems. While you may be tempted to rely on what you believe to be universal characteristics between different HVAC units, the truth is that you’ll be working on drastically different equipment almost every time. Study and learn about the myriads of unique HVAC systems and house layouts, not a “rule of thumb” that changes with every change to building styles.
Don’t Make These Common HVAC Mistakes!
There’s no way to predict what you’ll encounter in your new career or the decisions you’ll have to make. However, you can decide ahead of time to avoid these pitfalls when they show up. Don’t allow yourself to make these mistakes! Your new career will thank you.
Join the conversation to learn more about what to avoid as you start your new journey into the HVAC field.
In a culture that emphasizes college and a degree as the ultimate good, trade school education and blue-collar jobs get far less attention. But the truth is that a trade school education can provide just as excellent job opportunities as any form of education. By staying informed about less conventional job routes, such as HVAC careers, people entering the workforce can make a better decision about which form of education and work to pursue.
What to Expect from an HVAC Job
By its nature, an HVAC job doesn’t offer the same daily repetition that a more conventional job would. However, there are still several consistent things you can expect from beginning your new career in this industry. The most common include:
- Job security
- New challenges
- Varied work environments
- Regular customer interaction
1) Job Security
The vast majority of Americans have air conditioning and/or heating units in their homes. Particularly in Texas, those units get plenty of use. At any given point, hundreds of people will need repairs or maintenance on their HVAC systems. Even if the exact work and timing vary throughout the year, you can be confident knowing you’ll always have a steady source of work!
2) New Challenges
Each job will bring with it new challenges and new learning opportunities for you. Not only will your clients be happy when you get their cooling systems working again, but you’ll also be satisfied knowing you completed a task and did a good job. The problem-solving nature of an HVAC job lends itself to variety and high job satisfaction.
3) Varied Work Environments
For the most part, you’ll rarely spend two days working in the same workspace! Every day you’ll be somewhere new, meeting a new person, and working on a new HVAC system. This appeals to anyone who prefers a little variety in their life. You can always count on a new environment for your workday.
4) Regular Customer Interaction
HVAC jobs also include a hefty amount of customer interaction. You’ll talk to clients or potential clients pretty much every day as you work on jobs or schedule future work. In addition to the inherent variability of an HVAC job, you’ll also find yourself handling a variety of different people every day.
Pro Tip: Even if you’re working alone, customer service skills are critical to your success in the HVAC field. Make sure you know how to properly treat your clients!
HVAC: An Appealing Career Choice
The HVAC industry appeals to people who crave new challenges every day, varied work environments, and regular interactions with clients. You can rest assured that you’ll stay busy for a long time while enjoying no two identical workdays in your new HVAC career.
Join the conversation to see why others chose the HVAC route and see if the choice appeals to you.
Any business owner knows the importance of marketing and self-promotion to keep business coming in. Your HVAC business is no exception. As you begin your career, it’s time to start developing useful HVAC marketing strategies and methods to keep people interested in your services.
Promoting Your Business
To successfully get people interested in your HVAC skills, take advantage of the multiple advertising channels available to you. There are many ways to increase your business’s visibility and grant you a return on your investment. For the best results possible, try these proven advertising methods:
- Professional website
- HVAC postcards
- Seasonal advertising
- Follow-up system
1) Professional Website
Prospective customers often judge a business based on how professional (or sloppy) its website looks. Build an impressive website or hire an affordable marketing service to do it for you. The more polished and easy to use your website is, the more likely it is to impress your potential clients.
As you begin to accumulate glowing reviews, feature them prominently on your website (with the client’s permission). If possible, ask the client to elaborate on why they appreciated your help. Consumers trust other consumers to give honest reviews. By including plenty of positive online reviews, you’ll show yourself to be trustworthy and a great HVAC provider.
Pro Tip: Reviews that mention your business’s location and/or your name specifically are especially good for online visibility.
3) HVAC Postcards
Mail advertisements have existed almost as long as mail has, but they still bring in plenty of business. Design some colorful, eye-catching postcards to mail out in your local area. To further pique interest, consider offering a discount code or referral option on the cards. And don’t forget to feature your website address prominently.
4) Seasonal Advertising
By its nature, HVAC work is seasonal. However, that just means you already know the best times of year to promote your services. Remind people to replace their ACs in the summer and tune up their heating units in the winter. As customers realize a project they’d been putting off is suddenly becoming urgent, you’ll start hearing from more people. Take advantage of the seasonal nature of HVAC to earn more work for yourself!
5) Follow-Up System
Remember, very few customers hire you after only seeing one ad or visiting your website once. Continue making yourself visible to prospective clients through regular postcards, online ads, phone calls, or other marketing methods to keep your business in their minds. Your patience will pay off as you attract more people this way!
Generating Business through HVAC Marketing
The HVAC industry offers something truly useful to consumers. With an effective marketing plan and quality customer service, you’re certain to earn many clients’ trust and repeated business. Keep your HVAC website running and keep your ads new.
Connect with us to learn more about your new HVAC career and self-promotion for your small business.
Aspiring HVAC students must make sure they’re fulfilling every requirement for a proper Texas HVAC license. As a future HVAC technician, you can choose between two licenses: the Texas Air Conditioning License Class A or Class B, each with their own functions and permits. Depending on your preferences and expertise, one of these licenses will likely be the better choice for you.
In Texas, the primary difference between the two licenses is their scope of permitted work. A Class A license places no restrictions on the machines you can service, while a Class B license restricts your activities to cooling and heating systems that meet certain size or energy requirements. The tests for each license require different preparations and knowledge in order to pass.
TACLA vs. TACLB: Definitions
A Class A HVAC license in Texas allows you to work on a heating or cooling unit of any size or energy output. Meanwhile, a Class B license restricts your work to cooling systems up to 25 tons and heating systems with up to 1.5 million BTUs/hour. It’s important to note that a Class B license doesn’t restrict where you can offer services, just the type of machine. Plenty of HVAC technicians with Class B licenses still enjoy productive careers.
Requirements for Both Licenses
Regardless of which license you choose to pursue, both will require certain guidelines to be met:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must register as an ACR technician. No testing is required at this point in the process.
- You must be able to provide proof of 3-4 years of professional experience shadowing an expert.
- You must apply to take the ACR certification exam.
- You must decide whether you would rather pursue a Class A or B license.
- You must take and pass the ACR exam, then use this skill to find a job in the HVAC field.
Pro Tip: If you don’t pass the initial HVAC licensing test, you have a year to continue trying. However, you’ll need to pay the exam fee of $115 every time you try again.
Preparing for the Test
If you’re pursuing a Class A license, you can expect a test with 120 questions and a time limit of 240 minutes (4 hours). For a Class B license, the test will consist of 100 questions and have a time limit of 180 minutes (3 hours). Both require a score of at least 70% to pass. While both license exams will have specialized questions for their specific applications, you can expect the same general topics on both, including but not limited to:
- Boiler systems
- Business and law
- HVAC systems
- Heating and cooling
- Equipment requirements
- Refrigeration systems and principles
- Pressure relief
Starting Your New Career
An HVAC career in Texas certainly has a positive outlook and high job security. Before you dive into your new career path, make sure you meet all the legal requirements and possess all the knowledge necessary for this job. With the proper contractor licenses, you’ll be ready to start working!
Connect with us to learn more about our HVAC classes and how to study for your upcoming license tests.
For your long-term HVAC career, a well-written resume will be a valuable asset. Having a demonstrable record of your skills, experience, and knowledge will allow you to more effectively promote yourself as a reliable contractor and, consequently, gain more work.
There is no perfect resume format or style for an HVAC career. However, your resume should contain a few key pieces of information for potential clients or employers to consider. Include your years of experience, your education, and briefly describe the skills most critical to an HVAC job.
Experience and Education
This one applies to any career path. On your resume, list the trade school you graduated from, your GPA (if one is provided), how long your training lasted, and how long you’ve been working in the HVAC field since then. Excellent grades from a reliable school show you’re a hard worker and willing to learn. And of course, experience shows how long you’ve been able to apply your newfound knowledge in your field. List any jobs, apprenticeships, or other work experience that helped you learn.
Think about the repair skills you learned in school. Which ones will customers want to see that you have? A few critical ones might include:
- Installation and troubleshooting skills for heating and cooling systems
- Finding and fixing the source of a problem
- Finding or altering replacement parts
- Installing individual parts (pumps, pipes, fans, etc.)
- Using power tools safely
- Maintaining air and water treatments in HVAC systems
- Performing preventive maintenance as needed
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to list customer service skills on your HVAC resume! A good relationship with your clients will help expand your career.
In addition to the mechanical skills an HVAC technician needs, you should also be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge of different systems and legal documents. On your resume, explain how familiar you are with:
- Safety procedures and basic instructions for HVAC equipment
- Work strategies and schematics
- Local building codes and safety regulations
- General familiarity with how an HVAC system functions
- Determining whether a client needs a simple repair or full replacement
Different regions require different exact certifications before you can begin work, so make sure you know what tests to pass and list on your resume. One example is the EPA 608 Technician Certification, designed to ensure that HVAC technicians know how to handle potentially hazardous refrigerants. Not only is this test mandatory to do any real HVAC work, but it’s also absolutely critical to most HVAC employers. Once you have this certification, display it on your resume prominently.
Additionally, while some tests may not be mandatory, they can increase your appeal to potential employers and clients alike. Research your local regulations and see what HVAC employers want from their new hires.
Starting Your HVAC Career
A well-written resume can ultimately contribute to a rewarding job and a fulfilling career in the HVAC industry. How does your resume measure up? It may be time to double-check that your resume matches your ideal job description.
Connect with us to learn more about jumpstarting your HVAC career!
Congratulations on finishing your HVAC certification! Now it’s time to focus on establishing yourself in the industry and setting up a business. Though your particular choices may differ, you can generally follow a few key steps to successfully create your new HVAC business.
A Successful HVAC Business
Of course, no business goes from new to booming overnight. But with careful planning and strategic marketing, you can become a successful business owner in your newfound career. Here’s what you can expect to be doing:
- Finish any certification you need
- Decide how independent you’ll be
- Secure insurance
- Bid strategically
- Market yourself
1) Finish Any Certification You Need
Once you graduate from your class, you have all the knowledge necessary to get started. However, some states require additional certiticates or tests. Research local requirements for your area of work and make sure you’re covered before getting started.
2) Decide How Independent You’ll Be
Would you prefer to start your own small business or open a franchise location? Both have their pros and cons. If you prefer total independence and the complete freedom to set your own hours, you’d probably enjoy creating your own business. On the other hand, opening a franchise gives you the good reputation and resources available to the rest of the company. Either way, you’ll be doing all the work, so the choice just comes down to your long-term preference.
Pro Tip: If your goal is to run your own business but that isn’t quite possible yet, try to open a franchise location first. Once you’ve established yourself in your community, you can move toward independent work.
3) Secure Insurance
Your HVAC business will absolutely require general liability insurance as a precaution. If you hire employees, you’ll also need worker’s compensation insurance to protect yourself in the event of an on-the-job injury. Exact requirements for both vary between states, so make sure to do your research.
4) Bid Strategically
HVAC contractors land jobs by bidding their own prices. Learning this skill will help you secure work immediately as well as in the future. See what other local HVAC technicians are charging, and consider your own experience level and the amount of work you can provide. What’s a fair asking price for this job?
5) Market Yourself
Every business needs advertising, and you can’t go wrong with word-of-mouth. Hand out brochures and business cards, and consider offering discounts for referrals or first-time clients. Build up a positive reputation through time, experience, and quality customer service.
Starting a New Business
HVAC is a rapidly growing career field with plenty of chances to start your own business. But as with any business, every step requires careful consideration and planning. Keep yourself prepared and protected as you step into the HVAC industry.
Join the conversation to see how other HVAC contractors created and continue to manage their own businesses today!