Regardless of your career choice, you can’t afford to stop learning. This is especially true for HVAC contractors. While this may sound like a no-brainer, the fact that countless American homes have an incorrectly installed AC unit shows that plenty of HVAC contractors don’t see the need to continue improving their work.
With the introduction of such features as thermostats and electronic circuit cards to AC systems, the need for continuous HVAC training became more pronounced. Since electronics change much more rapidly and readily than less advanced hardware, it’s absolutely essential to know how to keep up with these updates and learn how to use this new form of equipment. Unfortunately, not enough contractors see the need to keep learning once their classes are over. Let’s take a look at why continuous learning is relevant to your HVAC career.
Teach Yourself Through Available Resources
You will run into veteran technicians out in the field that think they know it all and basically quit learning new stuff years ago. This is a poor approach to any career. Unfortunately, these guys frequently get senior positions and talk with authority. If you get stuck with one of these types and can’t get away from his influence, quit that job and go seek another one.
This need to learn constantly is a good thing since it keeps us in learning and research mode, which makes staying current even easier. There’s no shame in just taking to the internet to search for an AC-related question or advice. Years ago, HVAC technicians relied heavily on books and factory tech support. Now, with smartphones and the internet, you literally have a world of information at your fingertips. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?
Continuing Education is Often Legally Required
If your goal is to open your own HVAC business, almost every licensing jurisdiction requires continuing education of 8 hours per year as a minimum standard. By keeping up with this requirement, HVAC contractors can continue improving their work, keep their licenses current, and stay up-to-date on every update to the industry. Whether you have a license or not, get in the habit of learning everything you can as often as you can about the HVAC industry.
Pro Tip: When it comes to the HVAC industry, never stop learning! There’s always something new to teach yourself or a positive change you can make.
Don’t Just be a Tourist
If your ultimate goal is to work your way to your own HVAC business or just use your newfound skills to support yourself, don’t allow it to become just a job. Don’t be a casual tourist of anything that is important to you. Your HVAC business can support you and your family for a long time to come. Do yourself a favor and stay informed to remain competitive in this growing industry.
Keep Teaching Yourself
Like any other career field in the modern world, HVAC recommendations and work change very frequently and with little warning. If you fail to keep yourself updated and educated on how to handle these new changes, your career will be rather short-lived. Keep your career on track and your customers happy by educating yourself on any topic relevant to the HVAC field. Never stop learning!
Join the conversation for more ways to continue educating yourself through your HVAC career.
Thank you for considering The Training Center of Air Conditioning and Heating in your quest for HVAC training. If you have viewed our website or taken a tour of the facility, you probably already know what we have to offer that is unique to our program.
First of all, please know that we care about you and we intend to do everything to give you more than you expected. Once you pass through our doors, you become part of our club and we are here to help and guide you long after you graduate. Let us be the training center you need to start your HVAC career.
Common Questions & Answers
Even after a tour or browsing session on our website, you probably still have plenty of questions about The Training Center. We’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions we receive, along with their answers, here for your convenience:
- How are we different?
- What is a subject matter expert?
- Why was this school started?
- Is this class for you?
- Why learn the HVAC trade?
- What do our students say at graduation?
- Why should you contact us?
1) How Are We Different?
The class is designed to get the information and labs to you in the most efficient way possible and to use your time onsite most effectively. We are not about filling seats and adding more and more. We are about small class sizes and quality. We do not start students at random times, nor do we switch you to other trade classes in the middle of a course. We all start together and we all graduate together.
2) What is a Subject Matter Expert?
The state of Texas receives numerous applications for subject matter experts, outstanding leaders in their field, out of which only 4-5 experts are chosen annually. Chris Walters has been a continuously selected expert for a number of years and has not only maintained and worked on the class A license exam, but also asked to be part of the class B exam and to help develop a new technician certification exam. Positions like these come at the pinnacle of careers and are limited to applications that hold the highest license type.
3) Why Was This School Started?
Chris Walters started this school because none existed that met his needs for technicians in his air conditioning company. After nearly 23 years of getting other schools’ graduates only to have to train them on almost everything, he decided to do something about it. Starting the school solved his technician problem and allowed other contractors to hire new graduates from the school. Now Chris exclusively spends his time developing and improving the training to keep it cutting edge and always relevant to what is breaking today.
Once he got state approval of the school, Chris sent his helpers through it and immediately put them in service trucks. After training more technicians, the word got out and contractors called almost daily in search of graduates to hire. His hard work has paid off as the school continues to thrive today.
4) Is This Class for You?
This class is for you if you want to learn how to install or repair an HVAC system. Age doesn’t matter–as long as you’re willing to put in the effort and apply yourself, you can launch an HVAC career at any age. Likewise, you don’t need to be an expert in HVAC to take this class. The lessons will be given to you at your level of knowledge and you will never be singled out for knowing too little. No matter where you are in life, we can meet you there and bring you up to speed.
5) Why Learn the HVAC Trade?
There are several reasons why this trade is such a great choice:
- The HVAC industry is suffering from a severe lack of qualified workers since this is not a skill easily learned on the job. The market is wide open!
- The work is challenging, exciting, and the pay is excellent. You can choose to work in a different location every day or maintain some consistency, depending on your preference.
- You can build and run your own HVAC business in just 4 years.
- A/C systems wear out every 10 years, so new opportunities are never far away.
- Big HVAC companies have driven installation and repair prices very high, so you can easily offer competitive prices and earn yourself plenty of business.
6) What Do Students Say at Graduation?
The most important thing we hear from our students is that we gave them everything we promised. It is very important that students trust our comments and then see that we will follow through. We also hear great compliments from the families and employers of our graduates.
Graduation night is very special to us and a great time for family to share in this important moment. We get many warm thanks all throughout the program and we always welcome graduates to return and let us see how they are doing.
7) Why Should You Contact Us?
When you contact us, you will get our undivided attention for as long as you need it. We will not only answer all your questions, but we will invite you to visit us and take a look for yourself. If school is in session, you are welcome to visit during one of the classes and sit in for a few minutes.
Pro Tip: It is very important that you feel at home here and never feel rushed. We just want to show you that what we have to offer is superior to virtually any other training experience you can find.
Jump-Start Your HVAC Career
Your career’s ultimate success depends on several factors. Of these factors, the most important is arguably your training experience. Did you learn everything necessary for your work? Were your instructors and fellow students available for continued support even after graduation? Finding the right trade school is crucial to your career. With the answers to these common questions, you should be able to make an informed decision on where to seek training.
Connect with us to learn more about planning your HVAC career!
If you have been in the HVAC industry for any time at all, you are aware of the massive technician shortage. If you have been in it for decades like many experts have, you are aware this shortage is nothing new. Waiting for this problem to solve itself has not worked in the past and will still not be effective today.
Conventional job search methods, whether newspaper ads or online job postings, are not nearly as effective as they once were in a technical industry. In recent years, more modern methods such as training schools have shown much more promise in creating skilled, dedicated workers. Let’s take a look at what the facts show.
Unreliable Recruitment Methods
Most contractors have tried everything to find technicians, from the newspaper ads of a few years ago to the online job postings of today. The result is usually the same. Either these calls for workers get no responses or attract poor workers who can’t perform. Since good technicians usually don’t have any problem finding a job, they spend far less time searching and thus rarely see these postings. This leaves a contractor in a bad place when trying to grow a business or just keep it running through normal attrition.
At times, a desperate contractor will poach technicians from another business with the promise of additional pay. For instance, some HVAC technicians will find business cards on their service trucks that say, in a nutshell, “I will pay you more than you currently make–call me!” While this method is common, this just breeds service techs that jump companies for additional pay rather than the overall value of that company. If this is your business’s chosen method, don’t expect loyalty from a tech that jumped just for a few dollars. There is a better way.
Get More HVAC Technicians Quickly
Training your own employees is the solution. Who do you know that could be a great technician if they only had proper training? Find a training school that really does teach what is needed. This fast, efficient method of education can give you a quick return on your investment.
Pro Tip: Find a training facility that can balance time commitments with excellent results. HVAC skills may not need years to teach, but can’t be learned overnight either.
Questions to Ask a Potential Training Center
Finding the right tech school requires asking just a few questions until you find one that checks all your boxes.
Questions should include:
- How much of the class is hands-on?
- How many hours will they practice Brazing?
- Will they get to actually build up complete systems?
- How many different refrigerants will they get to recover and charge?
- Is there a hands-on final exam covering the entire learning experience?
- Will they get to remove motors, blowers, fans, and blades from working systems?
- Will they get to do lots of performance testing with superheat and subcooling methods?
- Will they learn how to use a ductulator?
- Was the program taken from a book or custom made based on years of experience?
- Finally, what is the cost and how long does it take to complete?
Be Part of the Solution
If you come to the realization that getting trained technicians will never happen if you do not become part of the solution you will never see a solution to your technician shortage. Invest in your company’s future by investing in training your own hires and you will never have a technician shortage.
Connect with us to learn more about the classes we offer and our students’ ultimate success rates in the HVAC field.
For most people in the past few decades, the ideal life was graduating with a four-year college degree and landing a white-collar job. However, as the cost of college continues to rise and traditional jobs decrease in number, trade schools are beginning to gain popularity once again.
High school students and graduates begin job hunts earlier in life now than in the past few decades, and as the demand for jobs increases, the business world can’t supply them all. Over time, this has led to a general disillusionment with traditional colleges as people turn to vocational school for a guaranteed job upon graduation. Let’s see what trade school can offer that traditional four-year degrees can’t.
Trade schools generally boast a much shorter educational period than traditional college. Some vocational schools take as long as a year and a half to two years, while others finish in a matter of months. The Chris Walters Method can even get an HVAC trainee certified in just 14 weeks! For anyone in a hurry to join the job market, vocational schools are certainly a viable option to finish quickly.
An estimated 97% of Americans have an air conditioning unit in their home, more than 99% have a flushing toilet, and 68% have a dishwasher. The average person will call an expert for repairs when these home fixtures break down. With numbers that high, anyone entering the vocational field can find work on most days since repairs are always in demand. Just make sure you market yourself so people know to look for you!
Pro Tip: Marketing your HVAC skills is possible through word of mouth, email marketing, flyers, and other strategies. How visible can you make yourself?
Entry-level vocational school graduates are beginning to enter the market in greater numbers. For most people looking to begin trade school soon, now is the time to begin marketing themselves are competent vocational workers. The future is bright for anyone entering a blue-collar job!
Trade School Popularity
Trade schools can offer all the practical work skills needed for a specific career path, as well as a promise of an always-interesting workday. Better yet, you won’t spend nearly as much money or time on a technical school education. If you’re interested in a technical or HVAC career path, give tech school a try!
Connect with us to learn more about the advantages of trade school and to sign up for our next set of classes.
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!
In an HVAC career, one thing is certain: no two days will be exactly the same. Almost daily you’ll have new clients, new problems to solve, and a new location to work in.
As an HVAC student or someone considering the career, you’ve probably wondered: what does a normal day in the life of an HVAC technician look like? Individual days will vary, but you can generally expect a few consistent daily occurrences in your new job.
Planning a Full Day’s Work
Most HVAC techs start their day by either receiving a list of scheduled jobs from their employer or (if self-employed) speaking directly to clients about work. If you make HVAC your career, you’ll rarely have to worry about filling your workday. In Houston, someone will inevitably need repairs on their AC unit. Once you have a full schedule of clients, you’re ready to head out and start working.
Small Jobs vs. Big Projects
For most HVAC professionals, a typical workday consists of several smaller projects to perform maintenance work, repair a malfunctioning air conditioner, or install a new unit. In a suburban area, most of your work will be visiting homes or occasionally small businesses. These jobs generally won’t take long, allowing you to complete several of them in a single day.
Occasionally, you’ll get a bigger installation or repair job that could take days. Maybe a homeowner’s problem is extensive or a large building needs an entirely new system. Obviously, there’s little chance you’ll finish these jobs in one day. You may spend several days returning to the same building and working on the same job.
Finding and Solving the Problem
More often than not, a client won’t know what the problem is with their heating and air conditioning system when they hire you for repairs. Most homeowners won’t provide more information than “It stopped working yesterday.” This is where your problem-solving skills can help immensely. If you know the internal workings of an AC system like the back of your hand, you can easily find anything out of place or broken. Your client will be pleased with the speed of your work, and you’ll be able to fix the problem without pressing the client for more details that they may not know.
Pro Tip: Happy clients can easily become repeat clients! After a service call, leave your contact information and encourage them to call you again if their AC system needs further work.
Overtime or Other Duties
The bad news about an HVAC job is that it can easily run late if complications arise. The good news is, those extra work hours count as overtime and can earn you a decent amount of extra pay for your hard work! Staying late can also shorten the overall time required for a job, meaning you have to spend less time in the same place.
Self-employed HVAC professionals also have to worry about administrative work or planning for the next day once they’ve completed their other work. With time, you should learn to plan accordingly for this extra time and wrap up your day at a reasonable hour.
Ready to Start Your Career in HVAC?
If you love variety in your workdays and relish a challenge, working in the HVAC industry could be the perfect job for you. You’ll never be low on repair jobs or new learning opportunities to improve your skills.
Connect with us to find HVAC classes and get started!