This collection of HVAC FAQs is made up of some of the most common questions we get here at The Training Center for Heating and Air Conditioning.
HOW DID THIS A/C TRAINING SCHOOL START?
Chris Walters started this school because none existed that met his technician needs for his air conditioning company. After years of training other school graduates only to have to train them almost everything, he decided to do something about it. Starting the school solved his technician problem and opened the door for other contractors to hire from. Now he exclusively spends his time developing and improving the training to keep it cutting edge and always relevant to what is breaking today. Learn more about Chris Walters’ background by viewing the Meet Our Staff page.
HOW LONG IS THE TRAINING CENTER FOR AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING COURSE?
This course will take 10 weeks to complete 16 subjects. This is accomplished from 8:00 am to 11:00 am or 5:30 -8:30 pm, Monday through Thursday–no classes on Fridays. There are three courses offered per year; Spring class beginning in January, Summer class beginning in May, and Fall class beginning in September. Want to learn more about our courses? View the HVAC classes page.
WHAT IS THE MAIN TEACHING METHOD AT THE TRAINING CENTER FOR AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING?
Hands-on is the short but important answer. Mr. Walters, the school’s Director, has seen many technicians over his 30-year career that did not get enough hands-on training or teaching. Many of these students came with certificates and made excellent grades. These same technicians had never touched some of the most basic components and instead spent most of the time in classrooms. Our facility is one big shop setting. You sit at workbenches and use tools every day. There will be lecture and class instructions, but almost all of it is followed by practical examples. Interested in hearing more about our unique teaching experience? Learn more by viewing the Chris Walters Method page.
WHAT ARE THE CLASS SIZES AT THE TRAINING CENTER FOR AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING?
The facility and the course were designed to teach a small teacher to student ratio. Class sizes will not exceed 18 students.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO LEARN DURING THE TRAINING CENTER FOR AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING COURSES?
The air conditioning and heating technician training program is a comprehensive course designed to teach students the skills and techniques required for entry-level employment into the residential and light commercial, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) field. Upon completion of this program, students will be able to install, service, and maintain typical air conditioning and heating systems found in the southern environment of the United States. Graduates may find suitable entry-level employment with air conditioning companies, building maintenance departments, high rise building engineering departments, or other employment where HVAC skills are required. Graduates will learn with class lecture, discussion, and with hands-on experience in lab environments. They will also be exposed to a variety of actual equipment and mock-up situations designed to prepare them for fieldwork.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND TRAINING CENTER FOR AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING CLASSES?
Please contact us via phone for tuition rates and financing options. Prices include all of these learning materials:
- EPA exam testing
- Toolkit with carrying bag
This follows our core belief that teaching someone this trade will change their life and offer job security. The tuition cost is a small amount considering the knowledge and experience you will gain and be exposed to. Plus the earning potential it brings in a proven trade with high growth projected.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO THE TRAINING CENTER OF AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING CLASS?
When you come to class on the first day, you will be given a textbook and a toolkit with a carry bag. Inside the bag are:
- Other materials
The tools will stay on-site until after graduation, at which point you will keep them. You just need to bring yourself, your textbook, and any completed homework with you each school day and you’ll be ready to go.
CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE FINAL EXAM AT THE TRAINING CENTER OF AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING?
All graduates of this program will take a multi-day final exam. The instructor sets up 40-50 hands-on testing stations. Each one allows the student to individually apply the skills learned during the class. This approach allows the students to put everything they have learned over the past 14 weeks into use all at one time. They will have learned every part of the final exam work hands-on at the workbenches and in the lab.
WHAT SKILLS/QUALIFICATIONS ARE NECESSARY TO TAKE AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING CLASS?
Students must be 18 years of age, have a High School Diploma or GED, and be able to speak, read and write in English. Prospective students will not be denied admission on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, age, or veteran status (except where age, sex, or handicap constitutes a bona fide occupational qualification necessary to proper and efficient administration).
WHAT IS A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT?
The State of Texas receives applications for subject matter experts. These applications are numerous as this is a prestigious position since only 4-5 experts are chosen. Chris Walters, Director of The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating, has been a continuously selected expert for some years and has maintained and worked on the class A license exam. He 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.
WHAT DO TRAINING CENTER OF AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING 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. At a recent graduation, we were approached by many family members telling us how this program has changed a loved one’s life. One mother told us her son was depressed when college did not work out and had given up hope until he started our program. She told us he came home every day excited and proud of what he had learned. Graduation night is very special to us, and it’s a great time for families to share this moment. We get many warm thank yous all through the program, and we always welcome graduates to return and let us see how they are doing.
HOW IS CONTACTING YOU A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE?
When you contact us, you will get our undivided attention for as long as you need. We will not only answer all your questions, but we will invite you to visit us and take a look for yourself. If the school is in session, you are welcome to visit during one of the classes and sit in for a few minutes. It is very important that you feel at home here and are never rushed. We know that what we have is far superior to anything else you will find, so there is never a hard sell.
WHO REGULATES THE TRAINING CENTER OF AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING?
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has approved this school and has given it School Number: 4380. The approval process is very long and complex. Every aspect of the school has been inspected and evaluated by the TWC. It is an honor to be among those A/C trade schools that have made it through the process. On the TWC website, you can see that not many A/C schools exist. To show how concerned the TWC is about the training we are required to have 60 % of the graduates employed. If we do not meet this rate, the school can be closed.
HOW IS THE TRAINING CENTER OF AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING DIFFERENT?
- The class is designed to get the information and labs to you in the most efficient way and utilize your time onsite in the best possible manner.
- 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. We all start together, and we all graduate together. Some schools throw in new students into the mix every week. This throws off the dynamic of the class and adds in a lot of questions that have been answered before.
- Some schools keep switching you to other trade classes to keep you there longer. We will never do this. You start in A/C, and you finish in A/C.
- Some schools assign class time for reading the textbook. We give you recommended reading that you do on your own time.
- We care about your future, and you are always welcome to visit.
WHY PICK THE AIR CONDITIONING TRADE?
There are several reasons why this trade is such a great choice. Here are just a few examples.
- The tremendous shortage of a/c technicians that is not expected to end anytime soon.
- Job security is second to none since this is a taught trade not easily picked up on the job.
- The work is challenging, exciting and the pay is excellent.
- The path to owning your own business is just four short years.
- There is no overlap in our trade with others, so no one else is doing it.
- A/C systems wear out every ten years, so new opportunities are never far away.
- Big a/c companies have driven prices up very high so its easier than ever to compete with them.
- Unfortunately, due to the lack of skilled training programs, 90% of A/C and heating units are installed and serviced incorrectly. This normally makes for much shorter life spans of the equipment and many more service calls. A highly skilled technician will spend a career fixing other people’s mistakes.
HOW MUCH DO A/C TECHNICIANS GET PAID?
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average (mean) pay is $20.98 per hour (or $43,640 per year). The BLS states that the top 10% make $33.10 per hour (or $68,840 per year). Technicians who obtain their own license and start their own company can make money only limited to their business skills. There are lots of variances in pay for A/C technicians. It depends on many factors, and most of them are based on your knowledge, understanding, and experience. If you are hired on at a residential service company that runs mostly service, your value will be directly tied to completed service calls. Obviously, when you first start out, you will have a lot to learn and need to gain experience. However, with the right training and understanding of the fundamentals, you will set yourself up for the best paying positions. Keep in mind this is a constant learning field, and the more you learn, the more you are worth. There are many sites quoting pay but always visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the most up to date and accurate information.
IS AIR CONDITIONING WORK ONLY ABOUT HOT ATTICS?
No, air conditioning service companies typically service residential, commercial, or both. There is a lot of attic work in residential service since that is where the equipment is located. However, there is also much work that takes place outside, on roofs, and other places depending on what market the company you work for caters to.
WHO REGULATES THE AIR CONDITIONING BUSINESS?
Once you go to work for an A/C contractor, you must register with the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR). The A/C contractor you work for is also regulated by the TDLR. The A/C license holder must complete continuing education each year. The TDLR works very hard to ensure we operate with the highest quality of workmanship and ethics. They are constantly working to catch technicians that operate without a license. Without TDLR, the wages would drop due to unlicensed workers taking jobs.
WHAT OTHER JOBS MIGHT A/C TRAINING BE USED FOR?
There are many occupations and jobs that you can seek and be a good candidate for with air conditioning training. Of course, there are many air conditioning contractors out there needing help almost all of the time. But there are also many corporations that have their own in-house maintenance and mechanical departments. Maintenance and repairs to buildings, homes, and schools all require mechanical personnel. High rise buildings use maintenance departments, and many employ stationary engineers. The air conditioning trade is one of the few trades that overlap with other specialized trades. Air conditioning technicians do A/C, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and welding/brazing.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT A/C TECHNICIAN SHORTAGE?
Trade magazines and online articles for years have discussed the need for qualified technicians. I invite everyone to search the web for A/C job information and also visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. You will see that this is an excellent choice for job opportunities with expected growth of 34% from 2010 to 2020. It is expected to add 90,000 jobs during that time, and the skill levels will be more important than ever with the new technology being offered. Job prospects and pay are best for those who complete technical training.