If there’s one thing to remember about working as HVAC tech, it’s that there really isn’t an average day. Different technicians may specialize in certain things, and uncommon emergencies can flip your plans on their head! However, there should be a basic structure or pattern that most days follow.
The HVAC Tech Schedule
For the sake of simplicity, this article tackles the life of a tech working for an HVAC company, rather than an independent contractor. First and foremost, the HVAC checks in with dispatch, either in person or via phone to find out what their day will look like.
Go With The Flow
A high priority service call may alter the course of your day, so it’s important that you’re able to roll with the punches, taking last minute changes in stride. Dispatch will keep you aware of upcoming jobs, but when things come up it’s important not to stress out.
Talk to Customers
Every customer is unique, which means that each technician must be well-trained in communication. Interactions with customers takes real skill and patience. They’ve entrusted you with access to their home to accurately diagnose a problem that is going to cost them money (sometimes a considerable amount). They may feel stressed, wary, or inpatient. It’s crucial that you approach your customers with professionalism and empathy.
Steady Physical Exertion
There’s no way around it. Part of what makes being an HVAC tech so exciting is that you’re never stuck behind a desk, but the flip side of that is you’re seldom sitting. Much of your day will be spent in hot temperatures, maneuvering around tight spaces, or inspecting attics. You must be fit enough to handle the demands of the job.
At The End of The Day
As an HVAC tech, you’re responsible for managing your time throughout the day and tying up any loose ends before you walk away from the job. Once you’ve completed your work orders and submitted relevant information to the office, your day may be done. Depending on where you work, you may be required to work an occasional on-call shift.
If working in the HVAC industry intrigues you, learn more about the 14 week training program we offer, right here in Houston!
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Goal setting is a huge component of the career planning process and has the potential to change the course of your life. Your goals, and the steps you take to achieve them, will make up your action plan.
How to Approach Goal Setting
If the goal is important to you and attainable, you have to commit to it completely. It’s not enough to have a goal, you’ll need to decide how to reach it. Milestones will help point you in the right direction and keep you motivated throughout the process.
Set an End Goal
If it’s a new career, (HVAC technician) set something as your big end goal to strive for. Think about your goal as much as possible, visually reaching it. When you visualize your desired outcome, you’re able to see the possibility of achieving it—and you can start taking steps to create a plan.
If your goal involves changing your career, you may have to undergo some training. Learning new skills could take the form of earning a certification or taking a training course. Use these requirements as milestones guiding you towards your end goal.
Have a Realistic Timeline
No one likes to wait, but the bigger the goal, the more time it’s going to take. Don’t cut corners or set unrealistic expectations.
Find a Mentor
Identify a few key mentors to help guide you through the process, since they’ve already successfully navigated it. Each time you make some progress, share it with your mentors. They can help you make tweaks to your milestones based on what you’re learning. Having a feedback process allows you to stay motivated, stay on track, and feel a sense of accomplishments throughout the process.
Set a New Course
If you encounter barriers that threaten to impede your progress, don’t give up. Instead, modify your goals accordingly. Set a new course that will still get you where you want to be.
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Have you decided that the HVAC industry is the right career path for you? Then you might be wondering what to do next. There’s so much information (and misinformation) out there that it can be challenging to pick a path.
The Average HVAC Technician Timeline
Each method of becoming an HVAC technician is different, but if you enter a hands-on training program, most will take around 14 weeks. Following your training, you will need to become licensed in your state and acquire an EPA certification. If you decide to get state certified, you’ll need 2 years of experience, and will probably want to take a prep course to ensure that you pass the rigorous exam.
What You Need to Start
- High school diploma or GED
- Must be at least 18 for most programs
- The ability to speak, read and write in English
Pick The Right Program
A reputable HVAC training program should provide practical knowledge and experience through a combination of classroom learning and the use of modern equipment and tools used in today’s HVAC industry. Training should be conducted by seasoned HVAC technicians with insights into the industry. In addition to looking for hands-on training, you should look ahead to obtaining state certifications and other necessary credentials. When looking for an HVAC training class, remember that if something sounds like a gimmick, it probably is. Avoid programs that are entirely online or that claim to give you the expertise you need in a few short weeks.
The state of Texas now offers an exam to become a state certified HVAC technician. This will allow qualified technicians to sit for a class A or B contractors license after only 3 years instead of the current 4-year requirement. Becoming state-certified isn’t a substitute for training, just as training is not the same as being certified. The 2 complement each another, with one providing information and the other exhibiting expertise of that information.
A Great Career Path
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the HVAC industry is a great choice for those entering the workforce or looking for a career change. The average annual wage for HVAC mechanics and installers was $47,080 in May 2017. The lowest 10% earned less than $29,120, and the highest 10% earned more than $75,330. The more training, experience, and certifications you earn, the more you’ll make!
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If you are in the HVAC repair industry, peak season is in full swing. This is the time of year when you and your team will have to balance the demands of existing customers with a large influx of new customers. At times in the summer months, HVAC repair companies may find themselves unable to address every service call they get. Peak season is challenging for every HVAC business, but with a little preparation and prioritization, you can manage your busy schedule.
Peak Season vs Off Season HVAC Repair
Hot Texas summers mean that people need somewhere to stay cool. That place is usually home, so when the AC isn’t working there’s a sense of desperation. Because Texas winters are generally mild, there’s no greater influx of HVAC work than in the summer.
Habits to Ditch
- Throwing your commitment to ‘quality over quantity’ out the window. Bad reviews linger long after the job is done!
- Never saying no, even when you don’t have room in your schedule. This is a recipe for technician burnout and customer dissatisfaction.
- Booking customers on a first come, first serve basis, instead of prioritizing those in significant need and the most lucrative projects.
- Hiring untrained or inexperienced technicians every peak season.
Habits to Embrace
- Route the right calls to the right technicians. Never put an inexperienced tech on a big job.
- Be honest. If your schedule is full, don’t try to schedule anything else. Do you think a customer left waiting for hours will be happy with their experience? Probably not.
- Prioritize calls from customers in the most need that at the same time represent the best conversion.
- Hire highly trained techs for the long run to ensure your customers are never disappointed or underwhelmed by temporary techs.
The Right Team
The best way to combat peak season burnout is with smart scheduling and the right team behind you. An experienced receptionist to field phone calls and prioritize appointments and reliable technicians with strong customer service skills will be your greatest asset in this busy season. Maintain your good reputation and positive reviews by keeping your standards high year round.
Contact Us to learn more about becoming an HVAC technician or for information about hiring the right team member for your HVAC business.
Military veterans are some of the most experienced and highly skilled employees in the American workforce. The job structure within the military is as diverse and varied as in the civilian world and military careers translate well to team environments and management positions.
The Value of Military Veterans in Your Workforce
Military veterans often bring a maturity and level of experience that’s very unique in most job applicants. They’re used to working well as a team, taking and giving instructions, and acting with confidence. Veterans can be a great asset to your team. Here are some ways to attract them to your organization:
If you genuinely want military veterans on your team, don’t expect them to find you. Seek out opportunities to partner with local military bases or military to civilian support organizations. Meet with veterans and attend job fairs.
Educate Your Hiring Staff
Military lingo can be confusing for the layperson. Be sure that your HR or hiring staff understand the basic hierarchy, rank structure, and job titles that will likely be found on a veteran’s resume.
Provide Proper Training
Whether it’s an HVAC training course or a thorough partnered training, new employees should receive every advantage to set them up for success. Neglecting training increases the odds that the employee will go elsewhere.
Walk The Walk
It’s not enough to say you want to support veterans if you do nothing to follow through. Business owners should target the best candidates for the job, and you’ll undoubtedly find strong candidates in the veteran community. Take the time to educate yourself on what these men and women have done so that you can better reach out to them!
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