Many educational institutions including trade schools, junior colleges, and even online universities provide six month to two-year training programs for HVAC certification. While there are thousands of traditional colleges and universities that provide this training, online courses seem to be gaining popularity.
What are advantages of Online HVAC Training?
Online HVAC training provides the student with the ability to study at his or her own pace, and allows them to choose which HVAC classes they are going to take at which time. Online courses typically cost much less than traditional colleges, universities and trade schools as well.
Other advantages of pursuing an online HVAC education include the different types of support that online learning programs offer. There are typically forums, blogs and other means of communicating with others who are taking the same courses as well as instructors.
While studying HVAC, students take courses related to equipment design, temperature control, equipment construction, electronics and the basics of installation, and repair and maintenance. These courses can all be studied at home, although there may be a period of on the job training required for many employers, just to ensure that the student understands the basics.
Regardless of if the school is brick and mortar or online, the student should ensure that the HVAC program in which they enroll is accredited. Accreditation for academic standards typically comes from one of three organizations: HVAC Excellence, The Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA), and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). After completing the online, college, university or trade school studies, new technicians are generally required to receive six months to two years of field experience before they are considered proficient in the field.
There are, of course, disadvantages to studying online, although the advantages seem to outweigh the difficulties. One disadvantage for students who study HVAC online seems to be the high level of self-discipline required. In order to receive all the benefits of education, students must demonstrate the self-discipline to manage their own time in order to ensure they meet the course requirements. One of the main advantages for taking courses online is the ability to study at the student’s own pace. This however, will pose a problem if the student is not disciplined enough to get the work done.
Study from your own home
Having the ability to study at your leisure is one thing, but making sure that your studies are completed on time is crucial to retaining the information that you receive through your online courses. Many students choose the online study option simply because it is much less expensive than traditional education institutions. Others feel that the ability to study at their own pace and in the comfort of their own homes is the main attraction for online schools.
For those seeking online courses for HVAC, it is very important to practice self-discipline in order to finish the course work in a reasonable amount of time. It is also important to choose an online school that is accredited for HVAC. Once the HVAC program is complete, it should not be difficult to find an employer that will offer additional training through on-the-job experience.
HVAC technicians are in high demand in many employment sectors. Becoming a technician yourself can be a terrific career move that will put you on the path to better pay, more benefits, and a more rewarding career overall. In order to maximize your opportunities as a technician, keep the advice below in mind. By taking these steps to enter this career path, you will make sure that you are on the road to success even before you take your first job offer.
Get the Proper Education
No matter what you intend to do with your HVAC certification, school is important. To become a technician, you will need to have completed high school or passed your GED exam. You should also consider entering a trade school or community college for further training if you can afford it. HVAC technicians will particularly benefit from math and engineering courses, which will provide important skills that can be translated into a work environment. Even after you have completed the necessary schooling, you should keep further education in mind. Squeezing in a continuing education course here and there will help you keep up with the latest tools of the trade and advancing technology.
Learn on the Job
The best way to get the experience you need to become a technician is to seek out an apprenticeship. You might be able to find apprenticeships in your area by checking with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, or a similar reputable organization. These groups often have directories of potential apprenticeships that you can make use of when you go looking for work. If there are no apprenticeships in your area, do not lose heart. While it is less ideal, you can get some on the job training by working at a company that does employ certified HVAC technicians. Most technicians are willing to train newcomers in the field.
Prepare for your Certification
Check with your state and municipal governments to determine the requirements for HVAC certification. Two excellent trade institutes that can help you along this road are the North American Technician Excellence Program and the Air Conditioning Excellence Coalition. These groups are both recognized throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico for their excellence. When you have the required amount of training and feel that you are ready to enter the industry on your own, take any necessary tests required locally. Once you have fulfilled all the certification requirements, it’s just a matter of hitting the job market and looking for the HVAC technician position that is right for you.
Typically, your training period will take anywhere from three to five years. Once you enter the field as an HVAC technician, you can expect relatively low wages to start, but the longer you work and the more experience you get under your belt the better your pay will become. By taking the necessary steps to make sure you are ready, you will have a much easier time building up your career as a HVAC technician.