White paper how to determine whether an hvac technician school is for you


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After deciding to participate in an HVAC/R program, your next step is to find the right school. Your training program should give you the skills needed to begin your career in the field, so you need to start out right, using modern equipment and tools and in a hands-on training environment. Here are a few of the qualities you should be focusing on when comparing HVAC technician schools to start your heating and air conditioning training. For more information about technical training programs at The Refrigeration School, contact an Admissions Representative.

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White paper how to determine whether an hvac technician school is for you

  1. 1. refrigerationschool.com Whether an HVAC/R Technician School or Program Is for You. how to determine
  2. 2. Three Main Qualities of Top HVAC/R Technician Programs Any merit-worthy program will have a couple key features in place that allow students to build a strong foundation as an HVAC/R technician. By the same turn, participating in a program lacking these qualities may cause serious obstacles for graduates later on. First, a good program will offer hands-on training, which is something you won’t be getting in any online “training” program. Some schools may section off large training centers from lecture halls, or systems and equipment may be brought directly into classrooms. Despite the venue, the crux is to have either live equipment or professional training aids that students can handle and make changes to themselves. When working with tools and equipment makes up the bulk of your career, it is crucial that you become intimately familiar with those items throughout your early training. Pure theoretical work will not look very good from an employer’s standpoint, and it will only get you so far in your own practice. Demonstrating proficiency early on, however, will be an asset. The second major feature to check for is to verify that any program you look at is in fact accredited. Accredited programs are held to certain standards of quality and undergo rigorous professional analysis in order to maintain those elect standards. Students enrolled in an unaccredited program may well find themselves unprepared for licensure tests, let alone a full workload. Also, if you plan on building on your education through continued or advanced study, those programs will most likely only accept credit transfers from accredited programs. Finally, any HVAC/R training program should be supported by the local licensure board. Students are responsible for taking licensure exams themselves. The results will naturally be a reflection of the student’s own effort, but reputable programs should expose students to the knowledge and skills that will be tested within the exam. How to Determine W hether an HVAC/R Technician School or Program Is for You HVAC/R technicians touch every aspect of our lives. Every house constructed and every office, store, restaurant and skyscraper built has seen the work of an HVAC/R technician because all of these structures need to be equipped with some form of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or refrigeration systems. In more affluent areas, demand rises even more sharply as more people have these systems installed directly into their homes and more businesses crop up, necessitating installation and maintenance of these systems for the sake of building codes. In response to this, a number of technical training schools have risen to provide the workforce necessary to satisfy this need. However, not all schools are created equal, and as students consider entering an HVAC/R training school, there are a few things they should keep in mind to help them weigh the relative value of each school.
  3. 3. Methodology for Narrowing Down Schools The first thing you may want to do is search for jobs you would like to apply to now or in the future. Not all worksites require prior training or technical degrees. Working without first training for a degree could be a way to test the waters to see how you like the field before committing to a multi-year certification or diploma program. An employer may even offer you reimbursement for advanced technical training by paying for some or all of your tuition. This will not universally be the case, though. Some companies have very specific training requirements that would require you to undertake certain training or have a certain license before you apply. If you are considering a company with such requirements, it would be wise to keep these specifications in mind to tailor your education. If you can talk to any industry professionals, seize that opportunity and ask what they know about programs you are interested in and if they have any recommendations of their own. No one’s experience will be exactly the same, but an insider’s perspective will prove invaluable to you both when you apply for programs and jobs. For any HVAC/R training program with strong potential, look at the details of that program. The time to completion is vital to those who need to start working as soon as possible. Often program lengths will vary because the class times themselves vary from school to school. In other words, you may be learning the same material but at different speeds, so this point is good to compare between schools. Other factors to take into account include total tuition cost and cost/credit hour, financial assistance options, textbook and tool requirements, primary training and industrial equipment, and amount and structure of hands-on training. Generally, the more experience you can get in vocational training, the more prepared you will be for the workplace. You should also look for schools with small class sizes. This is generally a sign that training good technicians is a priority for the school over turning a profit by stuffing the most students into a class as possible. When you’ve narrowed your choices down to just a few schools, talk to a couple alumni from each program. Ask them any lingering questions you have about their experience in the program, what they did afterwards, and what their first employers coming out of the program thought of their training. Visiting each school itself and taking a look at what their classes involve firsthand is highly recommended as well. If you can, talk to some of the program instructors and look at their backgrounds. If you have any questions about the application process, seek out an admissions adviser. Essentially, on the campus visit you should familiarize yourself with the resources available to students. RSI: The Refrigeration School RSI in Phoenix, Arizona aims to provide comprehensive vocational training for emerging HVAC/R technicians. RSI holds that theory directs vocational training while hands-on training is needed to establish a career in a hands-on position. Working under this principle, hands-on lab classes are a major emphasis in RSI’s programs. Workers with greater interpersonal skills in addition to work aptitude are more likely to please employers and find jobs more easily than those with vocational skills alone. As HVAC/R technicians have to interact with clients a great deal, interpersonal skills become a critical part of the technician’s skill set. Technicians are often the public face of the company they represent because interaction with the technicians is often the basis for how customers form their impressions of the company as a whole. That being the case, at least basic communication skills are vital for continued business and the spread of positive word- of-mouth brand awareness. That is why, alongside its vocational training, communication is also a major focus of the school’s Career Services Department. Students should also be sure to utilize Veteran’s Affairs, Referral Assistance (for finding suitable housing), and Part-Time Employment Assistance to get the most out of the resources available to them. Resources: http://www.refrigerationschool.com/student-services.html http://www.refrigerationschool.com/career-dev.htm http://www.ehow.com/how_2124128_compare-trade-schools vocational-colleges.html http://www.ehow.com/info_8092287_trade-school-colleges.htm http://lhughs.hubpages.com/hub/online-hvac-training
  4. 4. info@rsiaz.edu (888) 943-4822 Whether an HVAC/R Technician School or Program Is for You. how to determine refrigerationschool.com 4210 E. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona 85034 888-943-4822 Accredited School, ACCSC. Licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Post Secondary Education. GI Bill Eligible (check with local campus for specific eligibility). For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete our programs, and other important information, please visit our website at: http://www.refrigerationschool.com/GEdisclosure. STEG-03-267