New guy with an education question
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  1. #1

    New guy with an education question

    Hello,I found this place while searching for info on the HVAC field.For 12 years I've worked in the Aerospace industry as a GSE calibration tech.I'm interested in changing careers and becoming an HVAC tech.I'm looking around at tech schools in my area(PHX) and to be honest,I'm a bit confused as to what to look for in these programs.

    Due to my background I have strong elect/mech/hydraulic troubleshooting skills
    so I'm thinking I might have a bit of a jumpstart in that area.I'd like your folks opinions on tech schools,CC programs,ect.Any input would be greatly appreciated.Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    brooklyn ny
    Posts
    103
    go for it with that type of background will make it easy to understand the working of refrigeration cycle and controls weather high or low vlotage and all the mech that come with it best of luck with the exp.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    2,124
    Maybe check with local companies and see what type of credentials they are looking for when they hire. Ask them if they have hired from the school and which classes.
    Don't worry zombies are looking for brains, you're safe...

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ControlsInMT View Post
    Maybe check with local companies and see what type of credentials they are looking for when they hire. Ask them if they have hired from the school and which classes.
    Good idea.Thanks for the replies guys.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    brooklyn ny
    Posts
    103
    hello i guess your searching is over you found the right one

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    562
    I see a great need in the area of controls. You can travel the country if you're good with controls and building automation. VFD's is another good area to study. Any training in psychometrics would be GREAT. It will help you in EVERY area of HVAC. Hydronics would be good for commercial and industrial work. Learning how water flows and how to properly pipe a system per it's intended use would be invaluable to troubleshooting larger systems. Of course, your CFC license is important. Get a universal 608 license (types I, II, III).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    10
    if I was you I wouldn't jump into school yet, try finding a helper position in maintenance, installer, even some plumbing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wichita Ks
    Posts
    1,452
    you should do good in hvac, I agree ask around with contractors to see who has the best school.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    562
    Another suggestion. You might try to join the local union in your area. If you go through their apprenticeship, they'll put you through their school and you'll get paid on the job training. Here, they recently partnered with a community college where apprentices can take on-line classes too and by the time they're done, they get an Associate's Degree in an area such as Construction Management. Just a thought.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,250
    Here are some links www.ua.org (union mechanical) www.smwia.org (sheet metal union) www.abc.org (non union apprenticeship). Educational organization websites www.rses.org www.acca.org www.escoinst.com www.training.carrier.com www.reta.com www.ferris.edu/ www.hvactv.com There are a lot of HVAC techs out of work right now. How about doing Refrigeration? www.sourcerefrigeration.com you can apply online, they have their own training center and they will train you.
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

  11. #11
    Thanks again guys,I'm glad I asked.Good info to look into.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    44
    I'll throw my 2 cents in here. I had 6 years as an aviation electronics technician in the Navy. When I got out, had no idea where to turn and worked for different low-wage services, fixing random things. Food equipment, electrical work, and finally a maintenance position in a food factory here in Chi. While working there, I really liked the HVAC and refrigeration work, and my lead engineer recommended a trade school in the area. Two years later, I got my A.A.S. in HVAC/R and started work with a contractor. Two years after that, I'm now in a union apprenticeship for HVAC/R. My basic opinion on all this:
    Trade Schools: Use only to get your foot in the door, if you can't otherwise. They have a lot of good training, but aren't worth the time and $$ overall. Even the good ones spit out "HVAC/R technicians" like a factory, so they don't hold a whole lot of water in the job market. A whole cash cow kind of thing.
    Apprenticeship: If you're smart (which you obviously are) and are pro-union and have a good LU in your area, this is a great way. Some LU's are stronger than others, and if the union shops in your area stay busy then this training is top-notch, the field work is awesome, and the bennies incomparable. I'm a little on the old side compared to the other apprentices, but my previous HVAC experience added with a little age seems like it helps me excel a little bit. Only other ways I'd recommend is to seek out the good contractors out there and get hired as a driver, and work your way up. It's a great field, but I see a lot of guys get chewed up and spit out by bad contractors, so just know that going into it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    tx
    Posts
    1,088
    In a right to work state, you just go to work. Most companies have a 90 day trial period where they evaluate your skills with the trade as well as dealing with your peers and customers. If you have what it takes, you keep your job. If not, you go down the road. It seems easy for someone wanting a job who has skills or can learn to get a job in this field here. Also, it is easy for employers to get rid of those who start riding the clock or decide not to work anymore for their money. Employers here hold on to their hands as much as possible because of a shortage everywhere. They are not inclined to mess with guys just for the sake of messing with them, and they won'e fire them just because. But if there is a reason, they can get rid of them and get someone who wants to work. There is as you know a huge difference between someone wanting the job, and someone wanting to work. LOL
    Bad information is worse than no information at all.

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