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  1. #1

    Going back to school!

    Well i just got done with my welding certificate and i love welding but its more of a hobby then everyday thing for me.. I like building things but cant sit down and weld 1000 parts a day.. ANYWAYs, i plan to go to refrigeration and air conditioning school. idk why they dont just call it HVACR? they have a few heating classes but its more in depth into electrical and refrigeration. Ill post a link to their classes they offer and if anyone could give me a heads up or anything i should know before i get into this that would be amazing!

    http://www.minnesota.edu/programs_ma...?prog_code=485

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,268
    Would you get an associates degree from that program or would you have to take more basic courses for that?

    I just finished an HVACR (yes they called it HVAC/R) course and they tried to pack all of those courses into a one year program...it was insane. The worst part for me is that we did not have enough hands on learning.

    Talk to the instructor and other students before you enroll, get a general idea of how it works and ensure that you would enjoy the course. Don't slack around....I don't know how it is in your area but here the HVAC program fills up before the current class graduates.

    Also ask what type of certifications the program allows you to test for. EPA 608 is the most important one, can't buy or handle refrigerant without it.

    Call your state office and ask them if they acknowledge this course as experience towards your state contractors license.

    Find out if the school offers any type of tool-reimbursement program, tools in this trade can be very expensive.

    Other than that I like the course list, and the dedicated classes just for lab looks very promising.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    185
    They have one that is more geared towards a general HVAC/R degree:

    http://www.minnesota.edu/programs_ma...?prog_code=310


    The one you chose looks more focused on refrigeration than anything else. I'm currently enrolled in a 1 year program where its pretty much everything and not specialized in one particular area. Luckily for me, my instructor is big on hands on training so I'd say we spend around half the time in the class and half in the lab. Like AStudent said, definitely visit the class room and instructor for a better idea of what to expect.

  4. #4
    I will find out what certifications i can get, i would want to get the associates degree. The other program you listed there is a ways away from my house. I have a pretty decent job now where i can work what ever hours i want so i would like to stay somewhat close.

    Now compare the program i listed above to this program here. this school is 50miles away...
    http://www.ndscs.edu/uploads/resourc...vac-r-tech.pdf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    185
    As far as school goes, you will always get out of a school only what you are willing to put into it. For example, I can take a class for something which I really have not much interest in, cram the night before the test, cram before the final exam, and forget everything which I crammed in 2 days after making an A in the class. If you really have the desire to learn the material and retain what you have learned, classes are great. But taking a class is no guarantee of true understanding of anything. Also, it is a good idea to keep the textbooks as reference material for the future.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,268
    Quote Originally Posted by WMG View Post
    As far as school goes, you will always get out of a school only what you are willing to put into it. For example, I can take a class for something which I really have not much interest in, cram the night before the test, cram before the final exam, and forget everything which I crammed in 2 days after making an A in the class. If you really have the desire to learn the material and retain what you have learned, classes are great. But taking a class is no guarantee of true understanding of anything. Also, it is a good idea to keep the textbooks as reference material for the future.
    I agree, that's why I support hands on learning.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    20
    I'm about to start my last semester for my Associates in HVACR. The program is two years for the Associates degree, but the HVACR part was only one year. Here's the classes I had to take pertaining to hvacr -Basic Electricity for HVAC/R, Refrigeration Fundamentals,Tools & Service Techniques II, Gas Heating Principles, Principles of Air Conditioning, Commercial Refrigeration, Adv Electricity for HVAC/R, Heat Pumps, and Codes and Ordinances. I took one semester of general classes, and the rest have been business classes. We started with about 40 people in my class the first semester of HVACR, and by midterm we were down to 15. Only 4 people returned for the next semester, and stuck it out all the way through. I guess I was lucky to have a small class and some really great instructors. We didn't do a lot of book work, basically only used it to learn terminology and things pertaining to labs. I had some hvac experience before I started school, and because I was ahead of the class, my instructors worked with me on an individual basis on a more advanced level. While the other guys were learning how to recover and pull vacuums during the first semester, I was troubleshooting broken equipment. I still had to take the same test as they did, but my finals were harder than theirs. On all our finals half of the test was troubleshooting and repairing a broken unit, they made that part extremely tricky for me. I put a lot into it since the instructors gave me special attention, and I got a lot out of it. I finished the course with my lowest grade being 115, and my highest being 156 ( because of all the extra credit I did) and was the top of my class.

    All the classes you will take are basically the same as mine, I just think mine were a little bit more compressed. My class usually lasted about 6 hours each. Pay extremely close attention, and absorb as much as you can. The guys who finished with me will probably never get a job in this field, simply because they goofed off in class and didn't put forth much effort. Some guys still couldn't test a capacitor at the end. The only other advice I can give you is start saving, and buy the tools your going to need once you graduate. That degree is not going to do you any good if you don't have the tools to do the job, and that is something that every employer is going to ask. One other thing to keep in mind, don't expect to come out of these classes and land a job as a service tech your first day. I'm not saying it's impossible, but some people want experience as well. If you can do it, I recommend taking night classes, and try finding a job with an hvac company as an installer or helper. Learning at school while do the work in the field will really boost your knowledge,even if it is just installing. You'll become familiar with all the different brands and types of AC units, and build up your confidence level at the same time.

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