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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Sacramento California
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    18

    What do you want from a new trainee ?

    What do some of you who have been in trades look for in a new HVAC tech ?what kinds of training would like to see occur? I am an instructor at an HVAC school and the same former techs who are now senior tech's who once needed a 1st shot are not hiring new trainees out school.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    7,750
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperChill View Post
    What do some of you who have been in trades look for in a new HVAC tech ?what kinds of training would like to see occur? I am an instructor at an HVAC school and the same former techs who are now senior tech's who once needed a 1st shot are not hiring new trainees out school.
    One who can read a wire diagram, can use a dmm, and knows how to calculate SH and sc and know what it means.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sacramento California
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    18
    Thanks for the response !Its scary ! these poor kids all want to be HVAC/R techs or installers but no one is willing to give them a 1st shot I work for a non profit, free school so our kids graduate with no debt and all they need is a 1st shot .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    7,750
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperChill View Post
    Thanks for the response !Its scary ! these poor kids all want to be HVAC/R techs or installers but no one is willing to give them a 1st shot I work for a non profit, free school so our kids graduate with no debt and all they need is a 1st shot .
    That's really cool, since they are getting their schooling for free maybe the ones who are really interested could work for free as otj training and prove their worth to the shop owners/techs and maybe they'll hire them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,921
    Coming out of school, they need a firm understanding of the basic vapor compression cycle. They need to understand where heat is going and why.

    They need to learn to shut up and listen to the "senior" techs and not their GF/BF/BFF/Mother/Father via skype, twitter, facebook, text, e-mail, and phone call. Along with this, they should understand that, to start, their job is most likely going to be tool-mule. They'll be carrying the heavy stuff, doing the dirty jobs and will be expected to smile while doing so. That attitude probably cannot be taught, but it shouldn't be de-emphasized in any way. Be realistic with them about what they will be doing. Get them jobsite tours. January and August would be great months to tour rooftops, dirty mechanical rooms and the like.

    They should be able to communicate well. This, above anything else, may be the difference between a hire and a no-hire.

    "like...Ya know...I wuz thinkin, dude... You think I could, ya know, like, work here or somethin?"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    381
    All good points. Especially realistic expectations in the field.

    In addition to compression cycle, the should know the 24v signal. What colors are for, where the signal starts and where it goes, the difference between a short and a lost signal, and how to check for each.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,596
    We have established an internship with the local tech school where we have them ride with us on a daily basis. There is no substitute for real like experience. You could run all the labs and simulators you want, but it doesn't set in until they lay hands on it.

    A few things need to be clear:
    Leave the phone in the truck
    Don't argue with your journeyman
    Question what they are doing and thinking (in a nice way)

    This is a tough, hot, cold, hard physical job. If you aren't tough enough to sweat or work without the feeling of your fingers, time to move on.

    One other thought would be touching on how to deal with angry customers since most of them tend not to be happy, especially in the summer.

    I'm sure I'll think of more later.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    7,750
    As a "graduation requirement" I think you should give them a heat pump with all tge wires, boards, contactors etc stripped out in a bucket and they have to make it run in heat, cool, em heat and defrost, fully functional even soldering, pressure test, vacuum and charge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    63
    Not to minimize the important stuff above, but the best thing you can do as an instructor is teach them how to learn. I can't stop learning.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sacramento California
    Posts
    18
    Thanks for the information ! This is really is really good stuff ! I love teaching these guys and letting them know that they are the future of the industry,but the contractors that do the hiring seam to all want the whole 3 years of experience in the trade .I have let them know that they can order a custom taught student to fit their individual needs I.E new construction,remodel, service ETC. and I really dont get any input, the feedback I'm getting hear is extremely valuable ! I wish thad i had thought of using you guys sooner , please keep the comments coming ! We need your input guys !

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,824
    Above and beyond the HVAC fundamentals , they need basic safety training , basic first aid and in general how to dress and behave in the REAL world of working for a living. And that the proper time / place for texting or surfing the net is not on a job site.

    The tinsmith on the job today had 2 apprentices ESCORTED off the site for the way they were behaving in a unsafe manner 22 floors up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    63
    Teach them that a closed contact and an open valve both let the current flow. My head 'bout exploded when those two ideas collided. I blame George Westinghouse for that beauty. Plumbers came first.

    Teach them that heat doesn't rise, hot air does. Heat doesn't care.

    .ja.

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