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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5

    A.A in applied science for electronics?

    Hey everybody! I've been visiting this site for a while and finally decided to join. I just had a question for you guys, I've been working commercial HVAC for about 2 years now and I am certified and have my universal cfc recovery license. I've been taking some classes at my local community college towards an AA in applied science for electronics and I was wondering if this is going to be at all useful towards my future career as a HVAC service technician? It seems like a waste of time right now because of all the basic classes I have to take first. I plan on either finishing school or joining an apprenticeship program.. Which would be the better choice? I am very eager to learn all I can about HVAC and want to do what will benefit me the most. Any suggestions? Also would such a degree effect how valuable I am to an employee? Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    49
    An AAS in HVAC or Electromechanical would be more logical if they offer it. I would start applying for apprenticeship now though if I were you. There is no guarantee that you'll get in the first time.

    If you do get in, most locals have an agreement worked out with a local community college where your apprenticeship training counts towards the elective/core credits of an associates degree. Just get the basic general education requirements and you'll have the degree.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5
    Thanks ideafx thats good advice. Yeah where I am located they dont offer any AAS in HVAC, I wish they did but unfortunately they dont. I plan on applying for and apprenticeship soon so that can help make up my decision depending on weather or not I get in first time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    How often is an hvac/r failure due to electrical problems?
    How well do you already understand electricity?
    How theoretical vs. how practical are the courses?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5
    I have a pretty good knowledge of electricity already but am always willing to learn more. The courses are more general and not targeted towards HVAC at all, thats why I'm kind of Leary about committing 2 or more years to this degree when I could be getting a broader knowledge base from an apprenticeship. My father has this degree and he's a electronics calibrations technician... so i almost don't see the relation to it in HVAC?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    648
    You can't go wrong with any additional education, regardless of what anyone tells you. I am beginning my B.S. in HVAC Engineering in the fall. Will it help me adance in my job? I don't really think so, but it helps me in life in other aspects. Good luck, and go for what you want to. Just remember to finish what you start!
    "Fighting Ignorance since 1973 (It’s taking longer than we thought)." The Straight Dope.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Phoenix,AZ
    Posts
    2,842
    I would love to be able to pull a bad circuit board out of a unit. Take it out to the truck, break out the soldering iron, replace the necessary components and be done. Without ever leaving the job site.
    Could you do that with a A.A in applied science for electronics?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    24
    Many commercial units have dc controls and your A.A. will help to understand how it works. Lennox has new ac to dc converters on the boards in the new G71 models that provide power for the modulating motors. It is good to know electronics in this field.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    Quote Originally Posted by kbghdg View Post
    I would love to be able to pull a bad circuit board out of a unit. Take it out to the truck, break out the soldering iron, replace the necessary components and be done. Without ever leaving the job site.
    Could you do that with a A.A in applied science for electronics?
    Maybe yes, if the manu. will let you have a board schematic.

    If the board has a microcomputer on it, you can pretty well forget it.

    If the board has a short on it, I can help with a procedure for troubleshooting.

    Maybe yes, if you have an o'scope.

    I think the best thing is to know how to run some simple tests that tell you whether to pursue troubleshooting or give it up because it is hopeless. That way you don't throw good money (or labor) after bad.

    I also recommend Polya's book on solving problems.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    45th Parallel
    Posts
    954
    I don't know if a degree would help you, but the knowledge definitley will.
    I went to DeVry institute for about a year after getting an Assoc degree in HVAC. I wish I had finished the Digital Electronics schooling, but what I did learn was extremely valuable, and still is in my work.
    A good solid understanding of how solid state devices work will help you troubleshoot them. You will not necessarily be doing board level repairs in this day and age. Most parts/boards are throw away. It just isn't worth your time, unless it is something obvious like a loose or cracked solder joint.

    We can not afford to spend time diagnising to board level components, even if we could, most are surface mount technology now.
    Also, what if the device that failed was not the cause of failure?
    You spend all that time to solder in a burnt resistor, and put it all back together. Power it up, and POOF, you let the smoke out again.
    Or worse yet, it's a day later and you take down a production line or surgery center. You go from a hero to Zero real quick.

    My advice is get the electronics training. You won't regret it. Most HVAC techs and electricians don't have a good deep understanding of Electron flow, and solid state circuitry. Good Luck

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Phoenix,AZ
    Posts
    2,842
    Quote Originally Posted by drivewizard View Post
    I don't know if a degree would help you, but the knowledge definitley will.
    I went to DeVry institute for about a year after getting an Assoc degree in HVAC. I wish I had finished the Digital Electronics schooling, but what I did learn was extremely valuable, and still is in my work.
    A good solid understanding of how solid state devices work will help you troubleshoot them. You will not necessarily be doing board level repairs in this day and age. Most parts/boards are throw away. It just isn't worth your time, unless it is something obvious like a loose or cracked solder joint.

    We can not afford to spend time diagnising to board level components, even if we could, most are surface mount technology now.
    Also, what if the device that failed was not the cause of failure?
    You spend all that time to solder in a burnt resistor, and put it all back together. Power it up, and POOF, you let the smoke out again.
    Or worse yet, it's a day later and you take down a production line or surgery center. You go from a hero to Zero real quick.

    My advice is get the electronics training. You won't regret it. Most HVAC techs and electricians don't have a good deep understanding of Electron flow, and solid state circuitry. Good Luck
    I don't know man,
    I just spent a week waiting on a replacement board for an armstrong gas package unit.
    But, i do get your point.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for all your guys advice! I really appreciate it, yeah drivewizard makes an excellent point. It'd probably almost be better if you got training in electronics rather then a degree. I already have a good understanding of electronics and thats why i figured i might as well look into a degree in that but there are so many other aspects of the field i still need to learn in that I should probably put trying to get this degree aside for the time being.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Location:Raleigh NC
    Posts
    9,599
    Quote Originally Posted by ckone180 View Post
    I am beginning my B.S. in HVAC Engineering in the fall. Will it help me advance in my job?
    What School are your Attending and is the program Accredited and
    Recognized by ABET and NCEES so you can go for your PE?

    Please let me Know I'm very Interested.

    Thanks
    If you help others then you are a Success

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