Don't expect to get it all sitting in a classroom.
Books are portable for a reason.
If you really want to understand, be sure you do homework, even if it is not assigned.
Read ahead a little.
Raise your hand & ask questions.
Answer questions, when asked.
If you don't know, say "I don't know."
Bring your tools to class.(duh!)
If you had to take any kind of an entrance exam, and didn't do well in some area, be certain you get up to speed on those skills.(math, reading, writing, etc..)
Electricity IS math.
Going into a technical area is NOT a way to avoid the need to know basics.
I chose the field because I like problem solving and working with my hands under pressure. I'm currently a Paramedic, but theres not much advancement or even a retirement. I also have a background as a Fire Marshal.
I'm planning on attending New England Tech. Have you had experiences with the school?
When you graduate, don't leave school thinking you're God's gift to the HVAC trade. Most of us here have already forgotten more than you know. You'll still know nothing after spending all that money. Figure out what you think you're worth after graduating and divide by 2. That's closer to reality
Graduating gives you a license to learn. Nothing else. Ask lots of questions from co-workers and the guys from other companies buying parts at the supply house.
I started (after USCG) at the bottom and did piping and service in 1980. I moved around a bit and stayed with it, found a favorite part of the biz (low pressure steam heating) and have been very satisfied at every step of the way.
Lot's of hours, but it makes me happy.
I'm doing service work, mostly over the phone, for a boiler, baseboard, radiant, and (formerly) PTAC unit, manufacturer.
There doesn't seem to be a top limit in this business. Even without knowing where I want to be when I finish, it's still fun.
I have a friend in a different state that I met as a contractor on-line, that I respect very much, that owns his self started company, that thought he was 3 years from retiring. Just 3 or 4 guys working for him, including the heir apparent, his son. He bought a place in Enosburg, and is planning his retirement.
I recommended him to IBR to be an instructor. He accepted.
Next month, he is going to Beijing to speak about hydronic heating (real time interpreter) representing a different baseboard company and a group of manufacturers, and bringing his wife, and having money left over afterwards from the gig. He's pretty psyched(sp?) about it.
There are plenty of surprises in this industry. Aim high.