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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    192
    Where is it better to learn Hvac in a Trade school or community college where they offer Hvac courses? Or is there really no differance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    383
    I went to a 9 month full time trade school - it was in a city in a lousy neighborhood. I didn't have much choice; I was laid off from my 25 yr. job because it went overseas, and I wanted to get into a trade where I would hopefully not get laid off again.

    The school was a business... move the slackers and troublemakers along, and give them high grades, even though they never show up for class. It sucked for the few of us that really tried. Some teachers were good, and others were terrible. We had "hands on" equipment, but it didn't look like the pictures in the school brochure; all mutilated, and outdated.

    From talking to others that have gone to different trade schools, it sounds like they're all similar. I'm sure there are some better ones out there, you just have to find them. The good thing about education is that if you can learn all the theory like the refigeration cycle, understanding electrical circuits, and stuff like that, you will be a better technician once you get field experience. I've been a residential/light commercial tech for only a year now, and I can't tell you how many times I fall back on my education to solve problems.

    Want to know the best thing I learned at that school? One morning, when I showed up for class, there was a website address on the blackboard, left there by the night instructor... http://www.hvac-talk.com. Been hooked ever since.

    Good luck.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    trade school instructors are so silly. they seem to think they should lecture first and then do the hands on lab second. sorry guys but this is backwards. lab comes first and then follow up with theory. you'll get it one day.
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Yuma, Arizona
    Posts
    921
    Steve's statement holds some truth.
    But to answer the first question.
    Most if the decision would depend on the local instructors. A trade school will give you more direct information directly related to the trade.
    A Community College will offer you a fuller all around education if you choose to go for a A.A. degree. The general education tools will help you if you want to be more than just A SERVICE TECH.
    Most Community Colleges will not have the cost of the privet schools and take longer to complete, but thats a trade off.

    My Two Cents,
    Yuma
    What is snow? Is it that white stuff in a freezer?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,561
    Originally posted by Steve Wiggins
    trade school instructors are so silly. they seem to think they should lecture first and then do the hands on lab second. sorry guys but this is backwards. lab comes first and then follow up with theory. you'll get it one day.
    .......I'm glad you were never one of MY instructors.............

    [Edited by snewman24 on 08-25-2005 at 07:12 PM]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,035
    I'm attending the local community college....they offer a vo-tech program its not a degree program so almost none of the classes get you an AA ...its called a certificate program...sponsored my the local construction trade association. The HVAC/R has 2 programs 1 apprenticeship which meets 1x a week for 4 years (your expected to work in the HVAC/R field while in the program) and a 1 + year program of classes / labs both are in theory train you to take the journeyman's test.

    IF you contact your local community college make sure to ask for the vo-tec type programs...they might have one.

    As for my school Brevard Community College the instructors(s) have all worked in the HVAC field over 15ish years and we do a lot of hands on lab work....I spent the this whole week mangling copper tubing learning how to silver solder and use tubing tools. we have lots of old and some new air conditioning units that students take apart...trouble shoot or fix depending on were they are in the classes.....so far no lectures..some book work and lots and lots of hands on lab work.
    73% of Americans say that illegal immigration is a problem. The other 27% say, "No habla inglis!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,561

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453
    The most important criteria is the instructor - around here, the community college doesn't care about the students, just the money. The only thing that really counts is the teacher. Interview the teacher before you decide. Ask him to draw out the electrical schematic for a heat/cool unit ( by memory ), if he can, then he can teach you a lot. Neither of the two tech instructors here could draw a schematic.

    Richard

    BTW: I believe in theory - the why and why nots. Then hands-on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,157
    The most important criteria is the instructor - around here, the community college doesn't care about the students, just the money. The only thing that really counts is the teacher. Interview the teacher before you decide. Ask him to draw out the electrical schematic for a heat/cool unit ( by memory ), if he can, then he can teach you a lot. Neither of the two tech instructors here could draw a schematic.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    with all due respect , The community college here that offers the HVAC program is excellant. The instructors are very knowlegeable , all of the equipment is new , not 15 yr old models that are obsolete. They have an excellant selection of classes and all of the material needed for the program

    I started going to a trade school and probably picked the worst one in calif to go to. I went to 8 months of full time classes untill the new semester started at the community college
    http://hvac-talk.com/FYI/Norm/tencom...mcss/tencommon


    [Edited by ct2 on 08-26-2005 at 11:36 AM]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    chicago suburbs
    Posts
    4,422
    depending where you're located try the union hall.
    FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    2,089
    It all depends.
    I have a friend who was a teacher at a trade school. Nice guy but I am not sure he could keep a AC working. But at the same time a few (ok a long time ago) years ago I attended one class at the comunity college and never returned it was a waste.
    Old snipes don't die they just loose their steam

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    303
    Hands-on before theory? How can you understand a lab project if you don't know the refrigeration cycle theory???

    I just completed an HVAC trade school program. Instructors were very good, with many yrs of experience. Depending on the course, the lab portion was good to ok, but not excellent.

    In my opinion one of the most important considerations is the class size. My school was low cost ($65 / class) and each class had 40 students, and one instructor. Trying to get the attention of the instructor during lab period was a chore. This is a factor when deciding between trade school and community college.

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