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HVAC School Offers Cool Careers in a Hot Industry

Posted on November 21st, 2016 by SEM Tribeca

The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) industry, also referred to as HVAC/R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration), is a growing industry that is in constant need of qualified HVAC technicians to serve both residential and commercial markets. The HVAC industry thrives, even during economic downturns, because of the year-round comforts and lifestyles the world enjoys and expects. Combined with the growth of green technologies and the importance of energy conservation, HVAC careers are constantly in demand. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the need for qualified, well-trained HVAC technicians will rise 14 percent over the next several years. It is forecasted that an additional 56 thousand HVAC technicians will be needed in the next few years for the installation and maintenance of HVAC units. Thus, many companies have established HVAC apprenticeship programs to offer entry-level HVAC jobs to those who have the proper training and skills. With Florida’s floodwaters, record-breaking heat and hurricanes, competent HVAC mechanics and installers are needed throughout the year. In regards to pay, the BLS reports that the media salary for HVAC technicians was about $45,000 in May of 2015, with the top 10 percent earning an average of $71,000 and the lowest 10 percent earning an average of around $28,000. It is an industry that rarely experiences layoffs. The HVAC industry is one that stays on the cutting edge of technology with new jobs being created everyday such as Energy Auditors, Efficiency Specialists and Green Technology Specialists. The industry is growing and the demand for HVAC technicians is very strong. Diversity in Career Choices It is hard to dispute that the HVAC industry isn’t one of the best fields for work. The world of HVAC has many positions for the trained and the untrained worker. New technologies and green technologies are increasing the demand for those with both strong mechanical and electronic skills. Initially, some HVAC technicians may start off as an installer, but then develop into a project manager, then field supervisor and even end up in corporate leadership. There are virtually no limits to the diversity of the careers in HVAC because it takes so many positions to create, engineer, service, repair, produce, package, promote and sell HVAC products and services. Every stage has a specific task that needs to be performed. To get a better sense of all that HVAC offers, here is just a small sample of the jobs available within the HVAC industry: Blueprint Creation/Reading Controls Technician Design Engineer Dispatcher Energy Auditor Engineering Lab Technician Equipment Performance Testing Specialist Estimator Energy Conservation Specialist Field Technical Specialist Graphic Designer Green Technology Specialist HVAC Equipment Dealer IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Inspector Machinist Manufacturer Product Manager Product Technical Support Personnel Programmer Training Instructor Safety Director Scheduler Sheet Metal Fabricator Supply Chain Specialist Shop Maintenance Manager Vendor Manager Many of these jobs can easily be found through networking, online job sites, social media and recruiters. The demand for skilled professionals to develop, manufacture, sell and install HVAC-related products is ongoing. But those wanting HVAC careers must first acquire the necessary education and training. Available Education Programs To become an educated HVAC technician, Florida Technical College (FTC) has an HVAC school that has a well-established diploma program which gives soon-to-be HVAC technicians, project managers, sales managers and other professionals, the core HVAC courses and training required to start successful HVAC careers. The HVAC/R program offered by FTC teaches students the skills and technical knowledge needed to service, repair and install all types of heating, refrigeration and air conditioning systems. The HVAC School has a curriculum that combines comprehensive classroom training with hands-on experience. FTC also provides extensive career development classes and strategies to ensure graduates successfully obtain HVAC jobs as soon as they complete the 17-month program. The certificate HVAC/R program offered by Florida Technical College’s HVAC School has fifteen core competencies to fully prepare students for HVAC careers. Starting with Applied Mathematics, the HVAC course offering gives students exposure into Basic Electricity, Industrial Safety, Mechanical Instrumentation, Refrigeration and A/C Principles, Heat Pumps and Related Systems, and Codes and Regulations, just to name a few. The HVAC School curriculum was also designed to give future graduates an environment to test their skills before getting HVAC apprenticeships and other entry-level HVAC jobs. The HVAC School’s curriculum also has lab classes in Electrical Instrumentation, Domestic Equipment, and Commercial A/C Equipment, so students are prepared for their first day out in the field. One specific area where FTC stands out is its’ Programmable Logic Controller Units-Lab. This lab gives students extensive knowledge in Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), which is used in special computer devices to control a variety of commercial and industrial systems. The PLC lab provided gives students a setting where they can test out and put to use the valued skills of being able to troubleshoot and adjust HVAC systems by using handheld computers. This training and exposure is vital to securing HVAC apprenticeships in emerging HVAC, green and energy conservation technologies. On-The-Job Training Although there are plenty of different HVAC careers, most HVAC technicians, early in their careers, will participate in an HVAC apprenticeship. Lab classes are important, but on-the-job training is needed early on to apply what is learned in both the classroom and in the lab. HVAC apprenticeships give students the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills. Many individual employers have HVAC apprenticeship and training programs for students already enrolled in HVAC courses. Additionally, HVAC apprenticeships are sponsored by joint employer and labor groups, trade associations and even by local, state and federal agencies. HVAC apprenticeship programs typically last one to five years, often requiring about 144 hours of instruction for each year of the HVAC apprenticeship. For instance, the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) has an HVAC apprenticeship program that gives participants real-life experience installing and servicing residential, commercial and industrial HVAC systems, monitoring automated building controls and solving problems in the field. Most HVAC apprenticeships are most fitting for those who are ready to commit […]

The Beginner’s Guide to HVAC Training

Posted on July 21st, 2016 by SEM Tribeca

HVAC training is a crucial way to start out in the field of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Working on these systems is a skill that must be learned, but once you do, you’ll find yourself in demand. Learning through a trade program is a great start, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Find out how long it takes to get through HVAC training, the options you have for programs, all about certification, and what kinds of jobs you can expect to get with your diploma. Learning a trade means having new career options that will always be in demand. HVAC technicians are always needed, and in fact the number of jobs in this field is expected to keep growing over the next several years. To become a technician requires some type of HVAC training. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and technicians who can work on these systems are skilled workers. They install, make repairs, do electrical wiring, perform routine maintenance, replace parts, and connect HVAC systems to other components. This kind of work is done in all buildings that have HVAC from the largest commercial high rises and warehouses to a typical residential home or tiny apartment. As HVAC systems evolve and technology changes, skilled, well-trained HVAC technicians are needed more than ever. If you’re thinking about getting into this field, here is everything you need to know about HVAC training.   What is HVAC? Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are the systems that keep buildings comfortable and air healthy and free of pollutants. These systems work together to control indoor temperatures, humidity levels, and air quality. In other words, they provide climate control for all kinds of indoor environments. The heating system, typically a furnace, heats air in a building, while an air conditioner cools it. The ventilation system is made up of the ducts that carry the warm or cooled air throughout a building. Both heating and cooling systems often include filters to remove particles from the air and humidifiers or dehumidifiers to control moisture in the air. HVAC training prepares workers to be technicians and to work with these systems. As an HVAC technician you can expect to install systems using blueprints and technical drawings, inspect and perform maintenance existing systems, make repairs and change out parts, install and test controls and thermostats, connect HVAC systems to water lines and air ducts, and make recommendations for energy efficiency.     The Future of HVAC Jobs According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of HVAC is growing faster than average job growth. The predicted growth in the number of jobs is projected to be 14 percent between 2014 and 2014. In 2015 the median salary for an HVAC technician was $45,110 per year, which means there is a potential to earn much more.     HVAC systems are only getting more advanced, technologically, which means that HVAC training is becoming more important than ever. Important trends in HVAC include smart systems and thermostats, with more being connected to the internet, energy efficiency technology, and the use of mobile apps helping technicians to provide better service.   Steps to Becoming an HVAC Technician If a career in HVAC sounds like the right choice for you, it’s important to understand how you get there. There is no single correct path to take, but there are some general steps you will need to work through in order to become a working HVAC technician: Graduate from high school. The first thing you need is a high school diploma or equivalency certificate. This is a requirement for working in this skilled trade and you won’t be accepted into an HVAC program without it.   Find an HVAC training program. If you have that diploma in hand, you’re ready to find your training program. A traditional way to get training is to apprentice with an experienced worker, but more often students are choosing a diploma program. You have a lot of options, but many employers may want to see that you completed HVAC coursework.   Complete an HVAC training program. Whether you choose a hands-on classroom experience or an apprenticeship, your next step will be to complete it. Many HVAC programs take as little as a year or less to finish, so you don’t have to expect to spend years getting an education.    Consider certifications. Not all states require certification or licensing for HVAC technicians, but it is something to consider. There are several options for types of certification, for example Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA certification for handling refrigerants. Decide which certifications you want to pursue and then you will be ready to hunt for your first HVAC job.     What is HVAC Training Like? A smart way to start your HVAC career after high school is to choose an HVAC training program. These are programs that usually result in a certificate or diploma and that prepare you to pass certification exams. Most take less than a year to complete and involve classwork with hands-on training.   You can expect to learn HVAC skills from trained professionals who have worked in the field. They will teach you about safety, using tools, reading blueprints, construction drawings, and other technical drawings, basic math needed to work with HVAC systems, and basics of electricity, heating, and cooling. In HVAC training you will also learn about the fundamentals of HVAC equipment, how they are designed, how they work, and how to install and connect them to other systems. Expect to learn how to troubleshoot problems and make repairs and how to improve the efficiency of different types of HVAC systems. HVAC training programs should provide you all of this education and more by giving you direct instruction combined with hands-on practice. You can expect to be working on sample HVAC systems and using real tools to perform the actual tasks technicians do.   Where Can I Get HVAC Training? While apprenticeship programs may be available to […]

5 Important Safety Tips Every HVAC Technician Should Be Aware Of

Posted on March 20th, 2016 by SEM Tribeca

5 Important Safety Tips Every HVAC Technician Should Be Aware Of Working as an HVAC technician in the field of heating, cooling, and air can be a rewarding career choice. The opportunity to actively problem solve while enjoying a stable salary, the field of HVAC certainly has its advantages. However, while working in heating, cooling and air offers numerous benefits, that doesn’t mean there are not precautions as well. After all, HVAC technicians are exposed to a unique set of hazards while on the job. Which means safety is huge in this profession. And whether you’ve been working in this field for a few months or a few years, you will want to know these 5 important safety tips.   1.) Make Protection a Priority The most effective way to stay safe while on the job? Make protection a priority. Anytime you are being exposed to contaminants such as dust or other debris, you will need protective equipment like a respirator to avoid inhaling these harmful substances. In addition, you’ll also want to make sure to wear goggles or some type of face shield to keep your eyes safe from harmful exposure. Gloves should also be worn when handling particles and anything that has the potential to cut you. Remember, safety starts with protection first   2.) Assess the Situation at Hand In addition to using protective equipment to ensure your safety, you will also want to assess the situation at hand. Before jumping into a task, take the time to identify any potential hazards that may be present on the job site. Each job is a unique situation and location, so it’s wise to take the necessary safety precautions beforehand. While it can be tempting to immediately start on a job, it’s better to take the time to get the job done and do it right than to just rush through everything.   3.) Double-Check Your Equipment Moving from one job site to the next is a common scenario for many HVAC technicians. So having the right tools for the job is crucial when it comes to heating and air. Before starting a job, assess the required tools you will need in order to complete the job. Whether a wrench, wire strippers, or even a vacuum gauge it’s important to always double-check your equipment. Keeping everything in order is important for completing the task at hand while also keeping you safe in the process. Using faulty equipment is more likely to lead to injury so performing routine maintenance is key.   4.) Don’t Take Shortcuts In addition to double-checking your equipment, you will also want to make sure you’re not taking any shortcuts. As an HVAC technician, you’re working with chemicals, electricity and in some cases extreme temperatures on a regular basis. And while taking a shortcut might save you a few seconds, exercising caution should be your number one priority. In order to truly be safe on the job, technicians must follow procedure.   5.) Exercise Caution Around Chemicals While HVAC technicians face a number of potential hazards while on the job, caution must especially be adhered to when it comes to chemicals. With the potential to cause bodily harm, chemicals need to be stored and handled properly in order to prevent serious damage. Keep chemicals in original containers and never mix substances, even if they appear to be similar. In addition, store chemicals in well-ventilated areas away from vents to prevent fumes from spreading. And always follow signage and instruction to avoid harm not only to yourself but to those around you as well.  Interested in potentially launching a new career in heating, cooling, and air conditioning? Call FTC Now To Learn More About HVAC Technician Training   RELATED ARTICLES : A Brief Unofficial History of HVAC A Career In HVAC Is a Fantastic Fit For You