Deciding On Trade School

When I graduated from high school, I just didn't feel right about going to college. I didn't want to deal with the strict instructors, annoying student body, and frustrating curriculum. However, since I wanted a career, I decided that it might be smart to see about going to a trade school instead. I figured that I would be able to learn the same information, without all of the hassle that typically surrounds traditional college. I can't even begin to describe how right I was. I went to trade school to learn the art of HVAC, and I have developed a successful career.

4 Things You Should Know If You're Preparing For An HVAC Career


If you're thinking about taking up a trade that pays good money and throws interesting challenges your way, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air condition) just might be the field of endeavor you've been looking for. Here are four things you should know if you're considering this potentially lucrative line of work.

1. Opportunities Abound

The future appears bright for anyone training to become an HVAC technician. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an above-average job growth rate of 21 percent for this line of work, with a median pay rate of $43,640 per year. Commercial HVAC work is increasing at the same healthy rate as residential HVAC work. HVAC techs who work for commercial providers may find themselves working in a wide range of environments, from office buildings and warehouses by supermarkets and medical facilities. If you're not fond of sitting in the same chair all day, every day, HVAC work can bring welcome variety to your working life.

2. Training Is a Must

Once upon a time it was possible to enter the HVAC field by simply signing on as an apprentice and learning the ropes via trial and error. But today's world of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration is more complex, making use of advanced technologies, computerized controls, and digital diagnostic techniques. Most HVAC employers these days require their new employees to get their training through schools and/or certification programs. Additionally, state regulatory boards require HVAC technicians to hold a certification or license to practice their chosen trade. Completing a commercial HVAC training program is therefore vital if you want to gain a foothold in this demanding job market.

3. There Are Different Levels of Training and Certification

Commercial HVAC classes and courses address a wide variety of specific issues, devices, tools, and skills. The areas of study may include, but are not limited to:

  • How to read and interpret wiring schematics and blueprints
  • Basic information on energy, hydronics, refrigeration, boiler and other heating systems
  • Study of compressors, pumps, pneumatic devices, and other essential HVAC components
  • Fuel gas and heat load studies
  • Working with electrical circuitry
  • Measuring and calculating airflow
  • How to use common measuring and monitoring devices

The EPA requires HVAC workers to demonstrate mastery of specific skills depending on what kinds of installations they wish to work on. There are three different classes of HVAC certification, plus a fourth "Universal" certification. A Type I certification enables you to work on small commercial and domestic appliances, but you'll need a Type II certification if you plan on working with appliances containing high-pressure refrigerant. If you're more likely to be working with low-pressure refrigerant, go for Type III. If you want to able able to work on all types of HVAC components, you'll need a Universal certification.

At the end of your training course, you'll take an exam with sets of questions pertaining to the various certification types. You'll earn a certification (or certifications) in whichever sets of questions on which you make a passing grade.

4. Your Skills Will Overlap with Other Fields

Commercial HVAC training will provide you with a solid foundation for a career in this field -- but it can serve as a springboard for other kinds of work as well. by its very nature, HVAC work involves elements of other skills ranging from plumbing to carpentry and electrical know-how. If you obtain a general maintenance position for a commercial facility, you may find yourself performing these and other kinds of tasks on a daily basis. The knowledge and skills you gained from your commercial HVAC classes (plus any other specialized trade classes you may have taken) will prove invaluable whenever you have to troubleshoot a wiring glitch or comprehend a building's layout.

A commercial HVAC career can provide you with a stable income, a variety of work environments, and of course the satisfaction of a job well done. Talk to a HVAC training school, like the HVAC Technical Institute, to find out how can get started with the necessary education and certification!


1 May 2015